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Ole Wanscher

This week's featured designer shaped Danish furniture, both as an active designer and as a master teacher

Ole Wanscher (b. 1903 - d. 1985), was born in Copenhagen and was an architect and professor of architecture with furniture designs as his specialty. He came to shape Danish furniture, both as an active designer and as a master teacher. His furniture designs are now considered to be modern classics - sophisticated and functional with an exquisite attention to detail.

Construction and form was of the utmost importance to Ole Wanscher, treating furniture design like a branch of architecture. He studied under Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and also worked for him from 1924-1927, before becoming an independent achitect specializing in furniture design. He later became a professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts with a master in furniture design.

Ole Wanscher created his best known products primarily in the period between the late forties and early sixties. He took great interest in industrially produced high quality furniture and designed serveral pieces with this particular aspect in mind. It was the familiar philosophy of 'design for everyone'. However, his finest work was made in close collaboration with reowned master cabinetmakers.

Furthermore, while traveling through Egypt and Europe, Ole Wanscher studied furniture design. He embraced these impressions, was inspired by them and and brought to them his very own sensibility. He also authored several books, including "The History of the Arts of Furniture" and "Five Thousand Years of Furniture".

Characteristic of Ole Wanscher's design is a quest for slim dimensions and resilient forms. His chairs often employ both slender and slightly curved armrests, which rise in an elegant tip before continuing directly to the floor; as is the case with his well known Colonial Chair. Classic and yet singularly modern at the same time.
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