Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is recognized as the world’s happiest city and boasts the best welfare system in Northern Europe. The city is brimming with a spirit of community that trades in fierce competition for active and free discourse. This galvanized exchange of ideas has resulted in a highly creative culture that is fueled by true collaboration. As the pivotal center of the Danish modern aesthetic since the 1950s, Copenhagen remains an iconic powerhouse in the Nordic region, particularly as a pioneer in furniture, architectural, and daily product design. Stealing the limelight as a forward-looking metropolis in everything from cuisine and fashion into the aughts, the world is now drawn to the cosmopolis by the New Nordic Food Manifesto, which emphasizes the significance of local ingredients, and Copenhagen Fashion Week, which uses its voice to promote sustainability as a core ambition.

Welcome to the 88th issue of B.

After the onset of the COIVD-19 pandemic, choosing topics for B has become challenging. We took a more conservative approach on what B has done so far, catching our breath to really reflect. This soul-searching extended to our annual city issue, with our editors contemplating whether it would be appropriate to even publish an issue about a global city at a time when travel is heavily restricted, or what content, if published, we could feature in the issue. In the end, we ran with it. Why? Because cities are a unit of measurement for lifestyle, cultural infrastructure, and social safety nets, and they are a standard by which quality of life and happiness are measured. As the pandemic rages on, today provides a chance for us to see the true character of a city, stripped of the glamour and distractions of tourism.

In this sense, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is the perfect city for us to cover—so perfect that some might say it is incredibly predictable or even prosaically idyllic since the city has consistently topped surveys on happiness and quality of life and is a name that falls on our ears like a fantastic legend that singlehandedly created the archetype of the utopian Nordic welfare model. But B chose Copenhagen for other reasons, which were largely influenced by the editors’ experience in the city. It was around this time last year when B was preparing for The Home special issue. It was less than four months into the outbreak of the pandemic. Our editors requested interviews with people in cities across the globe, and of those, it was Copenhageners who showed us the most enthusiastic and warm reception. Indeed, they replied quite simply:
“Of course! Why not?”
“Sure! How can I help you?”

What is it that makes an entire city of people keep calm and inject positive energy into their surroundings in this time of grave uncertainty and entropy? Our curiosity was piqued by those first few Copenhageners we met, and this naturally led to an intense desire to know more about the city, digging deep into the city for coverage. I partially satiated my curiosity while speaking with Copenhageners in the culinary arts, fashion, design, and urban development. It seems that they all report feeling satisfied thanks to the highly organized, efficient national and municipal systems, which in turn, serve as driving forces behind unique cosmopolitan dynamics like having a “winning mentality.” Just like an athlete can keep winning competitions as they ride the wave of previous victories and strong self-belief, Copenhageners also unequivocally believe in themselves and such belief is turned into reliable relationships that closely bond communities and neighbors.

“No matter how big your ambition is, you need to start small and gradually nurture it.” I think that this statement, among other morsels of life wisdom we heard from Copenhageners, best epitomizes the city. Case in point: innovations across various fields in the capital city are spread by individuals with brilliant ideas rather than large amounts of capital or a select group of elites. It seems like the people there are well-trained to grapple with issues by looking at small units and making incremental change. Trailblazing restaurants have sprung up in a place that used to be perceived as a gastronomic hinterland, the issue of sustainable fashion is more hotly debated in Copenhagen than any other city across the globe, and lifestyle products with an emphasis on community continue to inspire corporations and brands. These are the grand results of many individuals and many small efforts to thoroughly reflect on life and make improvements.

Eunsung Park
Content & Editorial Director

INTRO


EDITOR'S LETTER


IMPRESSIONS

Multilayered assessments on the city of Copenhagen by a host of media outlets


DIVE INTO THE CITY

Core values and sociocultural legacies that give an insight into Copenhagen today


INTERVIEW: CLAUS MEYER

Claus Meyer, entrepreneur and chef, talks about today’s culinary scene in Copenhagen


CREATIVE DINING

The distinctive originality and philosophy of Copenhagen’s dining


FOOD INNOVATORS

Food labs and companies breaking new ground for the future of food


THE ART OF HYGGE

La Banchina, an on-trend location that epitomizes hygge of the Danes, who find happiness in daily life


A DAY OF GOURMET

Gems where brunch, coffee, and natural wine can be savored


INTERVIEW: CECILIE THORSMARK

Cecilie Thorsmark talks about the role of Copenhagen Fashion Week as a platform


WOMEN FOR WOMEN

Women fashion designers that give voice to all women


THE SCANDI INFLUENCERS

Fashion influencers committed to spreading healthy, positive life attitudes


THE AUTHENTIC TASTE

Fashion select shops and beauty brands loved by Copenhageners


INTERVIEW: THOMAS LYKKE & ANNE-MARIE BUEMANN

Thomas Lykke and Anne-Marie Buemann, cofounders of OEO Studio, talk about the quintessence of Danish design


HOME

The potential and aesthetic of the Danish home


Design-Driven VENTURES

Brand stories of Kvadrat and Vipp, Danish design companies that refuse to dwell on past legacies


CREATIVE FORCES

Brands that serve as both a platform and a creative hub based on a sense of community


DANISH SPIRIT

Expat Danes disseminate the Danish spirit and culture


DESIGN ICONS

Iconic designers and classic brands that have sustained the “Danish modern” look


THE WEEKENDERS

The natural landscapes that immerse Copenhageners in musings and relaxation


INTERVIEW: SIMON CASPERSEN

Simon Caspersen, cofounder and communications director of Space10, talks about creating an ideal city


URBAN PLANNING

The history of Copenhagen’s urban planning


SMART CITY

Copenhagen Solutions Lab focuses on collaboration, citizenship, data, and experimentation


BIG PICTURES

How Copenhagen-born architect Bjarke Ingels and his team transformed the landscape of the city


DANISH CULTURE CODE

Figures that offer a better understanding of Danish culture


OUTRO

PUBLICATION RIGHT

Publisher
Suyong Joh

Executive Director
Myungsoo Kim

Content & Editorial Director
Eunsung Park

Senior Editor
Narae Kim, Jaewoo Seo

Editors
Hyekang Park, Sunwoo Choi

Intern Editors
Jaeyoung Kim, Kyungeun Lee, Johyun Kwon

Art Director
Yuwon Choi

Guest Designer
Gyeongtak Kang

Photographer
Miyeon Yoon

Marketing
Hyunjoo Kim, Yeubin Kim

Marketing Intern
Minseok Ahn

Sales & Distribution
Suyeon Kim, Kiran Kim, Soojin Song

Finance
Hyosun Hong

Managing & Editing (English Edition)
Rayna Kim

Translation (English Edition)
Rancy Kim, Bongah Shin, Hyejoo Lee, Seongae Yang, Soonok Hwang

Copy Editing (English Edition)
Sarah Kessler-Jang

Correspondents
Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Lena Shin (LA), Alex Seo (London), Sanghyeok Lee (Berlin), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris), Mark Carter (Bangkok)

Publishing
JOH