Verner Panton (1926-1998) is considered one of Denmark's most influential 20th century furniture and interior designers. He was a unique, inspirational and charismatic personality with a special sense for colours, shapes, lighting and space. He created innovative, funky and futuristic designs in a variety of materials using vibrant and exotic colours. His style is unmistakeably '60s infused yet sufficiently timeless to have remained significant and popular to this day.
Panton studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and started his career at the practice of Danish architecture heavyweight Arne Jacobsen. He was inspired by his mentor’s obsession with new materials and technologies but turned out to be an "enfant terrible" and soon started his own design and architecture office. He quickly made a name for himself with his innovative architectural proposals, including a collapsible house, the Cardboard House and the Plastic House.
By the end of the 1950s, his unconventional chair designs, with no legs or discernible back, started to attract a lot of attention. Panton was in a way creating Pop Art people could sit on. His Cone Chair from 1958 had a massive impact and the world suddenly had a "star designer", totally in sync with his era.
Now officially a visionary, Panton was free to turn his wildest dreams into reality. He developed inflatable furniture and created the "Flying Chair" system, essentially hanging loungers from the ceiling, completely re-imagining how people would sit together in a living area. He also created a series of "total environments", radical and psychedelic interiors that were an ensemble of his curved furniture, wall upholstering, textiles and lighting thereby combining spectacular shapes, colours and patterns.
In 1968, after years of research and development, he introduced the first version of his über-iconic cantilevered Panton Chair, the very first single-form injection-moulded plastic chair. The sleek, sexy S-shaped seat became the first "It chair", featured in magazines, on TV and in movies around the world.
Beyond his iconic chairs Panton created instantly recognizable geometrically patterned textiles and lighting fixtures but also designed watches, clothes, home accessories and even a self-assembly weekend home.
"The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their imagination. Most people spend their lives living in dreary, grey-beige conformity, mortally afraid of using colours. By experimenting with lighting, colours, textiles and furniture and utilizing the latest technologies, I try to show new ways, to encourage people to use their fantasy and imagination and make their surroundings more exciting." – Verner PantonRead more