Arne Jacobsen Denmark (1902-1971)
Born and raised in Copenhagen, Arne Jacobsen first hoped to become a painter, but was admitted to the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1924. He studied under Kay Fisker and Kaj Gottlob, both leading architects and designers.
As early as 1925 the talented architect student was awarded an impressive silver medal for the Paris Chair, which was his very first piece of furniture at the world exhibition in Paris. On that trip, he was struck by the pioneering aesthetic of Le Corbusier’s L’Esprit Nouveau pavillon. He also became acquainted with the rationalist architecture of Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Their work influenced his early designs including his graduation project, an art gallery, which won him a gold medal.
In 1929, only two years after his graduation from the Architecture School, the 27-year old Arne Jacobsen won the first prize for an ultramodernistic concept for “The House of the Future '' at The Building and Housing Exhibition of the Academic Architects’ Association in Copenhagen. The house was built for the exhibition, and it established Arne Jacobsen as one of the most visionary and progressive Danish architects at the time. At the same time, the house was the first example of actual modernistic architecture in Denmark. It was a spiral-shaped, flat roofed house in glass and concrete, incorporating a private garage, a boathouse and a helicopter pad.
Yuzuru Yamakawa Japan
Yuzuru Yamakawa's father started a rattan company in 1952 to create jobs for Yuzuru's two brothers who were both hearing impaired. While helping his father run the company, Yuzuru studied at design school at night. His efforts and talent made Yamakawa Rattan grow to become a world-renowned producer of design-oriented rattan furniture.
With his designs admired by the Japanese and European markets alike, the pieces he produced over a 40-year design career have stood the test of time. His passion for the rattan material is evident in his designs, which are not only beautiful but functional, with an emphasis on ergonomics.
Yuzuru was the co-winner of the Governor of Tokyo Prize in 1954, the a co-winner of the gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1957, and one of his designs was selected for the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1964.
Patrick Norguet France
After completing his design studies at the ESDI Higher School of Design in Barcelona, Patrick Norguet designed retail and event spaces for Yves Saint-Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and Renault.
Thanks to his observation of context, analytical approach to constraints, and respect for customs, he has built solid relationships with manufacturers of objects, lighting, furniture, and more. In 2000, his Rainbow Chair gave him international visibility that led him to open his studio in Paris. He was soon designing for the titans of European furniture, such as Bernhardt, Artifort, Offecct, Capdell, Pedrail, and Tolix, among others.
Patrick Norguet's global projects span such concepts as innovative McDonald's restaurants and the new French hotel concept Okko. From the design process through industrial production, Patrick Norguet has demonstrated the responsibility of the designer as a change agent for the human environment.
Xavier Pauchard France (1880-1948)
Born in Burgundy, France in 1880, Xavier Pauchard is the son and grandson of zinc roofers. He founded a factory producing household items that integrated a major innovation: the use of hot-dip galvanizing. This technique protects iron items from oxidation by dipping them in a bath of molten zinc.
Passionate about metal, he took years to perfect his mastery of iron and steel, until he could make it into any shape he desired. A visionary, he designed pieces of standard furniture to be practical, modular and marketable. In 1908, he registered a trademark for his metal furniture company and Tolix was born.
In 1927, he created the iconic A Chair, followed by other pieces such as Chair T37, the KUB table and many more. Xavier's sons followed him into the business and designed other pieces such as Table 55 and Armchair A56. Xavier's influence is still felt today. The A Chair is part of the collections of the MoMA in New York, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Vitra design collection in Weil am Rhein in Germany.
Franco Albini Italy (1905-1977)
Franco Albini was an Italian architect and designer, renowned for merging modern, minimalist furniture design with traditional Italian craftsmanship. In his creations he used raw, inexpensive materials. He had great success in the 1950s when he created a range of distinguished furniture designs, including the famous and fashionable rattan chairs that remain on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. During his distinguished career, Albini won three Compasso D'Oro awards, the most prestigious Italian design prize.
