Over the weekend I was roaming around different furniture design websites and I was lucky enough to stumble across this wonderful imagery of Poul Kjærholm’s furniture via Fritz Hansen. Although I’ve heard of Poul and have seen his works over the years I’ve not really looked into his history as a designer, so I thought I would use this post as a source of information and tell you some interesting things I found out about the man.
Poul was a Danish furniture designer who designed modern functionalist furniture, praised for its understated elegance and clean lines. He was originally trained as a cabinet maker but Kjærholm was quite rebellious in his work and went against his traditional background to incorporate steel frames rather than wood. Although he added industrial elements, such as metal, it’s nice to see how he kept a balance by using natural materials like cane, leather, canvas and rope, this meant each piece had a real clarity about it.
To this day Poul is known for designing some of the world’s most beautiful pieces of furniture. I like that he had courage to step away from his Nordic background and design outside of the box. He knew that everything was in the detail, you can tell he took a lot of inspiration from architects such as Gerrit Rietveld and Mies van der Rohe. Interestingly enough he was also heavily inspired by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian which sort of makes me think he took some elements from the “De Stijl” movement which promoted ultimate simplicity and abstraction, both in architecture and painting.
This photography that I’ve picked out showcases some of the many pieces that he designed for Fritz Hansen, I would recommend exploring the web as he also produced pieces for manufacturer Ejvind Kold Christensen. I think these pieces of furniture in their natural environment, such as a room or office space, show how timeless they are and how they hold their own. Genius if you ask me. I will leave a short quote below to let you ponder whilst you skim through the photographs.
”Poul Kjærholm is a man whose modern, functionalistic approaches keep all extravagant tendencies towards luxury at bay.” – Gerrit Rietveld