VERNER PANTON (1926 – 1998)
Verner Panton was born in Gramtofte in Denmark on February 13, 1926. With Verner Panton a new era in furniture design began. The time of the classic, plain and simple Bauhaus was over – Panton was one of the first furniture designers to introduce the bright and colourful Pop-Art Design. Therefore he is still seen as one of the most influential interior designers or designers in general.
From 1947 to 1951 Verner Panton, as part of the first class of students after the Second World War, studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen and at the Institute of Technology in Odense. During his studies he already started to work as an assistant of “Arne Jacobsen”. At that time Jacobsen was known as the star of Scandinavian architecture. But Verner Panton soon lost interest in the design of the “Old Masters“ – he thought that their designs as well as their whole lives were boring. So Verner Panton took his Volkswagen Bus and traveled across Europe from 1952 until 1955.
After his return to “civil life“, Verner Panton opened his own design studio in 1955. There he began with the mass production of his designs. In 1958 Panton presented his “Wire Cone Chair” which quickly attracted worldwide attention.
For Panton the then relatively new technique of molding plywood under steam was soon not enough anymore. Panton wanted artificial materials and therefore experimented with the deformation of plastic for several years. In 1959, as a result of these experiments, he produced the “Panton Chair“ which is still considered to be the prototype of the psychedelic hippie design of the 1970s: more a spatial sculpture than an article of everyday use and in very bright rainbow colors.
Verner Panton was fascinated by plastics and the freedom of form and color related to this material. This fascination also led him to the creation of the first inflatable furniture. Verner Panton design means: furniture must still be beautiful upside-down. Panton never accepted the tripartition of a room in wall, ceiling and floor.
Verner Panton was one of the great revolutionaries of design in the 20th century. He died in Copenhagen on September 5, 1998.