Posts Tagged ‘Cone Chair’

Pantonudstilling i Berlin: Interview med Marianne Panton

Friday, February 4th, 2011
Marianne og Verner Panton i hans Kræmmerhusstol (ca. 1965 © Verner Panton Design)

Marianne og Verner Panton i hans Kræmmerhusstol (ca. 1965 © Verner Panton Design)

I 1962 mødtes Verner Panton og Marianne Pherson Oertenheim under en ferie på Tenerife, og to år senere blev parret gift i Basel. Udover at være Verner Pantons kone, var Marianne Panton også hans de facto-direktør, og hun arbejdede tæt sammen med sin mand i alle aspekter af hans arbejde.

Forud for udstillingen på den danske ambassade talte vi med Marianne Panton om Verner Pantons arbejde, og om hvad der i sin tid havde indflydelse på dette – og om hvordan hun blev den første fotomodel for Pantonstolen.

(smow)blog: Et af udstillingens centrale temaer er Verner Pantons eksperimenterende arbejde med form og farve – hvorfra fik han denne lyst til at eksperimentere?

Marianne Panton: (griner) Jeg tror ikke engang at Verner Panton kunne besvare dette spørgsmål selv. Som barn drømte han om at blive maler, og hele hans liv drejede sig om design og maleri. Farver havde altid interesseret ham. Selv som barn var han meget interesseret i farver.

(smow)blog: Apropos farve… Var rød ligeså vigtig for Verner Panton, som det forekommer at være i dag?

Marianne Panton: Rød var vigtig for ham, fordi det er en signalfarve med en masse psykologisk betydning. Efter han havde afsluttet sine studier, tog han et kursus i farvepsykologi og det var et emne der interesserede ham meget, især farven røds psykologiske egenskaber.

(smow)blog: Kort tid efter sin eksamen fra Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole tog Verner Panton afsted på forskellige ture rundt i Europa. Hvad lærte han af disse ture?

Marianne Panton: Turerne udvidede hans opfattelse af verden og øgede hans nysgerrighed, og samtidig kom han til at kende møbelproducenter der var parate til at eksperimentere og tage chancer med designere og disses nye idéer. På dette tidspunkt, kort efter krigens afslutning, var der en stemning af håb i Europa, koblet til udviklingen af teknologi og materialer, og en helt ny verden af muligheder åbnede sig. Verner Panton sagde ofte, at han følte sig meget priviligeret over at være blevet født ind i denne æra, hvor så mange nye muligheder eksisterede.

(smow)blog: Hvem havde generelt den største inflydelse på Verner Pantons karriere?

I kælderen i dette hus på Strandvejen ved København arbejdede Verner Panton for Arne Jacobsen i hans atelier.

I kælderen i dette hus på Strandvejen ved København arbejdede Verner Panton for Arne Jacobsen i hans atelier.

Marianne Panton: Det er ikke et spørgsmål som jeg fuldt ud kan besvare. Verner Panton fik ofte stillet det samme spørgsmål, og for ham var den største inspiration altid det materiale han stod med i hånden på det pågældende tidspunkt. Men både hans tid som studerende, hans tid med Arne Jacobsen, og hans beundring af mange af sine kolleger har tydeligvis haft stor indvirkning på ham.

(smow)blog: Hvad kan nutidens unge designere lære af Verner Panton?

Marianne Panton: Som designer skal man have en masse tålmodighed og vedholdenhed, og det er begge kvaliteter som Verner Panton besad.

(smow)blog: Hvilket man forstår ud fra historien om hans Pantonstol. Hvor vigtigt var det for Verner Panton at han i Vitra endelig havde fundet en partner til produktionen af denne stol?

Marianne Panton: Det havde central betydning for ham. Ingen andre var villige til at tage en risiko med projektet, ikke mindst fordi det var en rejse ind i nye områder af teknologien. Man skal huske på, at omkostningerne ved at producere støbeforme dengang var meget høje, og at plast stadigvæk var i en forholdsvis tidlig udviklingsfase. Han fik kontakt til så mange producenter, men ingen var parate til at tage udfordingen op, så det var super at Willi Fehlbaum og Vitra viste den interesse de gjorde, og var villige til at påbegynde projektet.

(smow)blog: Var han nogensinde i tvivl om, at han ville finde en partner til projektet?

