...Projects for which Central Saint Martins were able to attract some high calibre sponsors/partners including BUPA healthcare's Customer Lab who, and against the background that we are all living longer and will conceivably continue to do so ever more, challenged the students to "re-imagine healthy ageing"; MINI Living, an urban design project started initiated by the car manufacturer and who asked CSM students to consider future models of co-living and co-working; and a cooperation with Fritz Hansen which set the students the brief of reflecting on "what one might be keeping, storing and displaying", in a from technology defined future, and for all how Fritz Hansen could respond, through new products which "encode, embrace and express the essential" of Fritz Hansen's DNA... For our part a lot of the product proposals got a little too caught up in ideas of luxury for the sake of luxury, in objects which celebrate themselves, something which we'd argue isn't in Fritz Hansen's DNA...
In 1872 carpenter Fritz Hansen started his own company in Copenhagen, selling his own furniture from 1885 onwards. Since then, the company has developed into one of the world's leading furniture companies, and have cooperated with well-known designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Piero Lissoni or Kasper Salto. For all the collaboration with Arne Jacobsen, who shaped the design of the 1950s with his graceful, architecturally-styled Series 7 chairs, proved particularly fruitful; with Jacobsen the name Fritz Hansen spread beyond the borders of Denmark. Unconventional, nature-oriented forms, and high sitting quality were the focus of the design projects then as now.
Among the many furniture designs that Fritz Hansen have launched since the company was founded in 1872, those of Arne Jacobsen have proved especially popular. Arne Jacobsen’s cooperation with the Danish designer Fritz Hansen started in 1934, but didn’t receive its defining moment until the release of Arne Jacobsen’s Ant Chair in 1952. With the follow-up Series 7 in 1955 Fritz Hansen and Arne Jacobsen finally entered the history of furniture design. Many of Jacobsen’s designs continue to define the portfolio of the Danish designer furniture manufacturer. Arne Jacobsen however worked not only as a designer, but also as an architect and a project in which these two professions perfectly combined is the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Developed in the late 1950s, Arne Jacobsen was responsible for both the construction but also the furnishings and furniture: popular design classics such as the Egg Chair, Swan Chair and 3300 series resulting. Furniture which was, somewhat inevitably, taken by Fritz Hansen into series production.
With the Ant Chair Fritz Hansen wanted to build on the successes of the American modern chair designs and commissioned Arne Jacobsen to design a similar all-purpose moulded plywood chair. The furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen had experimented with bent plywood since 1872 and created with the Ant Chair the first three-dimensionally shaped plywood seat where the seat and the backrest are made of a single piece. To guarantee the objects stability the seat was given its distinctive shape, which ultimately became the name under which it is popularly known. Arne Jacobsen designed the chair for Fritz Hansen as a three-legged model; however, Fritz Hansen also insisted on a four-legged alternative, because such are more stable.
The Series 7
The Series 7 chair by Arne Jacobsen is one of the most commercially successful chairs in furniture history, and is the undisputed bestseller in the history of Fritz Hansen. The moulded veneer chair can technically be seen as a further development of the Ant, is lightweight, stackable and available in many different versions. The Series 7 is available as an armchair, swivel chair, bar stool and child's chair. The most famous of these Fritz Hansen chairs is also known as Arne Jacobsen 3107.
Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg Chair for the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, a project for which he planned numerous other furniture objects and lamps as well as the building itself. Formally based on the classic wing chair, The Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen with its almost sculptural appearance can in may ways be considered as defining a space within a space. Existing exclusively of curves the chair is composed of a plastic shell padded with polyurethane foam such that it produces an extravagant shape with minimal material usage. The Egg Chair is completed in its organic form by the matching ottoman and by the Swan Chair which Arne Jacobsen also by him for the SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen.
Together with The Egg and The Swan Arne Jacobsen also created The Drop for his 1958 work of art, the SAS Hotel in Copenhagen. At that time only produced in small numbers for the hotel, the chair with the subtle yet strong character was first produced as a modern plastic version by Fritz Hansen in 2014.
