Danish Modern is a term identifying the Modernism developed in post-World War II Denmark by such designers as Kay Bojesen, Finn Juhl, and Hans Wegner.
From the 1950s onwards, this term, along with its Scandinavian and Swedish counterparts, was widely used to describe those aspects of Danish design that acknowledged some of the characteristics of Modernism but were distinguished by the use of more traditional materials, natural finishes, organic shapes, sculptural form, and a respect for craftsmanship. Before WWII, such ideas may have originated in Kaare Klint’s design and teachings. Still, it was more closely associated with famous furniture designers like Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, and Arne Jacobsen.
When modernism was still new and scary to many Americans, Danish modern became a popular compromise. It was often called “contemporary” or “transitional” to distinguish it from the more mechanical qualities of Bauhaus-inspired functionalism. In recent years, economic changes have made Danish products less affordable than in the 1950s. This, along with changing tastes, has made Danish design less important in today’s markets.
Selection of Works
Pile, J. (1994). Dictionary of 20th-Century Design. Da Capo Press, Incorporated. https://doi.org/10.1604/9780306805691
Woodham, J. M. (2006). A dictionary of modern design. Oxford University Press.
Danish Modern-Design Store
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