Marianne Panton: Nej, nej, han var altid af den opfattelse at han til sidst ville finde nogen.

Marianne Panton og Christine Fehlbaum som de første fotomodeller for Pantonstolen (foto © Verner Panton Design)

Marianne Panton og Christine Fehlbaum som de første fotomodeller for Pantonstolen (foto © Verner Panton Design)

smow(blog): Og da han så fandt nogen, endte du med at blive den første fotomodel for Pantonstolen, hvordan skete det?

Marianne Panton: (griner) Det var meget ligetil – jeg var til stede!

(smow)blog: Udover møbler arbejde Verner Panton også på indretningsprojekter, projekter til udstillingsmesser etc. Hvilken del af sit arbejde var han mest glad for?

Marianne Panton: Jeg vil sige, at han altid havde det sjovest med det projekt han var i færd med at arbejde på, uanset hvad det var. Så snart et projekt var afsluttet blev det mindre interessant for ham, og udviklingen af nye projekter var det der interesserede ham mest.

(smow)blog: Hvilke af Verner Pantons værker har størst personlig betydning for dig?

Marianne Panton: Ser du, min mand skabte så mange vidunderlige ting – møbler, lamper, tekstiler – det ville være umuligt kun at fremhæve ét produkt.

(smow)blog: Og du boede sammen med Verner Panton, omgivet af hans værker. Hvis vi må stille sådan et spørgsmål – følte du dig altid tilpas?

Marianne Panton: Åh ja, det var vidunderligt og meget varieret, og ja, vi følte os alle tilpas og nød det meget.

(smow)blog: Og er dit hjem stadigvæk møbleret med Verner Pantons møbler?

Marianne Panton: Selvfølgelig! Jeg har næsten udelukkende Pantonmøbler. Men ikke vægge i stærke farver. Væggene er hvide i dag, men møblerne er der endnu.

PANTON @ De Nordiske Ambassaders Felleshus, Rauchstraße 1, 10787 Berlin, indtil d. 28/2. Fri entré.



PANTON and Contemprorary Danish Design, Berlin

Sunday, January 16th, 2011
PANTON in the wonderful Felleshus, Berlin

PANTON in the wonderful Felleshus, Berlin

This past Friday the Danish Embassy in Berlin opened an exhibition devoted to the work of Verner Panton – from his early works up to his influence of today’s young Danish designers.

The first exhibition of Verner Panton’s work in Germany for 10 years, PANTON is largely based around the collection of André Barss – a young Berlin Panton collector.

A few years ago André was at an exhibition, saw a Panton Chair – and was so irritated by the fact that he couldn’t sit on it and try it for himself that he went home and bought one via an online auction portal.

3-2-1-it was his.  As they say.

What began with a Panton Chair has grown into a comprehensive collection Verner Panton’s furniture including his Cone Chair, Tivoli Chair, and even a Phantom.
A product we proudly admit to not fully understanding. Or particularly liking.

Curator Ida Engholm from the Danish Design Research Centre in Copenhagen has split the “Panton” part of the exhibition into three sections, Panton the modernist, “Pop Panton”, and Panton the post-modernist – a decision which wonderfully draws attention to the variety in Verner Panton’s work.

LivinG tower by Verner Panton. A place to watch the world from.

Living Tower by Verner Panton. A place to watch the world from.

Speaking to Ida Engholm at the opening, she attributed the shift in Panton’s styles to the fact that he was always interested and aware of what was happening in terms of design thinking around him: The modernist Panton with wonderful minimalistic, almost Bauhaus, studies such as the Bachelor Chair before Pop art exploded on the international scene. And then, after the heady euphoria of Pop Art, came the inevitable hangover and Panton and his contemporaries largely reverted to reworking some of their earlier works.
A good example being the Tivoli Chair which Panton continually re-worked right up until his untimely death.

Given the fact that the exhibition in effect began with the fact that André Barss wasn’t allowed to sit on a piece of Panton furniture, it is especially fitting that one of the highlights on opening night was his Living Tower  – one of the few pieces that visitors can actually try out.

For us the joy and social communication that Living Tower caused mirrors the character and philosophy of Verner Panton more than anything else on show.

The section devoted to young Danish designers includes works by designers such as Louise Campbell and Tine Mouritsen

If we did have one criticism of the exhibition it would be that the section devoted to new Danish talent is simply too small to allow for a proper comparison. One simply can’t decide if what is being shown is representative, or simply a few study pieces created à la Panton.

