THE SUNDAY CLASSICS: ARNE JACOBSEN
We're loving the Sunday Classic series. Mainly as its educating us in so many ways. Arne Jacobsen is a name synonymous with elegant stylish design. And although were familiar with the icon pieces of furniture and a connection with manufacturer Fritz Hansen. Its been fascinating understanding his journey into the world of design.
Arne Jacobsen was a Danish architect and designer. He was born in February 1902 in Copenhagen, Denmark and is well known because of the worldwide success of his simple and elegant designed chairs. Jacobsen hoped to become a painter but was persuaded by his father to opt for the more secure domain of architecture. In 1924 he was admitted to the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts from where he completed his studies.
During his studying in 1925, Jacobsen participated in the Paris Art Deco fair and won a silver medal for a chair design. It was at this time when, he was struck and inspired by the supreme aesthetic of Le Corbusier's L'Esprit Nouveau pavilion. Later he travelled to Germany where he had the chance to observe the exquisite architecture of Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Their work influenced his designs one of which is an award winning art gallery.
Most of his furniture designs were the result of a partnership with the furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen. His first unique chair design was a huge success at the Paris Exhibition. His interest in furniture design continued and peaked in the 1950s. He was influenced by the Italian design historian Ernesto Rogers who ideas resembled very well with his own ideals. Another major source of his inspiration was the bent plywood designs of Charles and Ray Eames.
Arne’s design includes the Ant chair for an extension of the Novo pharmaceutical factory. This chair is a classic of modern chair design. It was named ‘The Ant’ because of its approximate similarity to the outline of an ant with its head raised. Four years later Arne came up with the Model 3107 chair of which over 5 million units have been produced exclusively by the manufacturer Fritz Hansen. It is one of the most copied chairs in the world. Being light, compact and easily stackable both of the design were fully compatible with modern needs.
The Egg and the Swan are two prestigious chair designs of Arne which were created for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Egg is believed to be inspired by Eero Saarinen's "Womb chair", from which it has got some features. Both the Egg and the Swan was also designed as a couch. However, while the Swan couch is still in production, only a handful of Egg couches have been made due to the production challenges involved in making it.
According to R. Craig Miller, author of "Design 1935-1989, What Modern was" have written that: Jacobsen’s work "is an important and original contribution both to modernism and to the specific place Denmark and the Scandinavian countries have in the modern movement". Later on it is stated: "One might in fact argue that much of what the modern movement stands for, would have been lost and simply forgotten if Scandinavian designers and architects like Arne Jacobsen would not have added that humane element to it".