Core Course Week: Western Denmark

Last week we paused our normal class schedules to dedicate a whole week to our core courses. My DIS core course is Graphic Design, so the week was filled with studio work, museum visits, and lots of sketching! Here's a rundown on what the Graphic Design Core Course Week was like!


We began the day at 9am in the studio, working on our second and third posters for our first big project. The posters are supposed to be about ourselves (an artistic prompt I always find super challenging), but I made good headway on the posters. We then went to Reffen and Copenhagen Contemporary, which happen to both be places I've already visited. It was still super fun because I got to try more cool food from Reffen's endless food truck options and spend more time in Copenhagen Contemporary.


We took a half an hour train ride out of the city to visit Arken, a modern art museum. They had some really cool exhibits when we went, including one called "The Vocabulary of Solitude" by Udo Rondinone featuring many very, very realistic-looking clown figures. Walking through that room was very intriguing and horrifying. Multiple times I thought I saw one move out of the corner of my eye, so it was kind of unnerving being in there if you don't like clowns. There was also a huge Van Gogh exhibition! They had so many wonderful paintings of his, and it was really nice and calming to walk through that exhibit. I enjoyed this museum a lot and would highly recommend it!


We had Wednesday off to pack for our travels to Western Denmark, so I finished packing in the morning and then went shopping with my roommates. We ended up spending an hour in Topshop alone, trying on different jeans, and then went to the glass markets for dinner. On our walk back to the LLC, we were blessed with one of the most beautiful sunsets we've seen in Copenhagen so far! It was a nice, relaxing day.


I had to wake up bright an early at 6am to get to the bus in time for our 7:30 departure to western Denmark. My roommate and I thankfully had enough time to grab some Starbucks before getting on our busses. The three Graphic Design classes travelled together, so it was nice to start getting to know the students in the other classes. Our first stop on the trip was an old Danish church. We arrived around 9am and spent an hour there walking around and sketching the church, it's fresco, and the surroundings. We were even able to climb up into the tower and see the two large bells up there! It was fun climing up, but a little scary coming down since the ladders were so narrow and steep. I really enjoyed seeing the white building surrounded by countless green trees and fields.

Our next stop of the day was the Sorø art museum. Sorø was such a small, cute town that held a surprisingly large art museum. We wandered through the art and sketched more details from the different exhibitions.

After a quick lunch in Sorø we were off again, this time to a printing company in Odense called Clausen Grafisk. We got a tour of the facility and learned about offset printing, their speciality. It was insightful to see the printing process close-up, as that is a large part of graphic design. As designers, we need to be aware of what happens to our designs once they leave our computers!

The last stop of the day was the Brandts Media Museum, also in Odense. The museum had exhibitions on how media has changed over time, showcasing an extensive letterpress collection among other things. My favorite part of the museum however was the top floor where they had a photography exhibit called "Photography to End All Photography." This exhibition featured photos by artists who play with our perception of reality through carefully altering the images. It was a very interesting collection of photos that really do make you have a hard time distinguishing the real and the fake.


Friday morning brought us to Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city. We stopped at Aarhus Street Food, a collection of food trucks serving every cuisine imagineable, for lunch. I was so overwhelmed by all the choices, but ultimately decided on a mushroom/truffle pizza and a crepe!

We then visited designit. which is a strategic design agency founded in Denmark. They want to help design what matters, and focus on design services, design education, and supporting new ventures. The office space in Aarhus was in an old wharehouse, so there was a lot of open space and large windows. I really enjoyed learning about their company and getting insight into what a career in graphic design could look like.

Our last stop on Friday was the Danish Poster Museum situated in The Old Town, an open air museum in Aarhus consisting of old Danish houses spanning the century. It was like being in a fairytale land! All the buildings were gorgeous. The poster museum was also incredible, there was such a broad varitey of posters, all originally collected by a private collector. We didn't have too much time in the museum, so I spent the last 20 minutes there sketching some of my favorite posters.


Our first stop on Saturday was the one I was looking forward to the most on the trip. ARoS museum is Aarhaus's biggest modern art museum and tourist spot, mainly because of the large rainbow panorama on top of the museum designed by Olafur Eliasson, a Danish-Icelandic artist. We got our Instagram-worthy photos in the panorama and then went down to explore the museum. The museum is divided into different levels, each one reflecting aspects of hell and heaven, modeled after Dante's Inferno. As you make your way up the museum, you slowly ascend from hell towards heaven, and the exhibits do a wonderful job of capturing that journey. There was a lot of interesting art that was also quite disturbing in a way, so it was a new and cool experience.

The last stop on the trip was the Trapholt museum, a modern art and furniture museum. They had a large exhibit on Arne Jacobsen's furniture as well as a fun exhibit on Key Bojesen's toy designs. I sketched a lot more in this museum, and we finished the day with a sketchbook presentation in small groups. I got to share my sketchbook with a few other students and get constructive criticism and ideas about what I'm doing in it. It was really helpful and fun to see other people's books!

The rest of the group was going to head back to Copenhagen since that was the end of the trip, but a friend in one of the Graphic Design classes and I had made plans to stay an extra day and go to the LEGO House in Billund! So we parted ways with the group and were able to sucessfully figure out the 2 hour long journey to Billund via busses.


We grabbed a quick but delicious breakfast at a local bakery and then headed off to the LEGO House at 10am! This place is AMAZING. We were literally both running around like two year olds, along with all the other kids there. The building itself is just incredible, it's designed to look like it's built of Legos stacked on top of each other. You can climb up onto the top of each big block and the roof of the building is covered in different playgrounds. Inside, the building is split up into 4 experience zones that each highlight a different aspect of playing. There also is a masterpiece art gallery showcasing some incredible pieces of Lego artwork and a mini museum and archive holding every Lego set ever created! I'm so happy we extended our trip to visit the LEGO House, and I most definitely recommend this if you're interested in architecture, Legos, or just having fun!

So that's a quick summary of last week! As you can see, we visited a lot of museums and packed quite a bit into those three days travelling. I loved exploring more of Denmark and finally leaving Copenhagen. This country is so gorgeous and has so many wonderful museums!