Verner Panton

Verner Panton

The architect and designer Verner Panton was born in 1926 near the Danish town of Assen. After completing his military service, he went to the Technical Faculty in Odense. He studied architecture at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen from 1947 to 1951. During his studies he explored the psychology of colours and worked in Arne Jacobsen's studio as his assistant. After three years of travels in Europe, Panton opened his own architecture and design studio in 1955. In 1963, he moved to Basel, where he worked for the furniture manufacturer Vitra. From 1984 on, Verner Panton was a teacher at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach. He died in Copenhagen in 1998.

Verner Panton's Chair S, created in 1956 for Thonet out of laminated wood, already showcased the formal language of his later, famous plastic chairs. With the Panton Chair produced by Vitra in the 1960s, Verner Panton created a chair entirely made of synthetic material, now considered a milestone in design history. Geometrical shapes were typical for Panton's early style, his later designs gained fluid, dynamic shapes. A characteristic of his designs is the use of primary colours, as seen in his Cone Chair and Cone Stool from 1958. With the curvaceous sculptural armchair Amoebe, Panton created a milestone of 1970's design.

Verpan designed light fixtures for VerPan, &tradition and Louis Poulsen, which reflected the tastes of their times, but are still popular today. He developed VP Globe, a coveted designer classic, in 1969. His Living Tower of 1969 is a vertical sculpture serving as both seating and living space. The Visiona works are thoughtfully designed futuristic rooms with integrated light and sound design. The interior decoration he made for the Spiegel publishing house in Hamburg has been partly preserved.

Photo: Ditte Dalsgaard