Carl Hansen, the founder of the brand Carl Hansen & Søn, founded his first furniture atelier in Odense, Denmark in 1908. In its early years, the atelier worked by commission to make big sets like dining room and bedroom. When its works were praised for their high quality, the company started to grow and to individually manufacture the popular pieces from the sets. Its blend of handcraft and mass production became the company’s idiosyncratic feature.
In the mid-1940s, Carl Hansen & Søn collaborated with Danish architect Frits henningsen. During this time, the notable architect designed the iconic “Windsor” chair which the brand continued to sell until 2003. In the late 1940s, designer Hans J. Wegner became one of the brand’s designers. Wegner’s designs soon gained popularity in and outside Denmark and contributed to the brand’s growth. Today, the brand Carl Hansen & Søn is the biggest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner.
Carl Hansen & Søn continues to find new designers and start new collaborations. The designer duo Strand & Hvass, Thomas Bo Kastholm and famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando are among the names the brand has collaborated with. The company hired its famous Danish joiner Rud Rasmussen in 2011 and another famous furniture manufacturer P.J. Furniture in 2012.
Having completed his carpentry study in 1934, Børge Mogensen was always interested in wood and built his entire career based on this organic material. He studied furniture design between 1936 and 1938 at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen, and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts between 1938 and 1942. During the same period, he was hired
at the design studios of Kaare Klint and Mogens Koch and worked there until he became the chief designer of FDB, a Danish furniture cooperative, in 1942.
Here, Mogensen became one of the pioneers of the concept of “democratic design” and presented a brand new agenda for modern interior design by opening his own studio in 1950. His aim was to develop modern and useful furniture pieces which could be locally reproduced with the materials from Scandinavian forests.
Mogensen won the Eckersberg Medal in 1950 and the Danish Furniture Prize in 1971. A short while before his death in 1972, he won the C.F. Hansen Medal and was chosen an Honorary Royal Designer by the Royal Society of Arts in London.