Backstage exhibition reveals “behind the facade” of Danish architecture


Design agency Tinker Imagineers‘ Backstage exhibition, which was constructed to look like a series of theatrical stages, explores how Danish architecture is created.


Called Backstage, the exhibition was created in collaboration with the Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen, where the show was located.

Backstage by Tinker Imagineers and Danish Architecture Center
The Backstage exhibition includes 1:1 scale installations of Danish architecture

It was designed to give visitors an insight into what happens “backstage” when urban spaces and buildings are being designed.

“It looks at the forces that drive development, the mistakes architects inevitably make along the way, and how we can fix them,” said Tinker Imagineers.

“Visitors literally go backstage to take a moment to reflect on and discuss some complex issues, to better understand what’s really at stake behind the scenes.”

Backstage by Tinker Imagineers and Danish Architecture Center
The exhibition explores architectural challenges in Denmark and globally

Designed to look like theatre stages, the exhibition consists of five sets that each address different topics and can be viewed independently. Collectively, they give a depiction of architectural challenges distinctive to Danish design.

In Backstage, visitors learn the ways in which Danish architecture maximises natural light in homes and the effect this has on the user’s well-being.

The exhibition also explores how architects design homes in Copenhagen, a city that continually ranks high in liveability.

“Denmark is known for its high liveability ranking, which each year gets them on lists of ‘must-visit’ places in influential media,” said Tinker Imagineers. “But how do architects go about creating humanistic housing in big cities? What values go into this work?”

Backstage by Tinker Imagineers and Danish Architecture Center
The Backstage exhibition invites visitors to reflect on key issues facing architects

Tinker Imagineers focused on issues that affect cities worldwide, including affordable living and how cities can prepare for climate change.

They used a range of exhibition pieces, including architectural case studies, photographs, 1:1 scale installations, models and films, to illustrate to visitors the processes involved in creating the built environment.

Backstage by Tinker Imagineers and Danish Architecture Center
The exhibition was designed to look like a theatre set where visitors can explore backstage

The project was shortlisted for the 2021 Dezeen Awards in the exhibition design category alongside Lanza Atelier’s design for the Re-Source exhibition, which features plywood display tables that are designed to be disassembled and distributed among visitors at the end of the show.

The Dezeen Award was ultimately won by Studio 10’s Fashioned From Nature exhibition, displayed at the V&A’s Shenzhen outpost.

Photography is by Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST.

Backstage was on show at the Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen 21 April to 3 October 2021. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.



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