Several Albini designs, including his eponymous ottoman and the Belladonna sofa, were licensed by Sika Design and brought back into production. His elegant designs hold up in today's minimalist aesthetic.
byKATO is a Danish design company established by Karl Rüdiger Rossell and Tonny Glismand in 2010. They are dedicated to creating contemporary, highly-usable products for everyday living. Their goal is to bridge the gap between commercial design and quality craftsmanship, combining only the best raw materials with the utmost attention to detail.
Their work is recognizable as modern Scandinavian design – airy, fluid, muted colors, and a less-is-more approach. byKATO's brand of craftsmanship requires heart and soul as well as true passion for design.
Jean Pauchard France (1913-2009)
Born in 1913, Jean Pauchard is the grandson of Xavier Pauchard, the founder of Tolix. At the death of his father in 1948, he became the company CEO and created new pieces of furniture that were still rooted in the family's iconic history of design.
Jean's made his own name in the 1930s with the 55 Table's robust solidity and immediately-recognizable tapered legs in 100% steel. The 55 Table has successfully traversed the years and is still an elegant and timeless reference in the design world.
In 1956, Jean designed an arm chair to go with the Chaise A chair by his father. Based on the Chaise A, he named the arm chair A56. Over 50 years later, the A56 arm chair is one of the most influential metal furniture pieces of our time.
Josef Hoffmann Austria (1870–1956)
Josef Hoffmann was an Austrian architect and designer. He was among the founders of Vienna Secession, an architectural movement that called for buildings which were stripped of useless ornamentation. His most famous architectural work is the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, a visible turning point from traditional to modern architecture.
A modern design polymath, Hoffmann's architectural works would often include everything from the light fixtures to the furniture to the wall art. Many of his bentwood chairs, common to Parisian Art Deco interiors of the 1920s, survive as timeless touchstones of modern furniture design.
Nanna Ditzel Denmark (1923-2005)
Famed Danish designer Nanna Ditzel studied at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Her works include furniture, cabinetmaking, jewelry, tableware and textiles. The diversity of her artistic interest is evident in her fashionable furniture designs.
Ditzel’s experimental approach to materials and form resulted in many icons of modern design. She designed the critically-acclaimed hanging egg chair with her husband Jørgen Ditzel in 1959. In 1968, she moved to London where she established the Interspace International Furniture and Design Centre, an institution which developed a reputation as a center for experimental design. Ditzel returned to Denmark in 1986 and opened a combined design studio and furniture workshop in Copenhagen.
Sika Design received the Cologne Furniture Fair's Innovation award in 2013 for relaunching the three-legged "Rana" chair.
Pauline Deltour France
Born in Landerneau, France, Pauline Deltour opened her very own office in Paris, in 2011. Distinguished by being both severe and delicate, its designs reflect a vocabulary which is characteristic of her own personality. Her precise hand, neat lines, carefully selected materials and colour ranges, and the way in which they come together, form the individual identity of this French designer’s work. Emblematic, hard-hitting seduction is achieved through rare qualities which are as elemental to the design as they are challenging to implement. Expanding her focus, Pauline is now exploring possibilities on every scale, from small individual pieces right through to complete interior architecture.
Michael Thonet Austria (1796-1871)
Michael Thonet was a German-Austrian designer known for the invention of bentwood furniture. The son of a master tanner, Thonet began making furniture out of glued and bent wooden slats in the 1830s. Thonet's breakthrough was his success in steaming strong wood and bending it into graceful shapes. The steamed bentwood process allowed him to design lightweight and durable furniture.
Although Thonet furniture production peaked in 1912 – with two million different products manufactured – his bentwood masterpieces are remain popular to this day. Combining a fashionable aesthetic with a functional appeal, many Thonet models have became icons of design history.
Allen Noddebo Denmark
White still a student at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Allen Noddebo established Studio Noddebo in 2011 to address and explore products' fundamental ideas. With great enthusiasm, professionalism and diligence, Noddebo has created furniture that balances observation and function, aesthetic and emotion.
Noddebo's style is clean, honest and user-oriented. He defines and analyses the DNA of a given object with the aim to create pieces that improve your everyday life, indefinitely. He states, "One of my greatest influences is when I go to flea markets. I always find objects from another decade that remind me about how people used to live. It makes me reflect on the way we live today and understand the objects that surround us in a new perspective. It's very useful and often inspires me to think in new directions."
