Cecilie Manz Exhibits World-class Design at Danish Architecture Center


Johanne Troelsgaard Toft, Press Officer
+45 6142 1927


During 3daysofdesign, The Needle in the Haystack exhibition opens at the Danish Architecture Center. What considerations, doubts and thoughts go into good design? How many prototypes does the development of a new chair require? What role do scale and shape play for a Bluetooth speaker? Visitors can explore all this and much more when one of Denmark’s most renowned designers, Cecilie Manz, opens the doors to her design universe.

 Cecilie Manz has been awarded the 2021 Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfonds Hæderspris, an honorary award conferred by the design and architecture foundation of the central bank of Denmark for almost three decades, Cecilie Manz has produced industrial design on diverse scales, from impressive tables through fascinating lamps to sensuous applied art objects. True to tradition, the annual awardee mounts a solo show, and this year, Danish Architecture Center will, for the first time ever, have the honor to host the exhibition.

“Architecture and design form the framework of our lives. From the smallest detail to the largest planning. We at the Danish Architecture Center would like to convey that message to even more people. Therefore, we are pleased with the collaboration with Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond, which gives us the opportunity to show the importance of the design process, regardless of the scale in which it is produced. In the exhibition, guests can experience how one of Denmark’s best designers, Cecilie Manz, handles the creative process,” says Kent Martinussen, CEO, Danish Architecture Center.

Based on Manz’s personal design process, the show homes in on selected projects to recount the stories behind them. Manz’s work evokes a sense of finding the needle in the haystack, a circuitous approach to the solution, a laborious minutiae of contemplations, doubts, templates and quirky prototypes. A painstaking and persistently iterative process.

Presenting the diversity of her work in prototypes, industrial projects and one-offs – spanning bathtubs, cutlery and furniture to steppingstones, porcelain, lighting and bags – the exhibition focus is on the details, with a cabinet of treasures showcasing eclectic references, inspirational objects, samples and an insistent dedication to coloration. The scenographic take is understated, with simple podiums in different sizes dressed in Floyd textile by Kvadrat in beautiful shades of light gray.

Visitors gain unique insight into Manz’s work processes; into commissioned designs created in close collaboration with a manufacturer versus her experimental, “freewheeling” projects. The design processes may be brief, lengthy, lavish or lean, but the methodology is essentially the same in the trajectory from intuition to a finished design.

For Manz, the outcome, be it a Bluetooth speaker or a bathtub, is an accomplished summation of the stages that went into its making. Superficially, each design holds instant, straightforward – often archetypal – appeal, but the considerable efforts that go into them are what make great design so compelling. Here we have the proverbial needle in the haystack.

The exhibition opens in connection with 3daysofdesign on September 17 and runs until January 9, 2022.

The exhibition is curated by Cecilie Manz in collaboration with Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond (the Danish central bank’s foundation for design and architecture) and Danish Architecture Center. The exhibition is sponsored by Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond.

About Cecilie Manz

One of Denmark’s most acclaimed designers, Cecilie Manz unites the Scandinavian tradition of clean lines and functionality with contemporary, global style. Each design is a thing of beauty, executed in sustainable materials with consummate craftsmanship. She has deservingly received numerous awards and accolades for her works, capturing the hearts of design fans worldwide with her products for the likes of B&O, Fritz Hansen and Duravit.

About Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond

Every year, Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond awards an honorary grant to a performing Danish artist, within architecture, design or handicrafts. In the assessment, emphasis is placed on good craftsmanship, high quality in expression and design, and innovative and experimental projects. The recipient of the scholarship in 2021 is designer Cecilie Manz.

About Danish Architecture Center

Danish Architecture Center (DAC) is an international cultural attraction for everyone who wants to experience and understand how architecture and design create the framework for our lives. We live in the heart of Copenhagen on the inner harbor in the spectacular building BLOX and are part of Copenhagen’s Cultural Quarter.

DAC is established as a foundation, and its core funding is provided by a public-private partnership between the Danish government and Realdania, a for-profit charitable entity. The Danish government is represented by the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of the Interior and Housing.

About Kvadrat

Kvadrat was established in Denmark in 1968 and has deep roots in Scandinavia’s world-famous design tradition. A leader in design innovation, Kvadrat produces high-performance design textiles, rugs, window treatments and acoustic solutions for both commercial and residential interiors.