Verner Panton was born on February 13th, 1926, and is easily one of the few of Denmark’s instrumental furniture, interior designer and architect from the 20th to 21st centuries. He created absolutely innovative furniture as his use of interesting materials, pioneering the use of moulded plastics, mixed in with very futuristic designs, gave him the attention he deserved from the design community.
He attended a technical school in Odense and trained as an architectural engineer, afterwards he also attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He actually spent some time working in Arne Jacobsen’s office between 1950-52, where it was said that he was simply the least proficient worker there as he was too busy with his own designs. Panton eventually left Jacobsen’s office and had made contacts with various manufacturers throughout Europe, and got there in Volkswagen bus enhanced as a drafting studio. He later started his own design office in 1955, and in that year he created canvas, tubular steel, and woven plastic “Tivoli” and “Bachelor” chairs. He exhibited his works at the Applied Art display and both artists and attendees were shocked and awed, as he showed hanging furniture, «Cone» and the “Heart, suspended and hanging of the ceiling.
“The Stacking Chair” or the “S chair” was Panton’s premiere design as it was moulded from one piece of plastic, and became a famous chair, as it gained Panton worldwide recognition with it modernistic form. From the late 1960s to the 70s, Panton created his series of upholstered environments including, the «Flying» chair (1963), the “Upholstered Seating System” (1963), the “Pantower” (1968), and the “Sitting Wheel”(1974). The series were inspired by Panton’s own philosophy that “furniture should interact within itself”. Panton also created a number of “fun” lighting pieces that featured a series of shell lamps, a wide variety of unique chandeliers, his hanging “Globe” lamp, and his futuristic UFO patterned hanging lights. His point was to make lighting interesting and clever, but still maintaining the playfulness as the spun, blinked, spiraled, created unusual sounds, swayed, and most importantly the use of a lot of colours.
Vernon Panton has earned his rightful place among the echelon of the great, and has developed quite a designer and fan following. His thinking was pure and radical at best, and he silenced every critic or naysayers about his designs and his abilities. His knowledge was what gave the Pop or Postmodern Design its stage to exhibit itself. But sadly, he died on September 5th, 1998, but his works will live on in the thousands upon thousands that he inspired to keep their childish enthusiasm for creating and imagining the unimaginable.