Verner Panton – Considered one of Denmark’s most influential furniture and interior designers of the 20th century, Verner Panton (1926-1998) was a fearless pioneer in designing with a variety of materials, including plastics in bold colors. Though his style most often invokes the 1960s, his designs continue to be popular today. Panton’s classic furniture models were, as of 2004, still in at the house of Vitra and others.
He studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Art, and graduated in 1951, becoming a uniquely gifted and talented artist. His work would reflect his skill in his designs in seating, lighting, wall elements, the environment and fabric through the late 1970s. His early career was began working at the firm of another Danish architect and designer, Arne Jacobsen. Panton, not known to work well with others, opened his own design and architectural office. This era of his work included a collapsible house (1955) and the Cardboard House and the Plastic House (1960.)
His seating designs towards the end of the 1950s became more unconventional – chairs were made with no legs and without a visible back. In 1960, Panton introduced the Stacking chair or S chair – the very first single-form injection-molded plastic chair. It has become his most famous and mass-produced piece. The chair realized one of Panton’s fundamental objectives: a plastic chair as an affordable industrial product. A cantilever base offers seating comfort and its shape conforms to the body. The piece is can be used indoors or outdoors.
Among some of his other highly acclaimed achievements: he was the first to create inflatable furniture; the interior design of a German boat, now a famous museum; the cone chair (1958); a European hotel that designed with cylindrical furniture and circular patterns and his design work conducted for Der Spiegel, a German publication.