Prinz Stuhl by Louis Campbell, part of the PANTON exhibition in Berlin

Prinz Stuhl by Louis Campbell for HAY design, part of the PANTON exhibition in Berlin

There is a lot of very good young Danish furniture design talent and it would really be nice if the Danish Embassy followed up PANTON with a dedicated showcase of some of the talent. Possibly just ahead of Copenhagen Design Week…..
(A second complaint would be the inclusion of Clouds by those well known Danes Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. For us Kvadrat as producer is simply too weak and tenuous a link to show a product such as Clouds. Wonderful as it is.)

However, in general, whereas not especially extensive in terms of floor space or number of presented items, PANTON does provide a wonderful introduction for those not familiar with Verner Panton’s complete oeuvre.
And for those who know the works, PANTON offers a wonderful chance to compare and contrast various items in one – wonderful – location.

PANTON and contemporary Danish Design runs at the Nordic Embassy, Felleshus in Berlin until 28.02

And if you go – do try out the Living Tower. We believe it is what Verner Panton would want!

More Information can be found at : www.nordicembassies.org/

Flowerpot Lamps and a Living Tower in the wonderful setting of the Nordic Embassy Felleshus, Berlin

Flowerpot Lamps and a Living Tower in the wonderful setting of the Nordic Embassy Felleshus, Berlin



smow on tour: Scandinavian Design – Panton, Saarinen and co.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
A warm welcome is always guaranteed in Denmark

A warm welcome is always guaranteed in Denmark

We at the (smow)blog aren’t above making advertising form others. If we feel that something passes to our remit, we go with it.

Crazy as we are.

And so it was with great interest that we heard about “Scandinavian Design: Discover form and function” the latest travel guide from Scandline Ferries.

We’ve never actually set foot on a Scandline’s ferry ourselves, but the idea of sailing around Denmark and Sweden while learning a little more about the design tradition and future perspectives in the region sounds like a good way to spend a week in the summer.

Scandinavian design is a bit like Scandinavian pop music – everyone knows the big stars and assumes that everyone else produces the same.

Think about if for a few minutes and it becomes clear, however, that so what cannot be true. And that there must be more to Scandinavian pop than ABBA and more to Danish design than Arne Jacobsen and his Egg Chair or Verner Panton and his Cone Chair.

Conechair by Verner Panton for Vitra

Conechair by Verner Panton for Vitra

And although the Scandline Brochure does repeat a lot of the established stereotypes and openly plays with the familiar “tourist gaze”  – it is after all a tourist brochure – undertaking such a tour also allows one the opportunity to not only learn more about the history of design classics but to explore and, hopefully, discover previously unknown gems.

Designers such as Verner Panton or Arne Jacobsen are rightly held up as defining figures in Danish design;  chairs such as the “Ant”, “Egg”, “Panton Chair” or “Cone Chair” establishing the simple functional design “brand”. This tradition is continued and wonderfully expanded upon by designers such as Kasper Salto, Søren Ulrik Petersen or Thomas Harrit and Nicolai Sørensen creators of the ingenious Knax coat hanger.

And whereas when most people think of Sweden their thoughts turn to flat-pack wardrobes and on-the -second-look-not-so-cheap kitchen accessories Swedish design has a lot more to offer. Designers such as Thomas Bernstrand or Anna Kraitz, for example, produce modern furniture and accessories that pass just as well in a house in London, Amsterdam or Bruxelles as in Stockholm. And is it really so bad when one or the other occasionally works with the big blue and yellow company?

Organic Chair by   for Vitra

Organic Chair by Charles Eames & Eero Saarinen for Vitra

And although the Sacndlines brochure doesn’t cover them, let us not forget Finland and Norway. Without, for example, the genius of Eero Saarinen it is unlikely that we would have the work of Charles and Ray Eames to enjoy. And although smow don’t stock any Norwegian designers, the work of, for example, Johan Ørbeck Aase has always appealed to our mischievous sense of humour.

One of the joys of designer furniture is one never knows everything, one can always learn; be it more about the life and work of a designer such as Verner Panton or Arne Jacobsen or discovering new an exciting designers whose concept of form and functionality either match your own or meet the requirements and demands that a furniture piece must meet. And Scandinavia is always worth a closer, more critical, look.