Oh, I see! moments
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Aha Moments in Aarhus

by Joyce McGreevy on February 6, 2017

A kayaker savors an aha moment at sunset in Aarhus, where the 2017 European Capital of Culture will celebrate community connection to nature. (Image © Anders Hede/VisitAarhus)

A quiet sunset before the start of Aarhus 2017, a yearlong series of events
to celebrate community by rethinking it. 
© Anders Hede/VisitAarhus

Can we celebrate community by rethinking it?

The aha moments began at dawn with a mass bicycling event. As cyclists of all ages glided by, the winter mist rose like a curtain, revealing the newest European Capital of Culture. Aarhus 2017 had launched.  All year, this small Danish city will celebrate community by rethinking it.

Celebrations continued into the night, with songs lifted by the wind to soar above the crowds. As six Viking ships set sail, hundreds of choral singers and thousands of locals, each carrying illuminated paper ships, transformed the port into a sea of lights.

Creative Thinking
in Copenhagen

by Joyce McGreevy on December 5, 2016

A cyclist crosses a bridge between islands in Copenhagen, an example of the Danish design that makes this city a Capital of Creative Thinking. (Image © Copenhagen Media Center and Thomas Høyrup Christensen)

Cycle from one island to another in Denmark’s capital city.
© Copenhagen Media Center/ Thomas Høyrup Christensen

The Danish Design of Everyday Life

On a map, Denmark’s 400+ islands resemble a dropped plate. It’s a fitting symbol, considering how Danish design breaks the mold. To the east spanning several islands is Copenhagen—arguably, the Capital of Creative Thinking.

“Danish design” connotes minimalist beauty—Arne Jacobsen’s famous “Egg” chair, Poul Henningsen’s pendant lamps, and other streamlined functional objects.

It doesn’t take a tour of Designmuseum Danmark to recognize that Copenhageners appreciate sophisticated simplicity.

Examples of minimalist furniture and lighting, that reflects the creative thinking of Danish design. (Image © Copenhagen Media Center and Morten Bjarnhof)

Danish design is known the world over.
© Copenhagen Media Center/ Morten Bjarnhof

Artistic Expression That’s a Cut Above

by Janine Boylan on October 14, 2013

Karen Bit Vejle, showing the artistic expression of cut paper art (Image © Marjaana Malkamäki)

Karen Bit Vejle
Image © Marjaana Malkamäk

The Cut Paper Art of Karen Bit Vejle

Until just a few years ago, Karen Bit Vejle had a secret hidden under her rugs.

Like many in her home country of Denmark, Vejle grew up making gækkebrev, cut paper holiday cards. She discovered that she was rather talented at cutting out the little greetings.

For years, Vejle reserved her paper cutting for the holidays. But the summer she turned 16,  she had an “Oh, I see!” moment:

. . . I saw a man who was sitting in the sun cutting out paper silhouettes with motifs I had never before seen. I was enraptured, and stood there staring for a long time, watching the man as he maneuvered his scissors to bring forth the most beautiful little paper cutting. I was so taken with the idea that I went right home and got my mother’s sewing scissors, and I have never let them out of my sight since.

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