The Birth of Danish Modern as an Entrepreneurial Event

Professor of business history Per H. Hansen will talk on the introduction of Danish Modern and Coop-Furniture as an entrepreneurial event.

Focus will be how a social network of organizations shaped a narrative that legitimized and promoted a new style of furniture – Danish Modern – that addressed the identity needs of certain consumer groups.

The designers, producers and the social network of organizations did not spot an already existing opportunity in the market but created this opportunity by working together to create a narrative that effectively shaped the demand for Danish Modern, not only in Denmark but also in the US and other countries.

They did this by addressing consumers’ cultural projects in the new cultural context of modernism and the welfare state. By the mid-1950s Danish Modern had achieved considerable commercial success, but from the late 1960s the network failed to renew the narrative in the face of changing culturel context. The result was, as New York Times’ Ada Louise Huxtable commented in 1980, that Danish Modern went out of style, only to reemerge as retro-style 20 years later.

Rob Austin, professor of management of creativity and innovation, will provide some case examples from today’s Danish companies that illustrate how this process continues and evolves in the present day. Following this, Rob will facilitate a general discussion with Per and participants about the role of narrative in Danish Design.

Further, David Obel Rosenkvist, CEO Rud. Rassmusen A/S, will contribute to the discussion by giving his point of view.

Afterwards there will be a small reception.

The event is open for everyone, sign up by sending a mail with the subject ‘Birth of Danish Modern’ to: entrepreneurship@cbs.dk.