10 Verner Panton Designs That Will Transport You Back to the '60s

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By Paige Alexus / Published by Dwell
When you think of Verner Panton, what initially comes to mind?

It’s most likely the iconic Panton Chair, that made history as the first single-formed injection-molded plastic seat. However, there’s so much more that he brought to the world, and everything he did was bursting with character and represented the changing times. 

10 Verner Panton Designs That Will Transport You Back to the '60s - Photo 1 of 2 - A photo of Verner Panton from 1993.

A photo of Verner Panton from 1993.

When the psychedelic, Pop Art mentality was gaining speed in the 1960s, the Danish-born architect and designer became one of the leading influencers. While always pushing the boundaries of technology and utilizing new materials, he experimented with geometric forms and bold colors to create unique furnishings. Most notably, he crafted futuristic interior landscapes that were wild and imaginative, which included designing the walls and textiles, to the lighting and furnishings—all of which supported an easy-going, free lifestyle. 

10 Verner Panton Designs That Will Transport You Back to the '60s - Photo 2 of 2 - One of Panton's creations is shown here with a close-up of the wall elements produced by Harlacher for Visiona 2 at the 1970 IMM Köln Möbelmesse / Cologne Furniture Fair.

One of Panton's creations is shown here with a close-up of the wall elements produced by Harlacher for Visiona 2 at the 1970 IMM Köln Möbelmesse / Cologne Furniture Fair.

 Below, we’ve gathered ten of our favorite Verner Panton pieces. Learn about their backstories and find out where you can purchase them today.  

