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Ib Kofod-Larsen

1921 - 2003, 丹麦

Ib Kofod-Larsen 是丹麦知名建筑师、设计师,影响遍及世界各地,尤其在美国获得了巨大成功。相较同时代的 Hans J. Wegner、Arne Jacobsen、Finn Juhl 等巨匠,他的为人和作品都极其低调,但如今,他被称为丹麦设计界最被低估、且最伟大的设计师之一。

1921年,Kofod-Larsen 出生于丹麦,年轻时以细木工学徒第一名的成绩毕业,随后前往丹麦皇家美术学院学习建筑学,他涉猎广泛,但最感兴趣的仍是设计实用而优雅的家具。他对材料有着非凡的理解,喜欢使用柚木、黑檀木,将之与皮革和金属钢材相结合,创造出比例匀称、充满细节的家具。

Kofod-Larsen 的设计少了些学院派的教条,而多了些诗意和雕塑感,他的作品有着柔和的线条和有机的形态,充满了艺术氛围。1953年,他设计出了职业生涯的重要作品 Penguin Chair 企鹅椅,宽敞的座椅和靠背,以及拥抱式的一体化扶手,让它在美国首次亮相便广受好评。1956年,Kofod-Larsen 又先后设计了极具代表性的Seal Chair 和 U-56 Chair,后者又被称为伊丽莎白椅,因为据说在1958年英国女王伊丽莎白二世访问丹麦时,她带走了两把。

Kofod-Larsen 是丹麦现代设计的一个缩影。他的家具参考了中世纪时期的风格,但具有极为现代的外观,和精致考究的细节。他与 Faarup Møbelfabrik、Christensen & Larsen、Bovenkamp 等制造商合作,将他雕塑般的家具美学带到了全世界。

如今,Kofod-Larsen 的部分家具由丹麦品牌 Audo 继续生产,但上个世纪的原作依然在中古收藏市场中备受瞩目。

Furniture maker and architect Ib Kofod-Larsen was one of the greatest design minds to emerge from mid-century Denmark, and his impact was felt across the world, especially in the United States. Kofod-Larsen, who is known for his exemplary seating, tables and storage solutions, understood that the attention to detail, quality materials and functional design ethos of the Scandinavian modernism style he followed would become part of a major international movement.

Due to his foresight and innovation, Kofod-Larsen was one of the best-selling Danish designers in the U.S. in the 1950s, when mid-century modernism was at its most popular.

Originally trained as a cabinetmaker, Kofod-Larsen later studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and was most interested in designing practical yet graceful furniture, although he also dabbled in things like wallpaper and textiles. He favored natural grains and woods like teak and rosewood combined with leather, steel and fabric upholsteries to create inviting pieces. Working with manufacturers such as Faarup Møbelfabrik, Christensen & Larsen and Bovenkamp, he brought his sculptural aesthetic to the world.

Some of his seating designs have earned legendary status: The U-56 chair (1956) was renamed the Elizabeth because England’s Queen Elizabeth II is said to have picked up a pair during a 1958 trip to Denmark. With OPE Möbler, he created the Seal chair (1956) with a wooden frame shaped around leather upholstery. The sculptural Penguin chair (1953), produced by Selig and named for its curved back, became Denmark’s most frequently exported piece of furniture to the U.S. at the time. Its bentwood shell echoes the work of Kofod-Larsen’s modernist contemporaries Eero Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames, while its options as a dining, lounging and rocking chair offer versatility for the home.

As mid-century modern furniture experiences a fresh wave of popularity in the U.S. — although, one could argue that it never really went away — Kofod-Larsen’s timeless pieces are among the most coveted vintage finds. Several of his designs continue to be produced, such as the Penguin chair, which has been manufactured by Brdr. Petersen since 2012.

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