December 6, 2022

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Poul Kjærholm: Exploring the Inventive Benefit of Metal

The PK 11 chair. Pictures Courtesy of Kjærholm Manufacturing.

Although he first educated as a cabinetmaker, Poul Kjærholm is probably finest identified for his work with metal. As a scholar on the Danish College of Arts and Crafts (right this moment the Royal Danish Academy of Positive Arts, College of Design), the designer created a chair with a body product of chromium-plated sheet metal and a seat and again created from flag cable as his diploma piece. This venture gained consideration Danish design neighborhood and set the tone for Kjærholm’s profession.

“Metal’s constructive potential shouldn’t be the one factor that pursuits me; the refraction of sunshine on its floor is a vital a part of my creative work,” the designer as soon as stated. “I contemplate metal a fabric with the identical creative benefit as wooden and leather-based.”

Poul Kjærholm at work
Designer Poul Kjærholm. Pictures Courtesy of Kjærholm Manufacturing.

Kjærholm’s work combined metal with pure supplies like wooden, leather-based and woven cane. He additionally continued to work in wooden, as lots of his contemporaries did, and, after incomes a educating place on the establishment, designed furnishings for the Royal Danish Academy of Positive Arts’ furnishings faculty. This assortment included a design desk with a pine worktop and metal base.

“The necessary factor is to precise the persona of the fabric—not mine,” he as soon as stated.

The PK55 table, Source
The PK55 desk. Pictures Courtesy of Kjærholm Manufacturing.

Working with firms together with Fritz Hansen, Kjærholm designed furnishings with rooms in thoughts, making an allowance for not solely how his items would slot in a room and the way individuals would use these items. Items in his famous PK Collection have names like PK22 and PK 0, with letters of the designer’s initials and the quantity indicating the kind of furnishing, as an illustration numbers 10 via 19 are small chairs with armrests, in line with Design Inside Attain. His tutorial profession additionally continued with Kjærholm finally incomes a professorship on the academy and serving as its director.

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Kjærholm died out of the blue in 1980 on the age of 51. Most of the items he designed proceed to be produced right this moment by corporations together with Kjærholm Manufacturing, which is run by his son Thomas.