Panton Chair
Panton Chair
Intrigued by its capabilities, Danish architect and designer Verner Panton conducted pioneering experiments with plastic. In 1960, he created a prototype of the Panton Chair, the first chair to be crafted from a single piece of material and using one mold. The chair entered mass production in polyurethane foam in 1968, but Panton and Vitra continued to modify the material to assuage production issues. Today, the chair’s sinuous cantilevered design is molded out of polypropylene. The durable, matte-finished material makes it suitable for both indoors and outdoors. With bold coloring and sculptural curves, the Panton Chair has striking effect both as an occasional chair or as part of a set—and its shape makes it easy to stack when not in use. Photo: John Clark
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Panton VP Globe Pendant Light
Panton VP Globe Pendant Light
Verpan's VP Globe Pendant is as much a work of art as it is a light source. The design was originally created by Verner Panton in 1969 out of a transparent acrylic. The interior of the light includes five hand-polished reflectors that are comprised of hollowed-out aluminum with lacquered finishes. The combination of the acrylic sphere and lacquered reflectors makes the interior sculpture appear to float in space. When illuminated, the light plays off of the reflectors, creating a truly distinctive source of illumination. An undeniable statement maker, the VP Globe Pendant is topped with a chrome ceiling canopy and a black fabric cord. Photo: Courtesy of  Verpan
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Louis Poulsen Panthella Floor Lamp
Louis Poulsen Panthella Floor Lamp
Verner Panton made an enduring name for himself, thanks to his unique sense of color, shape, and space. When he designed the Panthella Floor and Table lamps in 1971, he was looking to create a light where both the foot and the shade would act as light reflectors. With an organic shape that was typical for his style, the hemispherical shade reflects light downwards while the material allows most of the illumination to be spread out evenly. In order to make this happen, he built the curved shade out of injection molded white opal acrylic, while the base is made of white injection molded ABS. Though the lamp was originally produced in multiple bright colors, it’s available today through Louis Poulsen in white.  Photo: Courtesy of Louis Poulsen
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Panton Barboy
Panton Barboy
Designed by Verner Panton in 1963, Barboy came from the designer’s efforts to create flexible furniture for a variety of interior spaces. Made up of four cylindrical sections, the trolley is part side table, part container, and combines both form and function at every angle. Since the swinging compartments increase in size towards the bottom, the lower compartment is large enough to hold bottles, while the top sections can hold smaller household items. When Panton first created the table, it was available in black, white, red, or violet. Today, it’s produced by Verpan out of varnished moulded plywood—and is available in black, white, or blue. It can be easily rolled around, thanks to a set of wheels.  Photo: Courtesy of Verpan
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VP6 Topan Pendant Light
VP6 Topan Pendant Light
The painter-turned-architect Verner Panton slated himself as a visionary of the moment when he designed the hotel and restaurant Astoria in Trondheim, Norway in 1960. After he covered the floors, walls, and ceilings with his bold textile designs Geometry I to IV, he dotted the rest of the space with his VP6 Topan Pendants—which he designed specifically for the project and became his first mass-produced object. The simplicity and coolness of the design has endured over the years, finding its way from psychedelic interiors of the ‘60s, to minimal, modern spaces of today. The pendant lights are spun into shape from a single piece of aluminum by skilled craftsmen in Denmark. The glossy, lacquered finish—available in multiple color options—is matched with a color-coordinated fabric cord. Photo: Andrew Cammarano 
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Vitra Living Tower
Vitra Living Tower
Throughout the 1960s, a hot topic that was flourishing in the design world was the idea of the “domestic landscape.” As a leader in interior installations, Verner Panton became known for his use of bright color and geometric patterns. He also made waves with the way he fused all elements of a room in his work—from furnishings and textiles, to wall panels made of unexpected materials. In 1969, he took a stab at the domestic landscape concept  by creating the Living Tower for Vitra. Built with a stable understructure of birch plywood and a shapely upholstery made of polyurethane foam, the furniture sculpture consists of four different levels. Its organic form and comfortable interior niches create a one-of-a-kind seating tower that’s designed to encourage communication between multiple people. Photo: Hertha Hurnaus
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Panton Fun Pendant Lamps
Panton Fun Pendant Lamps
Though Verner Panton is most notably known for his op-art environments and wild furniture pieces, he also created a number of lights that have become recognizable icons. In 1964, he designed the Fun Pendant Lamp series that brought a decorative dimension to modernism. Made up of a composition of mother-of-pearl discs, a musical sound is created with any passing movement. The discs allow the light to shine through with a warm, opulent glow. Produced in Denmark by Verpan, the collection comes in an array of shapes and sizes, including long multi-tiered chandeliers and a floor lamp. You can also opt for a special version with polished stainless-steel discs for the ultimate disco look. Today, each light is stamped with Panton’s signature and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Photo: Courtesy of Verpan
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Vitra Miniature Panton Chairs
Vitra Miniature Panton Chairs
The Vitra Miniature Collection presents important modern furniture classics in a smaller size. Although more petite than the full-size originals, each part of the series is an exact 1:6 replica of the historical design, including the construction, materials, and colors. These collectible items can be used as decorative accents or in universities and architecture firms as illustrative tools. This set of five includes exact miniature versions of Verner Panton’s original design. The Panton chair is known for being crafted out of a single material and mold, and features a cantilevered design that took 12 years to develop. They can even be stacked to showcase the sculptural design that made it such an icon. Photo: Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum
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Pantop Pendant Light
Pantop Pendant Light
The Pantop Pendant Light from Verpan is a bold ceiling light that provides warm, direct lighting, and is best utilized in a dining room or over a counter in an open kitchen. Defined by its distinctive bell shape, the Pantop provides a refreshing take on the limits of overhead lighting. The widely flared shade is mounted with the aperture facing down, and is suspended from a fabric cord. Originally designed in 1964 by Verner Panton, the Pantop Pendant can be used as a single ceiling light, or arranged with other Pantops to create a striking visual statement. The top of the shade features Verner Panton's signature, giving the pendant lamp a special touch. Photo: Courtesy of Verpan
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Verpan Moon Pendant Light
Verpan Moon Pendant Light
The Moon Pendant Light was designed by the seminal Danish 20th century designer Verner Panton in 1960 and is reproduced for today’s design enthusiast by Verpan. Poetic and sculptural, the Moon Pendant is a spherical lamp made from a series of metal lamellae. Once the bulb is inserted, each fin of the lampshades can be individually adjusted, allowing for complete seclusion of the bulb, or for a more direct exposure to the source of light. When completely unfurled, the pendant presents an engaging and dynamic design that adds visual intrigue to its environment.
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What's your favorite design by Panton? Let us know and why in the comments!


Cover photo courtesy of Panton Design, Basel.