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Three exhibition in Copenhagen showcases timber craftsmanship


Promotion: the American Hardwood Export Council has launched Three, an exhibition of work made by three Scandinavian designers using American hardwoods, at Copenhagen festival 3 Days of Design.
The designers – Anne Brandhøj from Denmark, Pia Högman from Sweden and Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng from Norway – each used a different kind of wood for the exhibition, which was created by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) for the 10th edition of 3 Days of Design.

Designer working on wood for Three exhibition
Anne Brandhøj is among the designers taking part in Three

AHEC aimed to show that iconic designs can be created using less environmentally damaging wood than teak and rosewood – materials that were often used for mid-century modern pieces by famous Scandinavian designers such as Arne Jacobsen.

Each of the creatives taking part in the exhibition was tasked with designing furniture pieces that would instead encourage sustainable wood production by working with three undervalued American hardwoods: American red oak, cherry and maple.

AHEC also hoped to show how the three female designers are “breaking boundaries in a male-dominated field”.

Designer working on wood pieces for Three exhibition
Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng working on her pieces for the exhibition

Øfstedal Eng created her trio of furniture pieces for the exhibition using American maple, a wood she found similar to the Norwegian ash that she normally works with.

“When you carve it, it creates an organic, double-curved landscape that is so aesthetically pleasing,” she said of the wood, which she used to create furniture that was informed by the way in which moss spreads across a rock.

Øfstedal Eng designed a shelving unit with CNC-milled shelves, a footstool and stool that were informed by the age rings in maple trees for the exhibition.

Consoles by Anne Brandhøj
Anne Brandhøj creates wooden designs

Brandhøj fells her own timber, and her work is informed by the imperfections in the wood this reveals, from cracks to moss and fungus.

“You don’t know what you will find when you open it up; I find that really beautiful,” she said of her process.

For the Three exhibition, she created a series of cubic consoles that are built up using layers of carved American cherry and have wavy cut-out details.

“To some people, wood is just wood, but to me, different types of wood give completely different experiences,” Brandhøj said.

Designer Pia Högman with chair
Pia Högman with a chair designed by her

The final type of wood used in the exhibition is American red oak, which Högman turned into five chairs that she treated with different finishes to showcase the material’s open-grained structure in a variety of ways.

At the exhibition, the chairs, which have both curved and linear panels, are displayed to show off their spectrum of colours.

“My goal as a designer is not to simply produce products that anyone could make; it’s more important to me to contribute to something bigger, like giving materials new life,” Högman said.

To view more about AHEC, visit its website.

Three takes place from 7 to 9 June 2023 at Copenhagen Design Agency, Amaliegade 14A. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for AHEC. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.


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