A popular classic and contemporary designer
Ole Wanscher’s modern classics are still revered for their detail and his deep respect for materials
Ole Wanscher (1903-1985) was integral to the core aesthetic and functionality of modern Danish design. He studied under Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and later worked at Klint’s design studio before becoming an independent furniture designer. He helped shape Danish furniture design as a designer and as an educator when he took over Klint’s professorship at the Academy.
Wanscher’s classic and contemporary designs made him popular. In 1958, the Danish newspaper Politiken wrote: “Owning a Wanscher chair is an adventure every day, and will
be so even several hundred years from now, for this is how long it lasts”. Today, his modern classics are still revered for their detail and his deep respect for materials.
While traveling through Egypt and Europe, Wanscher studied furniture design, finding inspiration in varied visual expressions that he incorporated into his own unique design aesthetic. He viewed furniture design as a branch of architecture and emphasized slim dimensions and resilient forms – a quest exemplified in many of his works, particularly the Colonial Chair and Colonial Sofa.
Wanscher created his best-known designs primarily between the late 1940s and early 1960s, in the post-war era when the “design for everyone” philosophy emerged. In Denmark, some of design’s biggest names created functional and affordable furniture for the Danish people and the small spaces they lived in. Wanscher took great interest in industrially produced yet high-quality furniture, designing several successful pieces.
Wanscher’s design earned him numerous accolades, including the Copenhagen Carpenters’ Guild Annual Award and the gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1960 – honors that underscored Wanscher’s esteemed reputation both in Denmark and internationally.
Featured designs by Ole Wanscher
Hans J. Wegner
Among Danish furniture designers, Hans J. Wegner is considered one of the most creative, innovative and prolific. Often referred to as the master of the chair, Wegner designed more than 500 chairs in his lifetime – many of them considered masterpieces.
With an unconventional background and personal design approach, Anker Bak pushes conceptual and physical boundaries via quality materials, sublime craftsmanship and functionality. His designs make a difference in people’s lives and meet real needs.
One of Denmark's best-known and most respected architects, Arne Jacobsen has become synonymous with modernism throughout the world. His precise yet expressive aesthetic continues to serve as a source of inspiration for contemporary designers.
Danish professor and architect Bodil Kjær has significantly contributed to the spread of Danish Modern design principles through her travels, knowledge gathering and promotion of the relationship between design and architecture.
Bonderup & Thorup
After graduating from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture in Copenhagen in 1969, Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup began a collaboration that led them to join forces on design projects across the globe for more than 20 years.
Brad Ascalon is an American designer born in 1977. He entered the art and design world at a young age. His grandfather, a sculptor and industrial designer, and his father, a renowned artist, encouraged a passion for design, craftsmanship and materials that would last.
Børge Mogensen’s creative process produced long-lasting pieces with humans at the center. He worked primarily with wood and pioneered democratic design, becoming a highly-influential, post-war representative of Danish Modern.
Austrian collaborative, EOOS, were established in 1995 by Martin Bergmann, Gernot Bohmann, and Harald Gründl. The trio study historical roots in a contemporary context and focus on myths, rituals and intuitive expressions, to create original connections.
Frits Henningsen was an uncompromising designer known for his perfectionism and vibrant personality. He gave new expression to traditional designs and viewed quality craftsmanship as essential. Unlike most cabinetmakers, he always designed his own furniture pieces.
Kaare Klint is recognized as the father of modern Danish design and a renowned furniture designer, educator, and visionary. He insisted on clear, logical design, clean lines, the best materials, and superb craftsmanship, as seen in his iconic Safari Chair from 1933.
Larsen & Bender Madsen
Ejner Larsen and Aksel Bender Madsen designed around 300 works, including the Metropolitan Chair. While the chair was their favorite object, they also made other pieces from bedroom suites to bookshelves. The results were always simple and timeless.
Linie Design, a Danish design company, was founded in 1980 and since then has specialized in the development of handmade rugs in elegant designs and of the highest quality materials.
The dream of becoming a designer has lived in Mads Odgård for as long as he can remember, so when the time came, he left his birthplace, the Danish town of Kjellerup, and moved to Copenhagen to work in the creative business.
Architect Mogens Lassen created works rooted in cubist architectural ideals inspired by Le Corbusier. Considered a pioneer of functionalism in Denmark, Lassen’s designs showcased his ability to express ideas through diverse materials.
Born in Copenhagen, and originally trained in shipping, Morten Gøttler became a self-taught designer and architect recognized for his exceptional understanding of wood and strong belief that innovation is the foundation for successful design.
Naja Utzon Popov
Danish designer Utzon Popov’s life-long exposure to contemporary design is reflected in her work, where she translates her encounters with nature into textiles, glassware, ceramics and sculptures. Her inspiring designs can be seen around the world.
Her desire to explore spaces and experiment with techniques on the edge of what is possible led Nanna Ditzel – one of Danish design’s most distinctive personalities – to become acquainted with the entire design universe.
Poul Kjærholm mixed his strict, modern idiom with superior quality and materials rooted in Danish craftsmanship traditions. Despite his short career as a furniture designer, Kjærholm’s craftsmanship and clear expression resulted in timeless designs with a global influence.
Fabricius & Kastholm
The design duo specialised in furniture design and single-family houses, and their designs were characterised by minimalism, sophistication, functionality, quality and their eye for detail.
Danish designer Rikke Frost has always been curious about the combination of different craft traditions and types of material, a fact clearly reflected in her design portfolio where traditional and contemporary design is expressed in sofas, tables, chairs and lamps with an organic idiom.
Strand & Hvass
The Strand + Hvass duo is part of a new breed of Danish designers whose work continues in a direct line from their celebrated predecessors. With the Extend Table design, they infused the modern Danish furniture tradition with a bold new expression.
Japanese architect Tadao Ando bases his work on a design philosophy that unites Japanese design traditions with modern Western expression. Inspired by Le Corbusier, Ando’s style is minimalistic and innovative, with a focus on functionality.
Thomas Bo Kastholm
Thomas Bo Kastholm creates designs that unite diverse materials into compelling compositions with clear purpose. The TK8 Daybed, with its close ties to the core principles of classic, modern Danish design, exemplifies Kastholm’s ideals.
When you choose a product from Carl Hansen & Søn, you get more than just a piece of furniture. You become part of a proud tradition of distinctive and beautiful craftsmanship, where nothing has been left to chance. Where all furniture is manufactured with a great love for design and the history of the crafting process. We are the world’s largest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner, and we also manufacture furniture created by renowned furniture designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen, Ole Wanscher, Kaare Klint, Poul Kjærholm, Bodil Kjær, and Tadao Ando. Carl Hansen & Søn represents more than 100 years of Danish design history, and our furniture is sold worldwide.