This week, after setting up our place in Gdansk and clarifying arrangements for installation, we set off for a family visit to Skane in the south of Sweden, flying there and returning to Gdansk via Copenhagen and Berlin by train.
While there I felt totally immersed in family memories – a very warm and wonderful time with my cousins. It was a short but rich visit. Reflecting on it, I see how my way of working has elements of the Swedish (Scandinavian ) handcraft traditions and a certain aesthetic (a restrained, layered lightness and colour) I see in the design and in everyday living – even in the landscape.
In Malmo we visited the Form/Design Centre – in an old granary it appeared (a Gdanskian link!) overlooking a cobbled courtyard surrounded by farmhouse buildings – amazing to find in the centre of the city these aspects of past history. Saw there some interesting design – and a fashion show using recycled off-cuts (plastic, rubber, videotape and so on) of great interest to me.
Then to Copenhagen by train. We explored that afternoon and evening round the centre of town – lunch and a visit to the V1 Gallery in the Meatmarket area (still a functioning market it seems but also being developed as a cultural area with cafes, clubs and galleries. Next to the more touristy area of Stroget, the main shopping street (the oldest pedestrianised street in Europe I think) past Tivoli (shut up but very obviously being prepared for Christmas!) We were mesmerised by the hundreds of bicycles – whizzing along on the cycleways at the side of the road, with children in little trailers or at the front, or stacked or even left lying on the footpath round the station, and by buildings.
We dropped into the museum to a Viking exhibition (extraordinary travelers who lived in and by their boats) and to the Danish Design Centre (no longer such, but we found there a very interesting “library” of materials set up for designers – some very tempting stuff, such as aerated aluminium, plastics and so on!) The next morning we were up at dawn (6 am) to catch our train to Berlin – for the next post!