october, 2015

sat10oct(oct 10)16:30sun18(oct 18)18:30DCI Beijing: Putting People First - Danish Architecture16:30 - 18:30 (18) China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) School of Architecture, no. 8 Hua Jia Di Nan St., Chao Yang District, Beijing Event Organized By: The Danish Cultural Institute in China Country:ChinaCity:Beijing


Event Details

Putting People First – Danish Architecture 1945-2014


The exhibition Putting People First at CAFA, Central Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Beijing, tells the story about Danish Architecture in the years from 1945-75, the years when the welfare state was taking shape in Denmark. Today this period is still a strong inspiration for contemporary architects. Therefore, the exhibition also shows how contemporary Danish architects still build on the ideals and values from back then – both mentally and literally, as many of the historic projects are being revitalised today.


The exhibition introduces original drawings and photographs from The Danish National Art Library’s unique collection together with modern videos and films from both leading and up-coming firms. Putting People First gives an introduction to a broad range of the best Danish welfare building projects from the golden age of Danish architecture. A period in time that still inspires present day Danish architects. A period, which is worth being inspired by, when working with the future development of welfare and cities.
Putting People First shows architectural designs by contemporary Danish design studios, which reflect the strong legacy of past ideals and values both mentally, but also in practice, as some of the buildings are currently undergoing renovation.
The gradual improvement in the Danish economy in the 1950’s created the dream of giving a social boost to the community, that would provide everyone with the same social rights and possibilities for living in healthy homes in recreational environments. Architects played a major part in the physical construction of the Danish welfare state, where they created homes that would fit the values of the community. They created recreational facilities such as gymnasiums, libraries and holiday homes. They designed schools that could fit current educational ideals and production buildings adapted to modern work life. The architects focused on the individual’s need, and architecture was democratized.


Drawing of the Munksgaard School.


Today, many Danish architects are still inspired by the strong heritage of the 1950’s and 60’s. Yet welfare today has acquired another meaning, simply because society has changed the way it has. Current issues such as social imbalance, keeping middle class families in the city, and sustainability are all central themes in the architectural debate and require different physical settings in the cities of the future. But the new generation of Danish architects still tries to live by the same unwritten rule as their predecessors: putting people first.


The exhibition has been developed by researcher and communicator Vera Noldus, MA PhD, and Sally Rosenberg Bendsen, consultant at Centre of Cultural Heritage and architecture – a part of the Danish Agency for Culture. The Danish Cultural Institute in China has produced the exhibition in collaboration with CAFA.


PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST – Danish architecture 1945 – 2014

Development and curating: Vera Noldus, MA PhD; Jannie Rosenberg Bendsen, MA PhD
Production: CAFA, School of Architecture; The Danish Cultural Institute
Drawings, visualizations and photos: The Danish National Art Library, the Collection of Architectural Drawings and the contributing architectural studios.
Opening: Friday, 10 October 2014, 16.30 – 18.30 pm
Duration: 10 – 30 October, 2014

Location: China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) School of Architecture, no. 8 Hua Jia Di Nan St., Chao Yang District, Beijing


The Danish Cultural Season in China is coordinated and organized by the Beijing-based Royal Danish Embassy in China, the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Danish Cultural Institute, the Danish Arts Foundation, Danish cultural institutions, artist ensembles, and individual artists. The Chinese collaborative partners consist of prominent cultural institutions and key stakeholders in the cultural sector.





10 (Saturday) 16:30 - 18 (Sunday) 18:30


China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) School of Architecture

no. 8 Hua Jia Di Nan St., Chao Yang District, Beijing


The Danish Cultural Institute in China