Deco saga: Danish design

Deco saga: Danish design

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In the early 1950s, a group of Danish architects revolutionized design by imposing simplicity and functionalism on their creations. Emphasizing the quality of materials and craftsmanship, these innovative Danes have created designs that are still admired and appreciated today. Denmark has always been a design nation. Danes love designer products, from light fixtures to insulated coffeemakers, door handles, bikes and furniture. Not necessarily because the designs are new, but often because they are quality, functional and elegant. The last two or three generations of Danes have grown up surrounded by designs created by the great national icons of the 50s and 60s. Over the years, homes, schools, universities, churches, public establishments and many Danish companies have invested in furniture and quality industrial design. Timeless and durable, this design is part of their roots. Thus, design has become a habit, whose origins date back to the 1920s. Redefined and constantly renewed, the tradition of design has never broken with its origins. Today, the famous design is reinterpreted by the international Danish brand BoConcept, which has been creating Danish design itself since 1952. From a historical point of view, Danish design is associated with a sober and refined style as well as a functional, friendly, honest and democratic approach to life. Like traditional farming, simplicity has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. The idea of ​​keeping things simple in order to make them accessible to the greatest number is in line with the humanist and democratic currents which have characterized Danish society. In 1924, Denmark was the first country in the world to entrust the keys of a ministry (National Education) to a woman, Nina Bang, elected from the Social Democratic Party.
The Spanish chair by Borge Mogensen, 1958 (Fredericia furniture)

To mobilize adapted to the human body

This same year, Danish design became systematic with Kaare Klint, architect and furniture designer, who was keenly interested in body measurements and movements in order to create furniture with ideal dimensions, while attaching great importance to quality, natural materials and craftsmanship. This approach stood out from the functionalism of Central Europe, as practiced by the German school Bauhaus. Kaare Klint found the organic forms and curves of Art Nouveau impractical and pompous. In 1924, he became a professor of architecture at the School of Furniture Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. From the 50s and 60s, he greatly contributed to making Danish design known throughout the world. A design that reflects the open and democratic perception of life by the Danes. In the years that followed, Klint and his students began to focus on the quality of materials and craftsmanship, in close collaboration with famous Danish furniture manufacturers. The uncluttered style of the furniture aimed to facilitate production and reduce the price. The contribution of artisans during the development phase was crucial in order to guarantee quality. Sold at a reasonable price, designer furniture was then available to more consumers. During this period, several Danish furniture designers became known. Some, cabinetmakers by training, were able to transmit their love of crafts to the world of design and furniture and embarked on functionalism.
The Imola armchair by BoConcept created by Henrik Pedersen

Simple and refined

These new designers pursued their revolutionary and functionalist ideas. They wanted to break away from the decorating obsession that the middle class had. Wishing to purify and simplify the furniture, they gave birth to new Danish furniture, mainly produced from natural materials, such as wood and leather, and devoid of any frills. The details highlighted cabinetmaking and craftsmanship. Without being imposing, the furniture had enough personality to occupy a room. At the same time, several textile designers, including Vibeke Klint, have created unique materials for furniture inspired by geometric designs and simple rural weaves with stripes and checks. In 2012, she relaunched several of her original designs from the 1950s in cooperation with BoConcept. So many exclusive and timeless materials that bring an additional touch to the modern Danish design of BoConcept.

Long live Danish design

While many of the Danish furniture designs are still produced and sold today, great icons have never ceased to inspire new designers and architects. Denmark continues to create furniture and designs used in interiors around the world. The current style is more extensive than that of the 50s and 60s: today's Danish design is not limited to furniture. Bang & Olufsen, specialized in the audiovisual sector, Royal Copenhagen, renowned for its innovative porcelain, and Georg Jensen, the luxury and lifestyle brand with traditions of silverware and goldsmithery are among the major companies in Danish design. Contemporary Danish design furniture is presented in more than 260 BoConcept stores around the world. In close collaboration with BoConcept, the designers have designed entire and varied ranges for the dining room, living room, bedroom and storage spaces. They also brought a multifunctional dimension to the designs, which can be adapted according to the surface area of ​​the interiors, the function of the rooms, the cultural setting as well as the needs and desires of the client. In Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, New York or San Francisco, this concept of 'urban Danish design' transforms dreams into sustainable design solutions.
Kay Bojensen's wooden toys, including his famous monkey created in 1951

Meeting with Anders Nørgaard

Anders Nørgaard grew up surrounded by classic Danish furniture. His mother was a craftswoman, his father one of the first Danish computer scientists, and many of the great architects of the time passed by his childhood home in Aarhus (Denmark). Traditions, design and IT are therefore part of Anders Nørgaard's DNA. A creative gene which he perfected by working in various workshops of former masters of Danish furniture and by obtaining a diploma from the School of Architecture in Aarhus. Today, Anders Nørgaard is one of the greatest Danish furniture designers and devotes part of his talent to the creation of sofas and armchairs for BoConcept. "I was raised and trained in the classic Danish design tradition, focused on functionalism, purity and simplicity. Although the Danish approach to functionality and design dates back to 1924, these two principles have today still a great value. Danish design is one of the oldest in the world: it has withstood war and modernization. This approach is more relevant than ever at a time when the surface area of ​​interiors tends to shrink. Space is becoming a luxury in the city, which places ever more stringent requirements on the functionality of the furniture, "explains Anders Nørgaard. Functionality is therefore part of his personal inspiration. "When space is limited, functionality sometimes prevails over aesthetics. But with a little originality and paying attention to small details, it is possible to create furniture with a refined style in the spirit of design Danish. "According to Anders Nørgaard, Danish design owes its popularity to its original idea. "The simplicity of the style is well thought out. Its origins go back to Asian philosophies of purity and simplicity as well as to the cultures of the American Amish and Shaker, as well as to more modern currents of influence such as the German design school. Bauhaus. This is what gives Danish design its universal side. "BoConcept goes further. "BoConcept furniture incorporates individuality: it can be adapted to different cultural standards in terms of interior decoration. Thanks to its simplicity of expression, Danish design does not interfere with other elements. It is very easy to use for furnish and decorate in all contexts and all cultures. "Design within the reach of all," said the former Danish designers. Following this approach, BoConcept optimizes design and production in order to bring quality Danish design within reach. of the greatest number. "