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University of Copenhagen
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Designer furniture to keep students happy

Your chair is not just a place to rest your bottom. It is part of the newest strategy of the University of Copenhagen to cut drop-out rates

The number of undergraduates who leave before finishing their degrees are higher than management – or students’ parents – would want to see. In an effort to create an inspiring environment, where students would spend more time, the University asked Danish furniture manufacturer HAY to design a new set of furniture for the new KUA campus.

“There is a tradition in Denmark of asking a designer to design the chairs whenever they build a new school or a university,” says Breton-born design duo Bouroullec, the mind behind the chairs. The intention was to encourage students to spend time in the University, even outside classroom hours.

A collection of wooden chairs, a bar stool, several tables and desks, was given its debut in April 2013 in the newly renovated Faculty of Humanities.

Designer furniture for everybody

The chairs at KUA, reflecting the current recession, were designed to be cheap, sturdy and stackable. They are available to the wider public with a (relatively) democratic price tag of about DKK 1200.

In better economic times, the University splurged on some of the finest Danish furniture available. For example, in Nørre Campus, the canteen of the Biocenter is dotted by rows of chairs in bright orange: they are Series 7, designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1955. Some of the most famous pieces of furniture ever made.

If plywood veneer seems a bit too utilitarian, a few fancy Swan armchairs, also by Jacobsen, can be found upstairs. They have been nailed to the ground: perhaps a reaction to the many theft attempts at the University.

See the gallery of University of Copenhagen furniture here, and below this article.

Photos, captions and gallery text by Martina Zamboni..

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