The DDC strives to build awareness of design and its economic effects among businesses and to promote the Danish design brand at home and abroad.
In the words of the New York Times, the centre was "conceived as a clearinghouse for the design industry, as well as a museum for the public" and "includes 9,700 square feet of exhibition space, a store selling books; Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen tableware and other design items; a cafe; conference rooms, archives and offices. Several exhibitions can run simultaneously."
The permanent exhibition consists of a number of design icons from Denmark and the world. The centre also puts on a number of special exhibitions each year.
The building itself consists of two main sections: a five-storey structure facing H.C. Andersen’s Boulevard and two-storeys facing the courtyard.