When is chair ‘not just a chair’? A chair becomes less of an inanimate piece of furniture and begins to feel like an essential ‘part of the family’ when it enters our homes and becomes an unspoken part of every day life. If our homes are our ‘castles’, then the furniture that we see, touch and smell everyday slowly becomes a collection of familiar and comforting defences against the pressures of the outside world. The Poul Henningsen designed PH Chair arrived in my home about a one year ago, a gift from the dearest of friends. Unsure where to position...
For when the living is easy. As a believer in Bauhaus design ideology, Poul Henningsen was absolutely clear that the functional performance of his furniture was paramount to the design. Poul Henningsen made no apology for this and in recognition of the importance of leisure as something distinct from ‘working’ and ‘eating’, thePH Lounge chairis all about complete relaxation.
It is never recommended to touch a real snake, but the PH designed Snake Chair is not your average beast…Poul Henningsen’s Snake Chair is a glorious representation of powerful design. While the Snake Chair won’t harm you, it’s sure to have an impact on your heart: keeping one’s hands away from it’s sensuous fluid lines realised in the smoothest of chromed steel, refined timber and the softest of leather can be difficult. Devoid of harsh angles, the Snake Chair sits in harmony with the widest variety of habitats.
It is often said that ‘life is what happens when you are busy making plans’: at PH Furniture, we know that the most important plans do not always get made at the office but rather at the kitchen table. Since tables are commonly at the heart of one of the most frequently used rooms in our homes, it is the piece of furniture that is by definition at the very centre of our lives.
Historically, humans have alway held the instinct to look at their reflection and adorn themselves as a means of self-expression. There is evidence that the desire to take care of one’s appearance can be traced back as far as the Ancient Egyptians, when those of high status would own elaborately jewelled or carved cosmetic boxes to carry items which they believed protected against illness, the effects of the sun, from the influences of evil spirits and of course, made them appear more ‘beautiful’. There is evidence that Egyptians of royal status would employ a servant to carry on their behalf primitive cosmetics to enhance and preserve their stately decoration wherever they went.
Poul Henningsen (PH), in keeping with Scandinavian design traditions and the Bauhaus influences of the 1930s he would adopt, believed in uncomplicated environments. PH realised that for a home to be truly functional, there must be space for storage. Initially inspired by a commission to create furniture for the apartment of a newly married couple in Copenhagen in 1919 and driven by a wider desire to improve the quality of daily life for everyone who owned his designs, PH devoted much thought to addressing the need for tidiness in his furniture creations.
Desks mean different things to different people. For some, they are symbolic: they mean a place to work without distraction. Desks can mean more than that, however, a place of safety, comfort and familiarity, a place to return to after experiences away in an uncertain world.
Designed in 1920 by Poul Henningsen (PH), the PH Grand Dressing Table is the larger relative of the PH Dressing Table, sharing all of the beautiful design features of its smaller counterpart – with the added advantage of extra storage space.
In Part Two of our discussion with Flemming Lindeløv, former CEO of Carlsberg and Royal Scandinavia and now Chairman of Toneart A/S, the holding company for the PH Furniture and PH Pianos brands, we talk more about music, furniture and what is motivating him to revive the iconic furniture designs of Poul Henningsen (PH) for the contemporary furniture market.
Formerly CEO of Carlsberg and Royal Scandinavia (the Danish industrial holding company for several brands across porcelain, glassware, accessories, cutlery and jewellery manufacturing including Georg Jensen, Royal Copenhagen and Holmegaard), Flemming Lindeløv is now Chairman of Toneart A/S, the holding company for the PH Furniture and PH Pianos brands exclusively licensed to produce the furniture designs of the late Poul Henningsen (PH).
Poul Henningsen (1894 / 1967) began to design furniture as early as the 1919 and from this very early stage it was clear that PH thought differently to the designers who had crafted the aesthetic world in to which he was born. A trained architect, PH’s inspirations were often closer to home than the drawing board or the workshop and driven by resolving practical problems of product and design rather than intellectual theories.