Friday, February 27, 2009

These are some of the things that I see everyday.  The kitchen in the ceramics/glass building, where we all gather and toast our bread, drink our coffee, and where I get my Danish lessons from my friend Mille.  And these apartment buildings that are in the blocks between the train station and my school.  My commute takes about 20 minutes from the front door of my apartment to the basement of building F at DKDS.  I take the Metro from Kongens Nytorv, transfer at Nørreport station and take the train the rest of the way.  I haven't gotten too tired of it yet, even though I do it twice a day.  However I'm on the lookout for a bike because "it's the only way to really see Copenhagen.  Like really, really see it" or so I am told.  And I believe it.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

One Month

I can't really believe that I've been here for a month.  All of a sudden I'm getting the feeling that I'll be really surprised when July comes and I have to leave, or when my visa expires and they force me out of the country.  Whichever comes first.    

I feel like I've gotten pretty comfortable with daily life here.  I know which grocery stores I like (Irma for fancy things like pineapples, Netto for everything else and good cheap mozzarella), I am comfortable taking the train, the bus, and the Metro.  If I get plopped down somewhere in the middle of the city I can usually figure out where I am after I walk a couple blocks.  I'm the only one who plops myslef places though, and it's usually because I got off the wrong bus stop or something.   

I'm even getting used to the pace at school, which is much slower than I'm used to.  I'm only taking one class right now, a ceramics "projekt".   It meets 5 days a week, but those days get chopped up by so many coffee breaks and long lunches that I hardly feel like I'm working.  At first it really bothered me because it felt unproductive, but now I am starting to better understand the culture that has produced this logic.  Meals are almost forcably relaxing and ritual, not rushed and punctuated with work talk like they are in the states.  I think these breaks and meals result in more thoughful design.  

I would still like to learn more Danish.  These are the words I can remember off the top of my head:

hej hej--bye
tak--thank you
yej comma fra USA--I come from the USA
yej hille Barrett--my name is Barrett

Obviously there's room for improvement.  Unless I need three small pepper hams at the library on wednesday, thank you I come from the USA.

Friday, February 20, 2009


It just seems so grey sometimes that it's nice to see these little spots of color.

they love him

I haven't really been asked much about politics or current events, which is strange since I was expecting Europeans to be curious about that stuff.  What I heard from a German friend is that they've already talked it to death, so everyone's a bit tired of it.  But I still see Obama everywhere.  I'm trying to keep up a little bit through the new york times website, but maybe I'd be better off to just ask a Dane what's going on.  Obama was featured in a "what's hot in 2009" article in Dansk (Danish) magazine and on this girl's bag.


It's been a long winter, so it's nice to see that there's a little hope.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Louisiana Museum

This weekend I went to the Louisana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, about a 30 minute train ride from Copenhagen.  It's in a beautiful location on a huge peice of property overlooking the Øresund harbor.  The collection was good and it was the opening weekend of a massive Max Ernst show, so it was pretty crowded.  The gift shop was really good too, and I found a cool laptop sleeve by the Danish design company Hay. I think the walk along the beach and the view of the 
water might have been my favorite part!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Ridiculous, touristy, and really fun.  This was in Copenhagen, but maybe someday I'll make it to the real IceHotel in the artic circle in Sweden...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

happy valentine's day


In the dining room in mia and ander's part of the apartment.  I love their style.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

address update

Apparently the address I listed earlier (and gave to my bank, school, and the Danish government) was a little incomplete.  In denmark if you live in an apartment building you have to give a floor number and specify left or right.  What if there are more than two doors? A spiral staircase?  Dislexic postman?   This system does not accomodate those quite common situations.

Anyway, if  you sent me a letter, the neighbors got a bunch of them, then returned them to the post office.  So maybe try again with this new improved address!

Update: I have removed my adress because I realized it's probaly not a good idea to put that stuff on the internet. So if you want it, ask me. 

