Verner Panton

Designer

Copenaghen / Denmark

The visionary and innovative architect/designer Verner Panton shook up the canons of Scandinavian design as early as the 1960s. Born in 1926 in Brahesborg-Gamtofte on the island of F√ľnen, Denmark, he obtained his degree in architecture from the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen in 1951. He began his career by working for renowned architect Arne Jacobsen, but his restless nature led him to travel across Europe in a van converted into a mobile studio. Returning to Denmark in 1958, Panton used what he learned in his travels to renovate the Kom-igen restaurant, run by his parents. The use of bright colours, predominantly red, the subdivision of the main room using a system of hanging panels in a geometrically patterned fabric, and the creation of the Cone seat with its futuristic and sculptural shape caused a sensation in a context then dominated by minimalist aesthetics, natural materials and light colours. The project aroused the interest of the Danish brand Plus-Linje, which produced the Cone Chair in five shades of red, followed by the steel-framed Wire Cone Chair, the Heart Cone Chair, the Cone Footstool and the Cone Table.

As is often the case with the forerunners of a new style, Panton struggled to establish himself in the industry until the Danish furniture magazine Mobilia published his work in 1961, marking a turning point in his career. In 1967, the famous S Chair, better known as the Panton Chair, was created using the innovative one-piece injection moulding technique; Panton had already conceived this chair/sculpture in the late 1950s, but its realisation was not technically feasible at the time. Verner Panton's language is characterised by an almost reckless use of colour, psychedelic atmospheres and fluid, sculptural forms. The manifesto of his optimistic vision of the future, in which good design is accessible to all, was the Visiona 2 exhibition, organised by Bayer for the 1970 Cologne Furniture Fair.

Verner Panton collaborated with various brands throughout his career, for example, Vitra, Fritz Hansen, Ikea, and Swatch, for whom he created installations and extraordinary design objects. He designed Flying Chair and the Fun series of lamps for Verpan and the Panthella lamps for Louis Poulsen. Panton also collaborated on architectural projects, including portions of the Spiegelverlagshaus Hamburg headquarters (1969); Gruner & Jahr offices, also in Hamburg (1974); the Erco offices in London (1997). He received numerous prizes and awards, including the International Design Award in 1963 and the Knight's Cross of the Order of Dannebrog, awarded by the Queen of Denmark in 1998, the year of his death. ... More ... less

Products designed by Verner Panton

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