Verner Panton : Brought New Art To Old Interior Design

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You can tell how capable a furniture (mobler) designer really is by how he impacts his own time period and later ones. By this standard, Verner Panton was enormously skilled and had lasting influence. He was renowned for his ground-breaking uses of both shapes and fabrics. His pieces were distinguished by their level of elegance, their dramatic forms, and their unique displays of color. Overall, he produced furnishings that were noticeably, wonderfully superior to those of other designers of his time.

Panton, the son of an innkeeper, began his life on the island of Fynen. An avid interest in design led him to study at the prestigious Academy of Art in Copenhagen. He followed this with a two-year stint at Arne Jacobsen’s architectural office. He was allegedly not the best of employees, preferring to spend his time on developing original ideas verner panton was born on the isle of Fynen in Denmark. His father owned an inn. Because he wanted to be a designer, he took courses at the Copenhagen Academy of Art. After that, he worked for two years in Arne Jacobsen‘s architecture firm, apparently being a somewhat poor worker who preferred to pass his time on the development of his own designs.

Panton has several classics to his name. The most famous is the instantly recognizable Phanton stacking chair. This monocoque form is currently in production by Vitra, using more advanced plastics (injection-molded polypropylene) than those Panton first saw it produced in. There are plenty of cheap Chinese copies of this design on the market, which although damaging to the designer’s reputation through their poor quality, are a sure sign of a great design. There isn’t really much point in buying a copy in this case as you would end up with a chair that can’t be sold on for a profit and you would typically only save around 30% on the cost of the real thing. Vitra has a limited edition orange Panton chair out this year so no excuses!

The Cone chair is another one of Panton’s great designs. This type of chair was astonishing when it was first released. It was a huge departure from the standard three or four legged chairs that people were used to. This is what made the Cone chair so different and unique. The first time I saw this chair I was blown away by the optical illusion it produced. It seems to defy the laws of physics by standing perfectly balanced even though it is top-heavy.

Those two items together with Mr. Phanton’s renowned interior design (inredning) efforts were tremendously influential during the ten years after they first appeared. In the early 1970s, he designed one more unique form. That was the so-called System 1-2-3 chair which was done on behalf of Fritz Hansen. It may have the sound of a kind of football or basketball pool in your office, but is rather a superbly crafted, highly flexible chair, easy to manufacture and extremely comfortable.

Despite these three pieces being design classics, the example of Panton’s work you are most likely to come across is not a chair, but a lamp. The Flowerpot lamps (both table and pendant) are extremely widely distributed. This is because their cost of manufacture is relatively low, they are small, come in a range of colors, they have the name of a great designer to them and above all, they have an instantly recognizable classic form.

A day or two will not be enough to write about the work of Phanton. His work crossed boundaries and confounded expectations. His work survived the tests of centuries and has taken its place in the timeless modern classics of furniture (mobler) and interior design (inredning).

The influence that designers have on their time and on future generations is a nice measure of their skill. Verner Panton was nothing if not influential. Panton was well known for a number of revolutionary designs. Panton came up with a System 1-2-3 chair. The System 1-2-3 is a chair that is made with flexibility, comfort, and ease of production in mind. Although these chairs are classics of danish furniture (mobler) design, the most common piece of Panton’s work you are likely to see is a lamp. His work survived the tests of centuries and has taken its place in the timeless modern classics of furniture (möbler) and interior design (heminredning).


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