Trade Shows
3daysofdesign: ”New business ideas are more interesting than a chair made of eggshells”
Trend expert Stefan Nilsson shares his highlights after intense days in Copenhagen.
18 Jun 2024

According to Nilsson, the 2024 edition was even stronger than previous ones, with ”nicer experiments and more innovation.”

— I give it a ten out of ten. I like how they maintain a Scandinavian focus but still allow international players to be part of this. The overall conversation was about new things and not the classical old Danish brands like Carl Hansen & Søn or Fritz Hansen. Newer and better. 

Why do you think it’s so hyped and popular?

— There are a few things that stand out. First of all, it is a very casual and warm design event. You can compare it to Milan where there are endless lines and queues. Here it is easier to drop in to an exhibition and be inspired. 3daysofdesign has now doubled in size in one year so they need to balance size with this casual atmosphere. 

— But there is also a keen interest in Scandinavian design. I am happy that it gets so much attention right now. 

Is it already the strongest design event in Scandinavia?

— It is difficult to compare it with, for instance, Stockholm. I am Swedish and based in Stockholm, so of course I will be biased in some way but 3DD is now bigger than Stockholm Design Week. That is one way to measure. Then you have to talk about if the quality is better and that is difficult. I think there is room for both but there is no doubt that every brand I talk to, says that they want to participate at 3daysofdesign. 


What were the highlights?

— British designer Faye Toogood managed to bring new creativity and colours to previous designs. I interpret this as we don’t need new stuff, just new context.

— Vitra made a fantastic sofa out of 79% recycled material, by two new Swiss designers which I haven’t heard of.

— Swedish Massproductions made a fantastic new wooden chair with a strong new identity. I am sure this will win all the design awards this year.

— Famous Noma opened up their research facilities and showed how important experiments and play are for new flavours.

— Finnish design studio Juslin Maunula showed upcycled fabrics that were simply amazing.

— Besides that, there was a huge focus on new materials. A lot of brands are now experimenting with hemp, flax, and the typical Danish algae eelgrass.

Juslin Maunula (also in the top picture).

How is the design industry doing in 2024? And what do you look forward to?

— We are done with re-editions. I can’t stand another chair from the 50s or 60s. So done. And therefore I am happy to see that our eyes are wandering to new things. New things — and new talents.

— Six months into 2024… I see that we have some really big and interesting conversations this year. It is not so much about sustainability — new business ideas are more interesting than a chair made of eggshells — but more about bigger questions. Are we working from home? What is a living room? Should we cook in our kitchens? These are questions that are not easily answered so that will continue for a while.  And finally, we will see new talents. No more Patricia Urquiola, Bouroullec, or people we have gotten tired of. 

And for you, what else do you have coming?

— I don’t know if anyone uses the word ’blog’ any longer, but Good Boy is my website with sustainable findings in the design industry. I want this to be a source for people to find fun, unusual and interesting sustainable projects. I have lacked this myself. There are some websites out there but they tend to be either very technical or very self-experienced — ’look at me building my own house out of scrap’. Here I want people to find a fun new chair or a lamp. My main goal is to talk about sustainability which is not a new material but rather new thinking.