”There are always a lot of creative and enlightening activities spread out all over the city”
On creativity and technology in ”The City of Smiles”
January 21, 2021
Signe Ungermand is the co-founder of MANND, a Cinematic Virtual Reality company that develops immersive media within XR, VR and AR. She met her co-founder Maria Herholdt Engermann at VIA University in Aarhus, and the duo now stands on the forefront of augmented and virtual storytelling in Scandinavia. For this week’s city guide, Signe walks us through the European Capital of Culture of 2017.
My favourite thing that makes me proud of this city: Our mayor is very culture-oriented, which includes the major perk that there are always a lot of creative, quirky, enlightening activities spread out all over the city, which I think is quite beautiful.
My favourite weekend routine: I enjoy going to the Væksthusene located in the botanical gardens, which offers three large spaces where plants from all over the world live. It’s harmonious, and humid (for those of us who prefer warmth in the wintertime).
My favourite cultural spot: The Domen by the harbour is a spot that is an inclusive and unifying place that focuses on community, co-creation, and sustainability. The outside of the dome is built of see-through material, with the inside consisting of lots of wood-work and green areas. It can get pretty hot during the summer, and cold during winter — but that’s the point; going hand in hand with nature.
My favourite place for dining out: I enjoy going to the tapas restaurant Plan B because, well, tapas. They also have their ‘mystery wine’ concept; if you guess the wine you have been served, you get the drink for free. It’s good fun and keeps the conversation going for long. This is a major bonus.
My favourite place for a creative or business meeting: My favourite place to create and present our visions for various projects is our gorgeous MANND penthouse office placed in the centre of Aarhus by the Film city. Here, we have the panorama view that covers both the harbour, Film city and ARoS.
My favourite breakfast place: I enjoy going to Hamanns, Emma 1990, which is located close to Klosterport. There has really been a lot of thought put into the different dishes. And if you cannot decide, there is one choice that includes all options (which is always my preferred choice).
My favourite city escape: I enjoy walking and biking through Moesgaard Forest, that continues to evolve beautifully no matter the season.
My favourite local entrepreneur I want to promote: I think the guys from Grums Aarhus are super cool! Their product is natural and eco-friendly skincare with upcycled coffee grounds (which is called grums in Danish).
My favourite route for a run or walk: The Botanical Garden is located in the centre of Aarhus and it completely takes you away from the busy city life. During the Summer, it is one of the most popular spots for BBQing, hanging out and picnicking, for all ages. It’s very inclusive and idyllic.
My favourite place for fashion: I like The Latin Quarter of Aarhus because there are a bunch of small business stores that offer a ton of experiences. Nevertheless, I am always on the outlook for the sustainable approach, like second-hand stores (of which there are many in this city, including vintage versions).
My favourite space for great design: ArOS Museum is continuously full of inspiration from small artists to be the big hotshots — from traditional to experimental.
My favourite example of tech innovation in the city: The whole concept of experimenting with screens throughout the city is very hyped. In the Filmcity, one of the buildings will be equipped with screens throughout it, where a specific art piece will be projected onto them. The idea is that that art piece will transform over the next 10 years.
There was also a huge projection mapping on the Cathedral of Aarhus a few years ago that told the story of Aarhus, with a live-orchestral complementing the visuals.
My favourite thing at home: My favourite thing at home is that it feels like home. I love that I have a place where I feel grounded, and no matter where I am in the world, I know I have one place I can always return to — that is a heartwarming feeling.