Karakter design journal

Arne Jacobsen Feature

When researching designers for our Karakter blog and social media posts I'm constantly blown away by how exceptionally clever and skillful the great names of mid-century design were, and how their creations continue to stand the test of time. At our store we have a number of books on mid-century designers so when I was looking for inspiration for this post and found a book on the visionary Arne Jacobsen I knew he had to be the next design icon to feature here.

Arne Jacobsen (1902 - 1971) was a hugely influential Danish designer remembered for his architectural achievements and well known furniture designs. The Series 7 chair he designed in 1955 is the world's best-selling Danish object.

Jacobsen's mother, one of the first women in Denmark to be trained in banking, encouraged him to study Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Architecture School after which he set up his own company and went on to become the formidable designer we recognise now.

One of Jacobsen's largest commissions was the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen built from 1956 to 1960, now the Radisson Collection Royal Hotel, for which he designed everything from the building and furniture within it to the airport buses used to transport people to and from the Terminal section. The interior spaces were furnished with his iconic Egg and Swan chairs and featured inbuilt cabinetry. Arne even designed the lamps, glasses, and cutlery for it. As a sidenote for film buffs, his recognisable AJ cutlery also featured in Stanley Kubrick's cinematic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In 1952 Jacobsen's first highly successful piece of furniture was launched by Fritz Hansen - the Ant Chair. He cleverly used clay to sculpt the design of the chair and develop its unique shape. This development technique is one Jacobsen regularly used in his process for future designs. The lightweight chair was the first of its kind - the seat and back moulded out of a single sheet of plywood. Out of this Jacobsens talent for furniture design was firmly cemented and Fritz Hansen continues to manufacture many of Arne Jacobsen’s designs including the ever popular Series 7, Egg, Swan and Drop chairs. See photos.

We are always on the look out for examples of Arne Jacobsens work and currently have a set of 4 Series 7 chairs in stock, as well as a vintage Stelton Cyclinder coffee set first designed in 1967 by Jacobsen. Email us for more info