I’m currently overlooking the lovely Tivoli Gardens in downtown Copenhagen, and there’s two things that have struck me on my trip so far. Firstly, it’s the sheer number of bicycles on the road – there’s easily more two wheelers than four-tired gas guzzlers speeding around the city, and my jog around town this morning felt all the better for it!
Second up, an observation that stems from that old Ikea-led cliche of Scandinavian design: functional furniture. I’m amazed at the small touches in design that can be found everywhere you look, with the moderinst minutae coming together in order to make the daily grind a little less painful. Above is a prime example – I love to drink coffee during a flight, but due to clunky aeroplane furniture this is normally mutually exclusive to one of my other in-fight vices, reading my broadsheet newspaper. However, Scandinavian Airlines have built a cup holder onto the front of the pull-down table, so those who just want a drink aren’t punished into having a full table on their lap.
The Scandinavians have a very positive attitude to problem solving – whereas we might see a niggling nuisance, a Scandinavian perceives a possible solution. This outlook leads to a great number of small innovations, and a culture which not only praises and promotes them, but subliminally cultivates them too. In the future, I’m going to attempt to “Go Scandinavian” on problems I encounter, and approach them positively, searching for answers which have hitherto lain unseen.