Poul Cadovius

This week's featured designer is famous for his ground-breaking shelving systems - which is still making waves today

Poul Cadovius (b. September 27th, 1911 - d. March 2011) was a Danish furniture designer and manufacturer.

He was the son of Nicholas Cadovius and his wife Agnes B. Jensen, and he was not trained as a cabinetmaker or architect, but he was more successful than many other furniture designers. Even as a child he was equipped with an inventive streak that meant that he was during his life got more than 400 patents.

In 1945 he established his own furniture-manufacturing company, which had factories in Denmark and own departments and licensed factories abroad.

In 1948 he designed what would become the perhaps most sold piece of Danish furniture design ever: The shelving system Royal System. The system was very innovative in that it was hung on the wall instead of standing on the floor, and it consisted in the most simple form of a shelf, a brass hoop and two rails fastened on the wall.

Poul Cadovius in other words hit the mark with his wall-mounted bookcase that was lighter than traditional shelving. The battle against the heavy furniture had been started by many of the famous Danish furniture designers and their foreign counterparts, so that people - especially those in smaller apartments - could get some more air and floor space, but Cadovius was one of the first who mounted furniture the wall with air down to the carpet.

Although Royal System was a success, Poul Cadovius was far from finished developing shelving. During the 50s he invented Ultra System, which was an expansion of the Royal, where you could now have colored shelves and cabinets in lacquered metal.

It was awarded a silver medal at the Triennale in 1956 in Milan. Since followed Cado, where the individual parts, which now included a sofa, not only was hung on rails, but the panels that covered the entire wall and could be built around the windows and doors. Cadomus was another bid on the racks, and the same was Abstracta, which is still in production. It is a modular furniture system in light metal, which is particularly designed for exhibitions.

As a furniture designer, he was among the first who worked with plastics. He also designed the shell-shaped shelters for bus stops.

More about: dk3 | Poul Cadovius

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