Here's a picture of a nice sculpture.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stockholm Furniture Fair

I went to the Stockholm Furniture Fair ("the world's premier venue for Nordic design") on Sunday. It was in a huge convention center, and surprisingly most of the stuff was very commercial. But there was a room towards the back of the building where they were hiding all of good booths from design schools andyoung designers. It was really thought-provoking and there was so much to be inspired by. There were a lot of people dealing with sustainability and green design, which was encouraging.
These were my favorites:


pickle grafitti

At the last minute on thursday night I got the idea in my head that I was going to go to Stockholm, Sweden, and then BAM! 20 hours later I was there.  It's crazy how easy it is to travel around Europe, everything is so close!  I took the train up on friday night.  It was about 5.5 hours to Stockholm, but the train was really comfortable and the dining car had really good coffee, so I was pretty happy looking into the dark, mysterious swedish forests through my foggy window.  I met up with my friend Matt in stockholm, he also goes to risd and was working at a gallery in Stockholm for wintersession.

Saturday we wandered around the city for the whole day.  It spread out over 5 or 6 islands, so everywhere you look there's water and bridges, but it was actually pretty foggy, so I couldn't see more than a half mile in front of me.   It is a really cool city with lots of windy cobblestone streets and cafes and shops.  My only complaint is that the subway gets pretty gross and dirty on the weekends from the party people.  

On sunday we went to the Stockholm Furniture Fair, which was really cool (more later), and then I hopped a plane home.  Door to door it was only a two hour trip!  It's funny coming back to copenhagen as my home.  It's nice that I'm starting to feel more like an inhabitant and less like a visitor.  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

muuto, etc.

The pencil in the cord is such a simple, brilliant problem solver!  This was at an industrial design/rapid prototyping studio we went to today for my studio in ceramics.  

We're working with the company Muuto, a finnish word meaning "new perspectives" (  We visited their studio on wednesday (2nd picture).  I'm excited for the class and it's been really interesting working with students from different backgrounds (denmark, norway, and poland).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

new home

the sqaure down the street

I live on the other side of this block

my building is on the right

my bedroom

I moved into my new apartment almost three days ago, but this afternoon was the first time I've seen it in the daylight.  I'm staying on the third (really the fourth) floor of a brick building built in 1909.  My landlords Mia and Anders are really cool people.  They're a couple in their mid 30s, she's an architect and he's an airplane mechanic.  They're so friendly and outgoing, I alreday feel totally comfortable here.  My rooms are towards the back of the apartment, which is huge.  I have a bedroom and room with a desk and shelves, which are in their own back hallway off of the kitchen.  My windows look into the middle of the block which overlooks a courtyard space (no grass, though).  It's a great place to come home to! And it's right around the corner from Nyhanv (it means new harbor in Danish), which is probably one of the most beautiful sights in the city.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009



I went to IKEA today after class and they had some really cool and innovative stuff.  I really liked the dandelion lamp.  Their new range of furniture is really interesting.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

St.Peter's Church

Malmö, Sweden from Barrett Hanrahan on Vimeo.

I happened to walk in just as they were performing a baptism at this church in Malmö, so there was a live choir. So beautiful.


Blue Sky!


  I went to Malmö, Sweden on Saturday  and it was awesome.   A bit more friendly and bubbly than Copenhagen, though less English-friendly.  I knew I wanted to go to the design museum, but other than that I just picked up a map when I arrived and wandered around.  The train ride from Copenhagen is only 35 minutes each way and I got to see a little bit of Denmark outside of the city.  The ride over the Øresund Bridge is also really cool.  You can see row after row of wind turbines in the middle of the Baltic Sea.  I went to the design museum, the Malmöhus (castle), had lunch at a café, visited the oldest building in the city, a church from the early 1300s, and went in lots of shops to get out of the cold (it was about 27⁰F).  Every couple of blocks there was an open square with sculptures or a fountain.  I definitely want to go back!

And, the most exciting part was that I saw blue sky for the first time in a week!