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Verner Panton (1926-1998)Even if Verner Panton's creative output was reduced to the eponymous Panton Chair, his name would still be assured in the pantheon of modern design. With the Panton Chair, the first example of single-formed injection moulded plastic seating, Panton succeeded in creating one of the most daring and famous chair designs of the twentieth century.
Born on the island of Funen in Denmark, Panton came to design, like many of his colleagues, via the study of architecture at the Academy of Art in Copenhagen. After graduating, Panton landed an apprenticeship at the office of Arne Jacobsen, assigned to assist the master on the iconic "Ant" Chair. Although deeply influenced by the organic forms of Jacobsen and others typical of 1958. Panton first established himself at the forefront of avant-garde design with furniture based on extravagant, geometric forms and use of strong colors, such as the Cone Chair of 1958. Along with the Panton Chair, which was designed in the early 1960's, but was not put into production until 1967 due to its technical challenges, these designs cemented Verner Panton's reputation as a designer of an original and uncompromising approach.
Working with renowned manufacturers such as Fritz Hansen, Louis Poulsen, and Vitra, Panton fearlessly pushed technology to its limits and produced design icons such as the "Flowerpot" Lamp and the "Pantower". It was not the design of singular objects, however, that interested Panton. Rather, it was his comprehensive design philosophy, his development of complementary groups of furnishings and the designer of entire spaces, that set Panton apart. Drawing on his architectural background, Panton designed ground-breaking domestic living spaces ¨C fusing disparate elements such as floor, wall, furniture, lighting, and textile ¨C into wholly original and indivisible interiors. The effects of these spaces, with Panton's characteristic preferences for geomatric shapes and intense colors, melded seamlessly with the emerging psychadelic sensibilities. It was the emotional properties of these interiors that Panton was after, along with an inherent preoccupation with technical and aesthetic solutions, that typified the unique qualities of his designs and his kaleidoscope vision.
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