The Piet Hein Table
Also known as the super-elliptical table, Arne Jacobsen designed the Piet Hein Table together with the mathematician and philosopher Piet Hein, who coined the term superellipse, and designer Bruno Mathsson. Its shape oscillates between ellipse and rectangle.
The Grand Prix
Arne Jacobsen's Grand Prix stands in a tradition with his other chair designs, all of which are made of laminated and moulded sliced veneer. The chair, which was launched in 1957, won the highest award at the Milan Triennale in the same year: the Grand Prix.
Designed in 1963 for the faculty of the St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, the Arne Jacobsen Oxford chair with its high back represents the prestige of a conventionally educated English middle class, yet can also hold its own against contemporary furniture design objects. And so thankful for the furniture series Arne Jacobsen designed for the college, he even received an honorary doctorate from Oxford.
The curved shape of The Swan represents a key component of Arne Jacobsen’s interior design concept for the lobby and lounge area of the Royal Hotel Copenhagen. As with The Egg Chair Jacobsen created for the hotel, The Swan is an object without straight lines.
Fritz Hansen and Kaiser Idell
The Bauhaus lamps by Christian Dell have been part of the Fritz Hansen range for several years. After the design classics had been produced in 1936 by the brothers Kaiser & Co. in Neheim-Hüsten in the German Sauerland, production was stopped in the 80s and it was not until 2007 that the production of the licensed Kaiser lamps resumed - in Vejle, Denmark. The road to the Danish manufacturer Fritz Hansen was then short. Today, the Kaiser Idell collection comprises numerous models - including table lamps, floor lamps as well as a pendant lamp, all of which come from the designer Christian Dell. The trained silversmith studied at the Sächsische Kunstgewerbeschule Weimar, Germany under Henry van de Velde and later worked as a master in the metal workshop at the Bauhaus Weimar.
Contemporary light design from Fritz Hansen
In addition to the Kaiser Idell lamps, the Fritz Hansen lighting portfolio also includes various contemporary designs by well-known designers such as Cecilie Manz, Gam Fratesi or Michael Geertsen. Employing a variety of high-quality materials, such as porcelain, plastic, or metal, which are processed by highly qualified Fritz Hansen professionals. The respective material properties underscore the character of the designer lamps, which are defined by functionality and elegance, each having its own characteristic form and unmistakable detail solutions. For example, the Dogu porcelain light from 2018 features a semi-transparent bone china lampshade connected to a gold or silver-coloured aluminium suspension, while the Orient pendant, named after its drop-like form, features an aluminium construction with a solid wood suspension. Fritz Hansen lamps thus meet the highest demands on functionality in differing room situations, and each tell their very own story and always express new, innovative and original design solutions.
Fritz Hansen's design classics of tomorrow
With the reissue of established design classics such as those of Arne Jacobsen or Christian Dell, the aims of Fritz Hansen is far from fulfilled. The Danish company is constantly developing new products; new designs which blend harmoniously into the existing portfolio and can be seen as the natural evolution of popular classics such as the Egg Chair. Particularly with the collaboration with Jaime Hayon, Fritz Hansen has recently set a new accent.
Founded in 1872, the Danish furniture company Fritz Hansen has established a name for itself above all with seating furniture by the legendary designer Arne Jacobsen. In addition, the Fritz Hansen portfolio also includes a wide range of design genres and relies equally on classic and current design. For all among the Fritz Hansen accessories you will find contemporary designs by renowned designers which perfectly complement the portfolio and set very individual accents in any living area. For example, designs such as the Objects Tray by Wednesday Architecture or Jaime Hayon's Objects Vase radiate minimalist calm, while objects such as the Objects Tray Table by Willumsen & Engelholm with its sophisticated details guarantee distinctive accents.
smow sells exclusively originals from licensed manufacturers and is an official trading partner of Fritz Hansen.
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The German designer and silversmith Christian Dell is arguably best known for the numerous lighting designs he realised during the 1920s and 1930s. Christian Dell was however also one of the pioneers of plastic design. If all too briefly. Born in Offenbach am...
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