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Hans J. Wegner was the indisputable grandmaster of Danish chair design. Throughout a long and productive life, Wegner has designed roughly 500 chairs, many of which have become popular classics and are still in production today.
As a boy, he showed a keen interest in wood carving. He was born in Tønder in 1914 where he often visited the local museum to be inspired by its statues. Later, he set his wood carving aside, but he took his combined fascination of wood and sculpture with him when he went on to train as a furniture maker and furniture designer.
At Designskolen Kolding he got to know his peer, Børge Mogensen. They developed a professional and personal friendship, which manifested itself in Wegner designing a set of children’s furniture as a confirmation present for Mogensen’s son, Peter. The set was soon put into production at FDB Furniture, where Mogensen was head of design.
Wegner’s chairs are commonly held to be among the most beautiful in the world. At the same time, they reflect his understanding that the chair is a piece of furniture in close contact with the human body, a fact that places high demands on comfort and ergonomics. Design and function rarely go more perfectly hand in hand than in Wegner’s furniture. If anything, his training in furniture-making further nurtured his love of wood and he has a special talent for utilising the characteristics of the fibre to create surprising sculptural lines. Wegner’s furniture redefines the Danish word for design.