My ♥ CPH: Industrial designer Antonio Sena

Antonio Sena is an Italian industrial designer who moved to Denmark 20 years ago; today, he’s a real Copenhagener. He owns his own business where he designs products for Danish and international clients – if his face looks familiar, it might be because it adorned the box you bought your kettle in! We caught up with him for My Lovely CPH to get his views on living here.

I first came to Denmark … in August 2003 because my wife is Danish. We met in Rome but we decided to move to Denmark after a while living in Spain together. We only wanted to spend the summer here – but we finally chose to continue our lives in Copenhagen.

My favourite thing about living in Copenhagen is … the quality of life; it’s extremely good. Denmark is a very nice country and Copenhagen is a beautiful city to live in – it’s the perfect place to have kids. Also, it’s really good to bike here, there is no traffic and the summer is perfect. I especially enjoy the long evenings, so I’m definitely looking forward to some sun now! I also love that everything works. For example, going to the post office takes two minutes in Copenhagen – whereas in Italy I would need a day off! I wouldn’t live anywhere else now.

Here in Copenhagen I never get used to … the long, dark and cold winter days. I’m from the Mediterranean, so we have longer days than here with more light and it’s not cold at all.

Jeg kan tale … not so good Danish. I understand most of it, but I don’t speak it. I’ve always worked in and with international companies, so the main language was English, and at home we speak Italian and English. So it’s a good combination we have. I mean, it’s a language you need to speak to learn. The thing is that everyone speaks English here. I tried at the beginning, but when I tried to speak Danish they automatically switched to English. It’s something I definitely want to improve.

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On an integration scale of 1 to 10 I would say I’m … an 8. The only downside is the language; I think I would be fully integrated if I had this. I think, of course, that my way of thinking is different though. In Southern Europe, we’re always trying to figure out ways of doing things that make it easier, faster, for ourselves. The Danes have more civic sense; they follow the rules. But in general I think I’m pretty integrated into society.

Most of my friends are … 50/50 between international and Danish. I have a lot of international friends, but my wife is Danish and I have a big network of Danish friends as well. Danish people are a bit cold at first, but when you get to know them it gets easier. A beer usually helps! 

The three words that I think best describe Copenhagen are … eclectic, intimate and summer evening. ‘Eclectic’ mostly because of the architecture and the overall look of the city: the mix between modern and old buildings. People aren’t scared to try different things around the town, so you have this mix of contemporary and old. That’s lovely. ‘Intimate’ because you tend to live much more indoors than outdoors – especially in the winter. Therefore, you spend more time, for example, at dinner with friends at home or at their place. And ‘summer evening’ because it gets dark around 11 or midnight, so when you’re out you have the feeling that you’re still in the middle of the day. The colour of the sky is beautiful: so blue and intense. I love that.

Antonio Sena is the owner of the design company Antonio Sena  ApS, where he oversees the creation of all kinds of products for the home. If he had to choose his favourite domestic activity to design for, it would definitely be for cooking and dining!