Core Course Week at DIS (Graphic Design Studio)


To make the most out of my time in quarantine, I actually presented most of my finals via Zoom while still in Copenhagen. While at the time, I thought it to be a little disappointing to not be able to present in front of my peers in person, it actually ended up being the perfect way to finish up the academic part of the semester, and allowed me to enjoy my last two weeks in the program doing the Core course week and other fun activities we could not do over zoom in the states. DIS is famous for their Core Course models, which means that you take a class that is supplemental to your major, and then you take a few elective courses. However throughout the semester there are two weeks dedicated to your Core Course class, travelling and doing field studies. In a normal semester, my graphic design studio core course would have done a trip to Amsterdam, however in this case, we were more than happy to be led by our professor around Copenhagen, and learn more about the city in our crunched time here.

During our Core Course week, our professor had planned lovely activities and tours around the city — our first day together, we had visited Copenhill, the waste management plant in Amager designed by Bjarke Ingels, a famous Danish architect. Copenhill is popular for its views of the entire city as well as the fact that they decided to double up its functions as a ski slope, where you can ski down the hill any time of the year. The main event of the Core Course week was that all the design students got together and did a short project on the interpretation of a short story by Hans Christian Anderson, so our professor took us to his grave in the cemetery in Norrebro. It felt like a slice of what the past semester could have been like under normal circumstances — a direct translation of what we learn in the classroom then going out into the city to see what we had just learned about.

Because my Graphic Design studio consisted of myself and two others, we joined forces with the other graphic design section being taught (also a group of 3-4!) and did group trips to the Louisiana museum, Statens Museum for Kunst, Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, and walks around the artsy neighborhoods in Copenhagen. This was especially a full circle moment, as my class had done a branding project for SNM for the last half of the semester and had to present it during our quarantine. So, from start to finish we had to complete it all without knowing the context of SNM in Copenhagen and weren’t able to immerse ourselves in the site location until the project was done. Which, in a way, could seem like the norm for external design studios being hired for far away projects.

To conclude our Core Course Week, we had baked cakes in the shape of letters (typography as edible sculptures!) and had a social within our tiny Graphic Design studio peers. It was so special to have this extra solo time with only the Graphic Design folks, especially after working online for an entire semester and finally getting to meet in our last few weeks.