Carl Hansen & Søn

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KAARE KLINT: LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR DANISH MODERN

One of the founding fathers of Danish furniture design, Kaare Klint influenced several generations of Danish furniture designers.

KAARE KLINT: LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR DANISH MODERN

Kaare Klint exerted his influence not only as a visionary educator, but also through his signature design approach: a focus on using geometry and mathematics to achieve ideal shapes and proportions. The mastermind behind such icons as the 1914 Faaborg Chair and the world-renowned 1933 Safari Chair, Klint further strengthened his status with his design of the Danish Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.

Design and architecture played important roles in Klint's life from an early age. The son of architect Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint, whose works included the Grundtvig Church in Copenhagen, Kaare Klint developed an early interest in finding ways to unite function and form.

Kaare Klint designs: Photo 1: Addition Sofa, Photos 2-4 Faaborg Chair, Photo 5: Safari Chair, Photos 6-7: Faaborg Chairs at Faaborg Museum, Photos 8-10: The Red Chair

Klint was deeply immersed in the arts and completed painting courses at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts as well as P.S. Krøyer's Art School. His transition to architecture did not follow the traditional path of apprenticeship and subsequent education at the Royal Academy's Department for Architecture. Instead, he followed the natural course of his family upbringing and trained as an employee of his father, as well as attending the Polytechnic Institute.

In 1924 Kaare Klint helps to establish the Department of Furniture Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. The following year he is appointed associate professor and later professor. As both an educator and a designer, Klint helped inspire and lay the foundation for a generation of some of the most renowned Danish furniture designers, including Mogens Koch, Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner and Poul Kjærholm, who would continue to shape the Golden Age of Danish Design from the early 1940s.

Today, Klint is regarded as a reformer whose attitude to architecture and design broke radically with the traditional style and period-oriented approach. He tirelessly studied and refined long-existing models such as safari-style knockdown chairs, British Windsor and Chippendale chairs to meet the needs of modern life: looking at the dimensions of the human body and focusing on furniture's practical purpose.

In this respect, he was part of a renaissance in Danish furniture design, developing furniture that first and foremost served its primary intention. Throughout his career, Klint insisted on clear and logical design, clean lines, the highest-quality materials, and superb craftsmanship. One of Klint's greatest strengths was his unique sense of proportion and spatial awareness. He firmly believed that furniture should suit and conform to its user, and based his classic designs on careful study of the human body, originating the concept of 'human furniture'.

The Faaborg Chair

One of Klint's most iconic designs is the The Faaborg Chair, designed in 1914 for the Faaborg Museum on the Danish island of Funen. The Faaborg chair ushered in a new era for Danish design, creating the foundations for the Danish Modern phenomenon and the principles championed by Klint. Today it has found a place in Danish design legacy as a classic chair, but also a pioneer: marking the beginning of early Danish modernism.

Embodied by the Faaborg Chair, Klint's work was characterised not only by the harmonious balance between form and materials, but also by the relationship between his furniture and the environment. His mastery of simple expression, timeless design, and uncompromising dedication to craftsmanship keep his furniture in continually high demand.

Kaare Klint designs: Photos 1-3: Faaborg Chair, Photo 4: Safari Chair, Photo 5: The Red Chair, Photos 6-7: Addition Sofa elements

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