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Børge Mogensen

Børge Mogensen (1914-1972) was one of the most influential designers in shaping Danish Modern design and Fredericia’s founding designer from 1955 until his untimely death in 1972. He found inspiration all over the world in his quest to create everyday objects that would endure for generations. Mogensen's most recognised pieces were developed during his collaboration and friendship with Andreas Graversen, Fredericia’s CEO from 1955 - 1995.

Børge Mogensen was a pioneer who helped establish Denmark as a culture of furniture design. His life-long ambition was to create durable, useful furniture that would enrich people’s everyday lives. Functional furniture for all parts of the home and society.

Børge Mogensen sitting in The Spanish Chair
Børge Mogensen sitting in The Spanish Chair

My goal is to create items that serve people and give them the leading role, instead of forcing them to adapt to the items.

Børge Mogensen

Taught by Kaare Klint as a cabinet-maker and furniture designer

A trained cabinet-maker and furniture designer, Mogensen attended the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts before enrolling at the school of furniture design at Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he was taught by Kaare Klint. After graduating in 1941, Mogensen continued to defend the ideals of evolutionary design that were essential to Klint’s own principles, while also expanding on design traditions. Contrary to Klint, Mogensen explored classic cabinet-maker typologies and techniques, finding fresh solutions that facilitated mass production. He also pursued projects that contributed to the surge in informal housing during the 1960s.

In 1948, Mogensen participated in MoMA’s “International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design”. Back home in Denmark, inspired by the exhibition, he experimented with plywood shells and merged aspects of the global modernist movement with his own design identity. He also found inspiration in ethnic arts & crafts, lithography and Japanese wooden carvings.

Shortly after opening his own design firm in 1950, Mogensen began collaborating with young interior architect and entrepreneur, Andreas Graversen, who would later become the owner of Fredericia Furniture.

Hans J. Wegner and Børge Mogensen at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen in 1938.⁠
Hans J. Wegner and Børge Mogensen at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen in 1938.⁠

Mogensen's house was home to some of his most iconic designs

Many of his well-known pieces were constructed to fit perfectly into that particular house. The renowned 2213 sofa, designed in 1962, was the pride of his living room. Placed next to the sofa were two of his Spanish chairs, designed in 1959.

Mogensen lived in the house for 15 years together with Alice. They affectionately referred to it as the “laboratory,” as it became a place where Mogensen experimented with furniture and Alice designed fashion.

To test his designs before they were approved for production, Mogensen also created prototypes in the “laboratory,” which could be found in nearly every room in the house. The whole family would help “test” them when a new chair or sofa arrived. The children would jump on the couches and play around on the chairs, and the entire family would sit on the dining chairs for their meals. If the designs were strong enough to endure everyday life with his kids, Mogensen would consider them “approved.”

Dining Chairs

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