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Danish Functionalism (1920-1940)

Functional considerations and an absence of decoration characterises the style of functionalism.  At the heart of functionalism is the idea that designers should be guided by the purpose of the item being designed. Excessive ornamentation is to be avoided. With the rise of functionalism, a new mode of expression became evident in products and buildings.

The Utopia here concerned an intention to have machine-age technology and science permeate every aspect of life, creating a basis for social change and improvement.

The objective of the international school of functionalism, given form by Bauhaus, the French modernists an architect Le Corbusier, amongst others, was to embody the industrial age through architecture and product design.

In Denmark, functionalism did not have the same revolutionary contents.  Danish furniture designers combined the new trends with domestic traditions and experiences.  The heritage of Kaare Klint is an excellent example of the softer danish brand of functionalism, a "popularized" version as it were.

One of the main driving force behind the spread of Danish functionalism was the FDB, a Danish cooperative supermarket chain which collaborated with modern architects and furniture designers in order to produce a range of inexpensive quality furniture, the so called 'People's Furniture'.

In 1944 production commenced on a wide range of simple and robust furniture items; Børge Mogensen was in charge of overseeing production. These furniture items were all reinterpretations of familiar types; British Windsor chairs, American Shaker furniture and Swedish spindleback chairs.

This FDB furniture was sold in Danish stores and was exported on a mass scale, particularly to the USA.  On the U.S. market Danish furniture fit in very well with the onset of Organic Modernism.

In the world of architecture, Danish Functionalism is sometimes considered to have focused on functionality to the expense of aesthetic.

LastUpdate: 2015-04-18 17:44:29