Maria Cheung on 3 Days of Design

June 26, 2024

Maria Cheung is Director and Head of Interior Design at award-winning architecture and design practice Squire & Partners. Cheung’s experience spans workspace, residential and hotel developments and extends to bespoke installations and products, retail displays and exhibition design. She is regularly invited to judge WIN, Dezeen and FX award programmes and speak at industry events including Workspace Design Show, London Design Festival and London Craft Week. Design is a passion for Maria, who strives to create beautiful spaces that transcend their functional requirements to surprise and enhance the user’s experience. 

This month Cheung attended 3 Days of Design, which ran 12 – 14 June, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The event saw numerous brands showcasing new products in various showrooms and design destinations throughout the city, attracting a buzz of industry experts, press, and public visitors. darc invited Cheung to share her experiences at the event, and present some of her top lighting pics. Check them out below.

 It was my first time attending the event – as soon as I arrived there was a great atmosphere of celebration and sharing. Copenhagen was alive and buzzing with designers, suppliers and dealers. There were visitors from all over the world, including a particularly large contingent from the UK – specifically the London design community. Familiar faces popped up at different events and showrooms and there were plenty of opportunities to make new connections.  

For many brands, it was an opportunity for their international representatives to meet and bond. Suppliers at each showroom proudly displayed their products in new arrangements and were very generously feeding and watering all who came through their doors! Colourful branded tote bags filled the streets and served as reminders for places yet to visit. Parties ran through the night and energy remained high during the three days, which were fuelled by coffee and excitement. 

It was interesting to see so many brands in their own showroom setting where their identity is inherent and can really be showcased. I saw lots of beautiful installations that had been prepared especially for the event, which displayed new products as well as existing ones, and which allowed for many people to flow through. Clearly this is more sustainable than building bespoke sets in a large exhibition hall, as the time and investment creating new arrangements within showrooms goes beyond the three-day festival, and therefore offers more longevity.


Some brands such as Federica, Audo, &Tradition already have beautiful hospitality settings which weave lifestyle and products together seamlessly within their showrooms. Others chose to exhibit their ranges in iconic spaces within the city. One example of this was Fritz Hansen at the Opera Parken, where little material intervention was required to expertly display their indoor and outdoor furniture sets. For brands who don’t have large showrooms in the city, group exhibition. were set within stunning architecture and interiors such as the Odd Fellow Palæet. 

It was a fantastic way to experience multiple brands while exploring Copenhagen. Showrooms were spread across walkable distances or a scenic boat ride from the historic city centre to the regenerated coastal industrial area of Nordhaven. 


We were treated to meeting new lighting designer Sissel Gram Warringa, who launched ‘Peel’ for Frandsen – a family of wall, pendant and table lamps, which use a single sheet of curved stainless steel to cleverly provide shade, base and wall fixing. She presented her research around material selection, explaining how stainless steel affects the quality of light and the importance of mock-ups and trials in ensuring a correct design. It’s always inspiring to meet designers and see the huge effort and passion they pour into their craft. Within the same exhibition by Frandsen, simple yet innovative use of mirrors enhanced the experience of the beautiful ranges – from large circular mirrors that reflect the base of suspended lights to an array of angled mirrors which create the illusion of infinite light fittings. 

Having never attended before I cannot comment on how the presence of lighting has changed over the event 10-year run. However, it is very clear that lighting is an integral part of the festival. Aside from the established lighting companies who have their own dedicated showrooms – such as Louis Poulsen at Frederiksholm – furniture brands like Gubi and Verpan also have their own characterful pendants, wall, floor and table lights which are designed to live harmoniously with their other curated furniture ranges.