Danish Furniture & Design
Introduced to the world in the early 1950s, Danish furniture quickly became synonymous with outstanding craftsmanship and quality. Today, its popularity still shows no sign of slowing down.
The timeless allure of Danish design is due mostly to its simple lines, a deliberate lack of decoration, and a consistent pursuit of functionalism.
With their art rooted in early 19th-century classicism, Danish furniture designers in the 1940s and ’50s rallied behind the “form follows function” slogan making functionalism the cornerstone of Danish design. They even gave the concept of functionalism a whole new meaning by basing their designs on the human body, with its countless forms, needs, and variations.
Danish Furniture Statistics
There are approximately 400 manufacturers of Danish furniture employing around 15,000 people. The industry generated a revenue of $6.4 Billion in 2019, with a projected growth rate of 2.4% annually over the next 5 years.
In 1958, Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg for the lobby and reception areas of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. This organically shaped chair has since become synonymous with Danish furniture design throughout the world. Because of the unique shape, the Egg guarantees a bit of privacy in otherwise public spaces, and the Egg, with or without ottoman, is ideal for lounge and waiting areas
Designers – Pioneers
Arne Jacobsen (b. 1902, d. 1971)
The father of modern Danish design. Although in the business since 1934, it was Arne Jacobsen’s Ant chair, designed in 1952 and followed by his 3107 series that earned him national and international fame and made him one of the most respected names in the industry.
Hans Wegner (b. 1914, d. 2007)
Born in 1914 in Tønder, Denmark, Hans Wegner attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen at the age of 22 after being trained as a cabinet maker.
After working as an assistant to Erik Møller and Arne Jacobsen, Wegner opened his own office in 1943. He created the “Chinese” chair, followed by the “Round” chair in 1949. Both would provide the basis for one of the richest and most impressive careers in chair designs.
Kurt Østervig (b. 1912, d. 1986)
Kurt Østervig started his career as a ship building engineer at Odense Stålskibsværft. He was later hired as a furniture designer by E. Knudsen’s Design Studio, one of the leading furniture producers 1930s & 40s.
Designers – New Generation
Søren Ulrik Petersen (b. 1961)
Trained as a cabinet maker in the workshop of Hos Wulff’s Møbelsnedkeri in Copenhagen, Petersen completed his apprenticeship in 1985 prior to joining the Danish Design School and graduating in 1990. Petersen opened his own design studio SUP Desgin in 1991 then went on to to complete a three year working scholarship sponsored by The Danish Arts Foundation.
Hans S. Jakobsen (b. 1963)
Hans Sandgren Jakobsen, a furniture-maker and designer, is one of those artists who made a name for themselves in no time. A long list of Jakobsen branded furniture as well as several prestigious awards are evidence of his immense talent which most of all challenges timelessness and traditional thinking.
Kasper Salto (b. 1967)
Kasper Salto – the designer of Ice and Runner – was trained as a cabinetmaker with Jørgen Wolff. He graduated in 1994 from the Danish Design School and completed a training term at the Art Center in Switzerland. In Salto’s work the Danish tradition of furniture design is sustained in a well-balanced combination with international industrial design.