Hans Wegner's name is synonymous with Danish design the world over, and his seemingly simple chair designs helped usher in an appreciation for Scandinavian modern design in the United States. Here we highlight eight gems from the Wegner design archive.
Scores of craftsmen can build you a chair, but Danish icon Hans Wegner earns the rare distinction of having created the Chair. His Round Chair (1949)—with its single, curved back rail forming a parabola of finely shaped wood—was a stylish shot heard round the world, which heralded the arrival of a major design talent and made Danish design a cover story in the United States.
Son of a cobbler, Wegner started out as a teenage apprentice with cabinetmaker H.F. Stahlberg before studying at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Craft and the Danish Design School, where he refined the hallmarks of his style, often called organic functionality. During the course of his heralded career, he designed more than 500 different chairs, with more than 100 of them entering mass production. Here's a look at our top ten.
“A chair is to have no backside. It should be beautiful from all angles.” —Hans Wegner