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.
Originally trained as a mason, Arne Jacobsen graduated from a technical school in Copenhagen in 1924 and then started studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Here, he took courses from leading designers such as Kaare Klint and Kay Fisker which deeply affected Jacobsen’s works.
After graduating from architecture in 1927, Jacobsen soon showed that he was a talented architect. In 1929, he and his friend Flemming Lassen won the contest to design the House of the Future building in Copenhagen and this project brought Jacobsen his reputation. In later years, he also proved his adequacy in the fields of interior design and furniture.
An incredibly prolific architect and designer also spared some time to teach. Between 1956 and 1965, he taught at the Royal Academy of fine Arts and received an Honorary PhD from Oxford University and Strathclyde University. The prominent architect also received RIBA Bronze Medal in 1963, and the Medaille d’Or from Académie d’Architecture in France in 1971.