Børge Mogensen (1914-1972)was known as ‘the people’s designer’ – partly due to his engaging personality, but also because he always designed quality furniture that was within people’s reach.
Børge Mogensen’s creative process produced long-lasting pieces with humans at the center. He became a highly influential post-war designer and a leading representative of Danish Modern design.
Mogensen’s democratic design included simple and functional wooden furniture for both private and public spaces, with calm aesthetics and strong construction from quality materials. He believed in visual clarity and minimal decoration or experimentation, as seen in his classic Hunting Table and Deck Chair Set.
As a student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Mogensen was inspired by Kaare Klint’s use of human proportions with visual calm and functionalism. Mogensen, however, also placed emphasis on informal interior décor and the use of modern production facilities.
Mogensen completed his cabinetmaker training in 1934, followed by studies in furniture design. During this period he worked in the studios of Kaare Klint and Mogens Koch until he was hired as chief designer for the Danish furniture cooperative FDB in 1942, where he pioneered democratic design.
He began his own design studio in 1950, making modern, useful furniture produced from local, Nordic materials. His inspiration, however came from many cultures and styles, including international modernism, ethnic arts, Japanese carvings, and historic works.
Mogensen also taught furniture design and participated in exhibitions and competitions, such as the 1948 international competition for Low-Cost Furniture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which he entered together with his friend Hans J. Wegner.
Mogensen was awarded the Eckersberg Medal in 1950 and won the Danish Furniture Prize in 1971. In 1972 he was awarded the C.F. Hansen Medal and appointed Honorary Royal Designer for Industry at the Royal Society of Arts in London.