Danish Design in the 50’s and 60’s

Danish designers of the post world war era

Danish designers in the late forties, early fifties were mainly influenced by the industrial revolution. This kind of design and style was developed in the mid twentieth century, and a large part of it was influenced by, in particular, German designs.

Many danish designs are composed of simple designs and techniques that makes handling especially furniture very easy and comfortable. These kinds of design principles and even the technology behind it, is still in use today in notable danish works such as the Opera house of Sydney, Australia.

Danish designs of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were international masterpieces, dreamed up by designers like:

  • Børge Mogensen (13 April 1914 – 5 October 1972)
  • Finn Juhl (30 January 1912 – 17 May 1989)
  • Hans Jørgensen Wegner, (April 2, 1914 – January 26, 2007)
  • Arne Emil Jacobsen (11 February 1902 – 24 March 1971)
  • Poul Kjærholm (January 1929 to April 18, 1980)
  • Poul Henningsen (9 September 1894 – 31 January 1967)
  • and many other geniuses.

Børge Mogensen’s chairs were claimed by critics in 1949 as “the model of future chairs,” since the design used curves, and a slightly sloped backrest with a dewdrop shape. In particular his sturdy sets of simple furniture like the ones used in “a cottage at a seaside” in 1959 was designed by Mogensen with a traditional table of oak wood and chair set during 1960 and also his set of furnished “husband’s study” in 1962 is worth remembering.

Finn Juhl introduced an idea of industrial revolution in danish architecture and designs. Juhl was a teacher from 1945 to 1955 at the School of Interior Design in Copenhagen. He was a visiting professor at the Institute of Design in 1965. Juhl’s work gave an edge to wooden modernist chairs because the organic shapes provided to the manufacturers took the woodworking art to the edge of the limits. Teak and other dark woods was his favorite part of working materials.

Poul Kjærholm was also part of the same league in designing and furnishing the wood. some of his work that cannot be forgotten are mainly produced in the golden age of danish design during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s :- His Lounge chair “PK25” : steel sheet made evoked huge interest. Other notable works include Lounge chair “PK22″(1956). The Tulip Chair (1961), Rocking Chair “PK20” (1967).

In the 1950’s, after world war II, many American designs were influenced by Danish furniture. Charles Eames from America designed and manufactured chairs with wood and steel pipes. This in turn encouraged Arne Jacobsen to design his famous work ” Ant Chair”.

In 1950, Bernadotte & Bjørn studio was established, they were the first to specialize in industrial design by emphasizing their designs on office machines, domestic appliances and functional articles.

Later on many electronic manufacturers like Bang & Olufsen took interest in making their appliance and product based on danish designs, which was a huge international success at that time. Till today, danish designs influences our day to day life.If we observe our appliances and furniture, each curve and finishing on it has an astonishing story behind it, and danish design is still inspiring new designers with aspirations related to the future. Just as envisioned by the legends of danish design industry.

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Danish Designer Legends: Børge Mogensen

One of the greatest names in Danish Design, Børge Mogensen truly knew how to work with curves, lines and his legacy has left impressions on many later artists and designers.

Born in 1914, he lived to be just 58, drawing his last breath in 1972. He started at the age of just 20 years old, and produced hundreds of designs throughout his impressive carreer.


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