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Danish furniture design was developed in mid-20th century. The German Bauhaus School Influenced many designers who used the new industrial technologies, combined with ideas of simplicity and functionalism to design furniture. Many of the designs have become iconic and are still in production today.
Arne Emil Jacobsen, born 11 February 1902 was a Danish architect and furniture designer. He is remembered for his contribution to the worldwide success he enjoyed with simple well designed chairs. The Paris lounge chair, from 1929, was one of his first designs and it was displayed as a part of the interior design of his famous “House of the Future"
Most of Jacobsen’s designs were the result of cooperation with the furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen. He initiated a collaboration in 1934. Although an already successful furniture designer, his interest in furniture design peaked during 1950s. Charles and Ray Eames provided inspiration that stemmed from their bent plywood designs.
The Ant chair was created In 1951, for an extension of the Novo pharmaceutical factory. 1955 saw the arrival of the Seven Seris which was installed into the auditorium of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. Both chairs matched the venues needs perfectly. They are light, compact and easily stackable. In 1956 the famous Egg and Swan chairs were designed and created, initially for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.
Verner Panton, born 13 February 1926, is considered to be one of Denmark’s most influential 20th century interior and furniture designers. Panton created innovative and futuristic designs in a variety of materials especially plastics. Vibrant and exotic colours were used and his style was very 1960s. Interestingly, Verner Panton worked for Arne Jacobsen from 1950 to 1952. During his time at Jacobsen's office, Panton worked primarily in furniture design. He was instrumental in the development of the Ant chair and Jacobsen became a mentor.
Panton went on to design the Bachelor and Tivoli chairs which were commissioned by Fritz Hansen in 1955. In the mid-Fifties, for the first time, Panton’s mind was occupied with the idea of a chair made from one single element. A stackable chair with the seat and backrest forming a single unit was produced and is now known as the S-Chair. In 1958, Panton designed the Cone Chair which was one of his first major commissions. The Cone Chair was used in his redesign scheme within his parent’s inn.
During 1960, Panton designed the Astoria Hotel restaurant in Trondheim, Norway. The chairs were various versions of the cone chairs. During this time, he also designed the first inflatable seating elements made of transparent plastic in furniture history.
1961 sees Panton presenting his furniture, textiles and lamps in the legendary black book of the design magazine Mobilia and in the Pfister furniture showrooms in Zurich. His now famous Shell lamps were first presented on Lüber’s stand in Frankfurt in 1964. The Flying Chairs were an absolute knockout during the International Furniture Fair in Cologne. In 1965, Thonet produced the Model 275 S Chair by Panton which became the first stackable cantilever chair made of molded plywood with the edge of the seat slightly tilting upwards. There are two different versions of the S Chair: Model 275 and Model 276.
Vernon Panton continued to ‘amaze’ with his furniture designs for many years and at the time of writing many of his best known furniture models are still in production.
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