Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kaare Klint

Kaare Klint (1888-1954) was an early Danish modernist furniture designer who was inspired by Shaker furniture and who was concerned primarily with the ergonomics and function of furniture. He was the first director of the Copenhagen Art Academy's furniture-making school, building upon his interest in design theory through the activities he chose for his students several of whom also became important furniture designers.

He had his students dissect furniture from the inside out, focusing on use rather than aesthetics. As a craftsman, he also focused on purity of construction and materials which was part of who he was as a design theorist.

"New forms for furniture types should not, according to Kaare Klint, represent a radical break with tradition but should rather be viewed as an evolutionary development of existing forms that had proved their worth. Kaare Klint's teachings formed the basis for the renewal of Danish design after 1945."

During the same period when Bauhaus was denying its historical heritage in order to discover an ideal, Klint embraced history to do the same, focusing on evolving from past furniture designs. He took a long to time to research and prepare the pieces he was creating.

I looked into this furniture designer while exploring George Nakashima and similar modernist designers. I was drawn into Klint's focus on ergonomics and the care he took to make an absolutely functional piece of furniture. I thought it was interesting that he started as a painter because the functional purpose of his work, the core of his work, was also balanced by an aesthetic development.

He looked to earlier pieces of furniture and improved on them functionally while distilling their aesthetics to only modern necessities: no decorations, clean lines, and great materials.

Deck Chair (1933) (source:

Safari chair (1933) (Source:

1 comment:

Norman Carl said...

Here are the FURNITURE known for their simplistics lifestyles... ‘.
Shaker furniture .