Boerge Mogensen – Danish Furniture Designer

Posted on 31st August 2011 in Danish Furniture

Boerge Mogensen – Living in the same time period as other Danish modern designers such as Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen, he was known best for promoting Danish design. Like many during this time, he attended the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen graduating in 1938 continuing on to study architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of fine Arts School of Architecture. In 1943, he worked in several local Copenhagen design studios most notably as the manager of FDB’s furniture design studio. During the 1940’s, he was also the Head of Furniture Design for the Danish Cooperative Wholesale Society.

In 1950, after teaching at the Royal Danish Academy, he left the studio of FDB and opened his own modern Danish furniture design studio. His style was strongly rooted in traditional craftsmanship executed with an understanding and execution of classical lines but with a modern interpretation. His designs allowed the general public that did not yet embrace modern furniture design to appreciate and begin to understand this new style.

This was seen in the 1949 “Shell” chair that responded to the human form allowing for a curved backrest with an uplifted rounded seat of teak and beech. In 1945, he designed the beech “Spokeback Sofa” with side arms that were able to be dropped down or tied back into place. This was taken up again in 1951 where he had on display at the Cabinetmaker’s a Guild Exhibition a grouping of Danish oak with leather upholstery.

In 1953, he designed a family room that incorporated a workbench and a sewing table labeling it “This is Where We Live”. Perhaps he was envisioning today’s modern version of the inclusion of a home office into our living areas.
This exploration into the design of a whole room in relation to furniture caused him to design cabinets that instead of being free standing pieces of furniture were built into the walls. True to his nature of being thorough, he studied and noted the dimensions of objects typically used along with the number that an average person might possess. He collaborated with Grethe Meyer in 1954 to produce Construction Cupboards of the House. Embracing the stricter aspect of functionalism in modern design, he developed rules for the design of these storage systems eventually leading to the publishing of a manual on building storage systems.

In 1959, he redesigned the “Spanish” chair. Made of oak and leather it was as the rest of his furniture, simple and modern, furniture suitable for everyday living. He also worked extensively with Lis Ahlmann designing textiles.

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