Signe Byrdal Terenziani

3daysofdesign 2022 – Preview
Celebrating community

Signe Byrdal Terenziani is the founder and director of the annual design event 3daysofdesign in Copenhagen. Within just a few years, she has managed to establish a format that sets Danish design in the international spotlight. In an interview, she tells us about her concept and what guests can expect this year from 15 to 17 June 2022.

Anna Moldenhauer: Signe, due to the pandemic, 3daysofdesign will take place in June this year, what can visitors expect from the programme?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: We are getting bigger and bigger every year. This year's theme "Remember to Play" was created in collaboration with Luca Nichetto. In the midst of pandemic and war, we find it necessary to also remember the positive vibes and to be creative, to play, even if there are so many challenges that make us doubt if it is the right time. It is essential to be creative, especially in these times. The theme has been very well received by exhibitors, so this year we will have even more to show than before. The range of interpretations will also be extensive, some focusing on the material, others on the play with form or the play itself. A group of Ukrainian designers will also show an installation.

Last year you organised together with your team a series of design talks, will you continue this?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: We have decided not to continue the format this year. Our task as organisers is to promote the about 200 exhibitors, and many them will be offering interesting talks themselves this year, such as by Michael Anastassiades and Alfredo Häberli. As these will take place at different locations, I recommend that visitors to 3DaysofDesign check the website or the app to find out which lectures and events are on offer.

You founded the 3daysofdesign in 2013 and have been responsible for every aspect of the programme ever since. What is generally important to you to communicate?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: The platform we have created is for mutual inspiration, as a presentation space and not for profit. We are a community that helps each other. And part of that is that the established, big producers pay a slightly higher fee to participate than the small ones who have just started in the market. Both get the same service from us, so we can support the up-and-coming designers. Precisely because we don't have a fairground, but have spaces all over the city, visitors get a different atmosphere and experience. Also, when you visit a company's exhibition in their own space, you quickly get a real sense of what their values are and how they work. Copenhagen is our playground and we want guests to explore the city, enjoy the architecture and see that we are a nation with a long design history. That's part of coming to 3daysofdesign, it's not just about buying and selling, it's also about experiencing what the design community in Copenhagen has to offer.

All events are free, how do you finance the festival, do you receive support from the city?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: No, the funding comes from the exhibitors' participation fees. We are a small team and expand briefly as the festival approaches. In the meantime, my work for 3daysofdesign has also become a full-time job; in the beginning, I managed the festival from my kitchen table in the evenings after my actual job. The success is based on the passion of everyone involved, from our team to the exhibitors. Together, we want to constantly find new creative ways to offer our guests a special experience.

I think the city of Copenhagen should support you, because in the course of 3daysofdesign you bring thousands of visitors to the city every year. A look into the future – what would you say Scandinavian design can and wants to offer beyond the well-known classics like Arne Jacobsen?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: That's a very good question, which is difficult to answer. I think all new developments are basically based on the ideas of the old masters, because a central key in Danish design is functionality. Danish design is based on the idea that you want to use it in everyday life. At the same time, sustainability is high on the agenda and good ideas must continue to be developed for this. In almost all Danish companies I know, this is a very important point in their work - from design to delivery. Danish designers and companies take what they do very seriously. At the same time, we are working together to encourage customers to demand products that are sustainable. Because that's the only way the market will change in the long run.

During the 3daysofdesign, numerous showrooms of creatives and companies can be discovered in Copenhagen.

You lived in Milan for 20 years, do you see any interfaces between the Italian and Scandinavian design scenes?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: My experience is that we share the passion for design, but implement it very differently in the products we make. Italian designers may not always have a strategy, but they always put their heart and soul into their work. The Danes are more rational, structured and therefore faster. But structure is not everything, sometimes you also need a certain playfulness in design. Both sides have their strengths and weaknesses.

How do you choose the creatives who will participate?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: With our selection, we want to celebrate craftsmanship and not show copies of products that already exist. We want to find companies that find new, inspiring ways to make products and are truly creative.

After moving to Copenhagen, you started out working for manufacturers like Montana as a marketing manager. To what extent do you bring this knowledge into your work for 3daysofdesign?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: I think the different experiences make it easier for me to understand the views and needs of the manufacturers in the collaboration and to adapt the offer accordingly.

Besides you also work as a self-employed event manager and life coach, among others for creatives. How does this affect your work for 3daysofdesign?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: I have a master's degree in business and the perspective you have when you come from a business school is that the most important goal is to increase profit. But in some cases, especially with designers, craftspeople, artists, this is not always the best solution. Because when the success becomes more, the time for creative work decreases, because suddenly a lot has to be organised. I therefore accompany people on their way by giving them tools that help them to understand what really matters to them and which steps are necessary for this. I think it is important for any work to take into account the human aspects.

You once started with four brands – Montana, Erik Jørgensen, Luceplan and Kvadrat – since then 3daysofdesign has grown every year and has become an integral part of the industry calendar. What else would you like to achieve in the future?

Signe Byrdal Terenziani: Basically, the 3daysofdesign could already be twice as big, but then values that are important to us, like the sense of belonging and the community, would be lost. Instead of expanding further, we want to work more on integrating the ideas of young designers who often find it difficult to compete in the market without support. Seeing their work also gives the producers new perspectives.

15 to 17 June 2022

Luca Nichetto