Kaare Klint was an iconic furniture designer, educator and visionary and made his mark on Danish design history.

He was recognised as the father of modern Danish design. He designed icons such as the 1914 Faaborg Chair and 1933 Safari Chairs, as well as the design reception room of the Danish Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition.

Germany’s Bauhaus movement greatly influenced the Danes in the early twentieth century. However, they took a different tack, due mainly to designer Kaare Klint. Danish design has a down-to-earth approach.  Klint and his fellow architects chose usefulness, whereas the Bauhaus sought aesthetic beauty.

Biography

Klint set-up his own office in Copenhagen in 1920. In 1924, he founded the department of furniture: in 1944 he became the professor of architecture, Det Kongelige Dansk Kunstakademi (Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts).

safari-chair-by-kaare-klint-for-rud-rasmussen.jpg

Proportionality of Furniture

In the early part of his career Klint made a number of studies that dealt with the proportionality of man and furniture.  While others were occupied with the mystical interpretations of numbers to ensure fine proportions, Klint worked toward and on the premise that each object in a room should have a purpose and fill its place and everything should be determined with reference to man.

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Whereeas the Bauhaus students were forbidden to look at historical examples, Klints students were ordered to study the existing furniture; collecting examples of former solutions and analysing the results from the utilarian and  technical points of view.  Thus evolved the Danish approach “form follows function.”

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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