I must admit, Danes are quite clever.
For starters they’ve made designing chairs, lamps and furniture an art form. In fact, should you have the misfortune of being burgled in Denmark, I can almost guarantee that your TV will be safe. It’s the designer furniture and lamps which will be the first to go.
However, alongside furniture designers, Danish architects and urban planners continue to smack their innovation all over this country. Although after living in Copenhagen for a few years now I think I’m becoming de-sensitised to them. Which made it all the more refreshing to spend a day exploring Aarhus today finding some new Danish cleverness to impress me.
First up, Dokk1.
A large public building which incorporates the library, culture house, cafe and residents service. Kind of like one big happy communal space for everyone to hang out in. Undoubtedly BBB’s highlight was the (many) indoor and outdoor play areas and we were only released after bribing her with an ice-cream. Although not before I noticed this.
Loved this so much. If you’ve visited Denmark you’ll know that prams (known as 'barnevogne' in Danish) are rather large and they pretty much rule the world here in Denmark. Pram parking can often be at a premium, and this is why I love this soooo much. A Pram park – with PAINTED lines just like an actual carpark. That’s some seriously smart Viking style organisation. Although, you'll notice that even with painted lines, there was one person who still went rogue and parked across the lines.
Next, we headed to the Aarhus Street Food market where I actually found several smart things, but this was my ultimate winner. An umbrella share scheme complete with it's own App.
Having nailed city-wide bike share schemes many years ago, it now seems to be the time for city-wide Umbrella share schemes in Denmark. Although it possibly wouldn't work that well in my hometown (Windy Wellington), but here in Denmark, it's S-M-A-R-T. On a rainy day at least. The concept, of course, involves an element of trust and self-responsibility, but luckily we’re in Denmark where trust and self-responsibility come in rather large doses.
But the most beautiful find of the day was Uendelige Bro – the Infinite Bridge. A bridge that never ends that you can just keep walking around and around. And around. If I had one of those fancy drone camera things, my photo might look a little bit like this.
But because I don’t have a drone, my photos instead look a little bit like this.
So simple. It is ‘just’ a wooden circular bridge. But so smart. A new tourist hot spot created slightly accidentally as it was originally a temporary sculpture installation as part of the Sculpture by the Sea event in 2015. However, it’s huge popularity ensured it got permanent status. Super smart architects and super smart investment by the local Municipality.
And lastly, although this one is about 50 kilometres from Aarhus, in a small holiday town called Ebeltoft I wanted to also give it a quick mention.
May your sunhat and clothes never blow away again while you take a quick dip in the ocean.
Known as a 'havnebad' in Danish, you’ll find several of these swimming platforms throughout the country which helps create an even more interesting swimming experience accessing areas slightly further off shore. But the real winner is the person who designed this catch-all cargo net bag for swimmers to leave their gear in. Smart.
Which one is your favourite?
Long may Danish sensibility, style and smartness continue to thrive.