Monday, April 16, 2012

Chair Extra Credit: Arne Jacobsen

 In the narrow line of all around designers one man stands out for his influence in Scandinavian Modernism.  Arne Jacobsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and later began his studies in architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of the Fine Arts.  After college Jacobsen was lucky to have the influence of  Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, which were two of the leading designers at the time and still are today.  In 1950 he collaborated with the Danish manufacturer, Fritz Hansen and worked on numerous designs in furniture, lighting, ceramics and many more projects.  In the world of furniture Arne Jacobsen began to flourish with his organic forms that in some peoples eyes thought he immolated the famous work of Charles and Ray Eames.  In contrast to the numerous chairs Jacobsen has designed one appealed to my style of design the most, the Swan chair.  Forty years of production and counting, this suave and functional chair has both visual appeal and achieves comfort in such a different form. The Swan Chair along with the Egg Chair was designed for the Royal SAS Hotel and he had the opportunity to design every furnishing in the hotel.  Through Jacobsen’s design with the swan chair he has appealed to me as a sculptor.  I fell into the design world through my love of art and his ability to capture an abstract rounded form and transform that into a comfortable and modern chair.  The materials used to make the swan chair are; molded fiberglass seat shells, cast aluminum, foam coated with fabric or leather. 

The choices of materials are very obvious and necessary to achieve the tightly covered chair. The decisions and innovations Arne Jacobsen achieved during his lifetime set the bar for perfection in simplicity.

1. Living With Modern Classics "The Light" by Elizabeth Wihlde (pg 37)
2. "The Chiar" by Elizabeth Wihlde (pgs 42-45)

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