MCM Designer Directory

Arne Jacobsen

(Denmark, 1902-1971)

Jacobsen was a Danish architect and designer who is best remembered for his distinctive chair designs. His work was produced by the likes of Fritz Hansen, Stelton and Louis Poulsen. Many of his most famous shapes were produced for the buildings he devised; invariably, they are lightweight, stackable and compact. 

Arne Norell

(Sweden, 1917-1971)

Norell was a Swedish furniture design and the founder of manufacturing house Norell Möbel AB. By maintaining control over design and production, Norell was able to create stunning, iconic designs that few could rival. He worked extensively with leather upholstery—and often to dramatic effect.

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Arne Vodder

(Denmark 1926-2009)

Trained by Finn Juhl, Vodder was an architect and a designer whose work was produced by some of the biggest manufacturers including Fritz Hansen and France & Son. The quality of his designs was such that they were purchased by President Jimmy Carter, Colonel Gaddafi and Pope Paul VI. Read more

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Børge Mogensen

(Denmark, 1914-1972) 

Mogensen, a trained architect and cabinet maker, created some of the most iconic mid century furniture. Known as the ‘people’s designer’ his goal was to make attainable, high-quality and long-lasting items. Simply put, he is one of the most important Danish Modern designersRead more

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Bruno Mathsson

(Sweden, 1907-1988)

Prof. Mathsson is arguably Sweden’s best-known furniture designer. A trained architect and cabinet maker, Mathsson’s work strikes a balance between playful form and clinical function that makes it instantly recognisable and highly collectible. Some shapes are still produced by Bruno Mathsson International and Dux.

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Carl Malmsten

(Sweden, 1917-1972)

As a teacher, architect and furniture designer, Malmsten was an early advocate of ecological and social sustainability. His designs were heavily influenced by craft and tradition and he believed that they should inspire rest and relaxation. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he believed designers should avoid focusing solely on function.

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Claesson, Koivisto and Rune 

(Sweden 1995-present)

Claesson, Koivisto and Rune is an architecture and design studio based in Stockholm. Its furniture designs have been produced by makers from around the globe and the trios work has been described by the Design Curator at MoMA as “the epitome of the aesthetics of the new millennium”.

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Esko Pajamies 

(Finland, 1931-1990)

Interiors and furniture designer Pajamies is best known for his work with Finnish manufacturer Asko. His designs are characterised by high levels of cushioning and a playful element that makes his shapes instantly recognisable. He received the Finnish State Award for Art in 1979. 

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Finn Juhl

(Denmark, 1912-1989)

Architect and designer Finn Juhl was a modernist pioneer. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he created organic, flowing shapes that sit in contrast to the stark lines found in much of the best Danish Modern design. His work is instantly recognisable and, as a result of how complex it was to produce, highly collectible.

Folke Ohlsson

(Sweden, 1919-2002)

Ohlsson is best known for his contribution to the rise of Scandinavian Modern in the USA. As well as establishing Dux in America, he also created the concept of knock-down (flatpack) furniture and in so doing inspired countless designers and producers including Ikea. He was awarded Sweden’s Royal Order of Vasa in 1964. 

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Grete Jalk 

(Denmark 1920-2006)

As a writer, editor and designer, Jalk was key to the success of Danish furniture. Her designs were produced by some of the biggest manufacturers including Fritz Hansen and Glostrup; the iconic GJ chair was purchased, on release, by MoMA and is now one of the most sought-after pieces of MCM furniture.

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H. W. Klein

(Norway, 1919-unknown)

Henry Walter Klein is often considered alongside the best Danish designers even though he heralded from Norway. This is due, in part, to his longstanding and successful partnership with manufacturer Bramin, the quality of materials they used and the fact that so many of his shapes are raised from the floor on slender legs in true Danish Modern style.

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Hans Wegner

(Denmark, 1914-2007)

Hans Wegner is perhaps the biggest name in furniture design. Prolific, brilliant and progressive, Wegner was the driving force behind the success of Danish Modern. His work is still produced today by the likes of Getama and his most famous designs command a high price in the seconds market. Read more

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Ib Kofod-Larsen 

(Denmark, 1921-2003)

Kofod-Larsen is best-known for working with, and getting the best from, the highest quality materials such as rosewood and teak. His designs are valuable and desirable; customers include Queen Elizabeth II. His work was produced by several major manufacturers such as OPE and Fredericia.

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Illum Wikkelsø

(Denmark, 1919-1999)

Architect, cabinet maker, interiors expert and furniture designer Wikkelsø created pieces that cradled the body and embraced the natural qualities of the materials he used. He was also a proponent of making furniture that lasts and his designs were produced by the likes of Silkeborg and Farstrup.

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Johannes Andersen

(Denmark, 1903-1991)

Andersen’s designs (and the furniture that he produced himself) were heavily influenced by his training as a cabinet maker. His understanding of the unique, organic qualities of wood characterises his work and identifies it as quintessential Danish Modern furniture. 

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Kai Kristiansen 

(Denmark, 1929-present)

Unlike the work of some of the biggest names in mid century furniture, Kristiansen’s designs were often so intricate that they could not be mass produced. This means the furniture you can acquire is often handmade to a high standard, that it is rare and, as a result, highly collectible. Read more

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Luciano Ercolani

(Italy, 1888-1976)

Ercolani is most famous for starting Ercol, one of the biggest names in post-war British furniture. Trained in London, he enjoyed success at G-Plan before setting up on his own. He is responsible for many of the most iconic Ercol designs such as the Goldsmith and Windsor chairs.

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Niels O. Møller 

(Denmark 1920-1982)

Unlike most Danish designers, Møller was responsible for every aspect of creation and production. By starting his own manufacturing company, JL Møllers, he was able to ensure the highest standards were achieved. The company remains active today and they still operate using the same techniques.

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Ole Wanscher

(Denmark 1903-1985)

Through his work as both a designer and a teacher, Prof. Ole Wanscher shaped Scandinavian furniture. While he was a proponent of mass-produced, affordable furniture, the pieces he produced with the master cabinet makers of the time were made using the finest materials and are sure to last for generations.

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Richard Hornby

(England, unknown)

British furniture designer Richard Hornby is best known for his longtime and successful collaboration with furniture makers Fyne Ladye of Bath. He worked predominantly with African teak (afromosia) and his pieces were sold in the likes of Heals and Harrods.

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Rud Thygesen and Johnny Sørensen

(Denmark, RT: 1932-present; JS: 1944-present)

From 1966 until their split in 1995, Thygesen and Sørensen produced a number of successful designs, mainly in laminated wood, that helped prolong the prestige and appeal of Danish design. Best known for their ‘King’s Furniture’ range, their work literally received the royal seal of approval from King Frederik IX.

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Yngve Ekström

(Sweden, 1913-1988)

Ekström was born close to Sweden’s oldest furniture factory and he began working there aged just 13. He is widely considered to be one of his nation’s favourite designers and his work features in many of the world’s most prominent design museums, including the V&A London.

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