Strand+Hvass is a modern, award-winning design studio founded in 1998 by the Danish duo of Christina Strand and Niels Hvass. They believe that design itself is a strategy that can improve the conditions of human life, the environment, and personal experiences. With their user-centered designs that are deeply rooted in Scandinavian culture, they take pride in creating unique products for the benefit of both industry and consumers.
Strand+Hvass's furniture designs are immediately recognizable for their economy of lines, modern simplicity, and ultimate utility. Working with Danish furniture company Cane-line, they have created highly functional outdoor pieces to suit your modern tastes.
Viggo Boesen Denmark (1907-1985)
Viggo Boesen was a Danish architect, designer and maker whose inspiring, imaginative designs made him unique, and put him among the designers of the “Danish golden age”. The most essential elements in his work were the use of rattan and different upholsteries, that gave a light and organic touch for his furniture and other designs. Two of his best known pieces are the awarded rattan Fox chair, which was made of rattan and released in 1936, and Little Petra which was initially introduced in 1938 which won instant praise at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers Guild Exhibition.
Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen Denmark
Johannes Foersom and Peter Hiort-Lorenzen have more than 35 years of experience with furniture design, product design, and design consulting. Their goal is to create long-lasting value and to stimulate healthy development for people and their surroundings. They strive toward the highest possible quality in cooperation, process and product, and believe that knowledge and innovation are fundamental.
They have worked with Cane-line and many of the world's most distinguished modern furniture brands, winning dozens of prestigious prizes and grants along the way. Their work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Danish Museum of Decorative Arts, the International Design Museum Munich, and many others.
Jun Yasumoto France
Born in Tokyo, with both French and Japanese nationalities, Jun Yasumoto lives and works in Paris. After graduating from ENSCI (Paris) in 2001, Jun began collaborating with Jasper Morrison Office for Design, working on the development of numerous furniture, product, lighting and tableware design projects. He has also developed his independent career, working with clients such as Marcel By, Ligne Roset, Arc International, Kohler Group, JIA Inc and Industry Plus.
Jun's furniture designs are truly modern, replete with lines that carry the eye across an entire piece. His work makes for frequent features in modern furniture press, making him one of the hottest modern furniture designers and carrying on a legacy of modern European furniture design.
Gian Franco Legler Switzerland
Born in Switzerland in 1922, Gian Franco Legler has a fascinating life history spanning architecture, interior design, and industrial materials.
When the Swiss-Italian designer was commissioned to design a chair in 1951 for the Basket Restaurant in Italy, he contracted with the local basket weavers to manufacturers for the first chairs. The chair became a success around the world and in 1953, Legler was awarded the Good Design Award for the Basket Chair by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
Feelgood Designs carries on his legacy, producing a simple chair of exceptional comfort.
Fabian Schwaerzler Switzerland
The Swiss designer Fabian Schwaerzler first completed an apprenticeship as a metalworker and then studied industrial design at the University of the Arts in Zurich. From 2003 to 2005 he worked as an assistant to Maarten Van Severen in the designer's studio in Ghent, Belgium.
In 2006, Fabian founded his own design studio in Zurich, where he develops a wide range of products. His most important works in recent years include the wristwatch L1 for Maurice de Mauriac (2014), the chair C1 for Colos (2016) and the table Nilo for Tossa (2018).
A multiple-year nominee for the Design Prize Switzerland, Fabian's works have garnered international attention.
Alban Le Henry France
A graduate of the acclaimed ENSCI (National School of Industrial Creation) in Paris, Alban Le Henry is a designer and a modern artist. For many years at the beginning of his career he assisted the Bouroullec brothers, whose studio was his second school. Launching his own design studio in 2007, he has embraced a wide variety of projects that have landed him in Elle Magazine, Architectural Digest, Air France Magazine, and many more.
Collaborating with Colos, he has created a line of solid, polypropylene chairs and stools that are simple and stunning, at home in fine art galleries and modern bistros.