The Danes were greatly influenced by Germany’s Bauhaus movement in the early part of the twentieth century. However, they took a different tack, due mainly to an ingenious architect and designer, Kaare Klint. Danish design has a down to earth approach. Klint and his fellow architects chose usefulness where the Bauhaus sought aesthetic beauty.
Klint set-up his own office in Copenhagen in 1920. In 1924, he founded the department of furniture: in 1944 he became the professor of architecture, Det Kongelige Dansk Kunstakademi (Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts).
Proportionality of Furniture
In the early part of his career Klint made a number of studies that dealt with the proportionality of man and furniture. While others were occupied with the mystical interpretations of numbers to ensure fine proportions, Klint worked toward and on the premise that each object in a room should have a purpose and fill its place and everything should be determined with reference to man.
Whereeas the Bauhaus students were forbidden to look at historical examples, Klints students were ordered to study the existing furniture; collecting examples of former solutions and analysing the results from the utilarian and technical points of view. Thus evolved the Danish approach “form follows function.”