Spotlight on Danish Mid-Century designer Hans Olsen 1919 – 1992

Spotlight on Danish Mid-Century designer Hans Olsen 1919 – 1992

Hans Olsen started as an apprentice carpenter ( snedkersvend in Danish ) which we guess means an apprentice cabinet maker . He then progressed and in 1941 went to the Royal Danish Academy Furniture School where he studied under Kaare Klint . Kaare Klint was not only a highly accomplished designer but as a professor he was the most influential teacher of his generation with many of the great names of Danish design as his pupils . In 1943 Hans graduated from the Academy .

Due to the 2nd World War the 1940s in Denmark were a good time for learning , developing and coming up with new ideas , so like many Danish designers it was the early 1950s when his designs would start to be seen first . From about 1950-1953 he seems to have worked for a small Danish company as a designer , before opening his own office in 1953 . His most productive and successful years were from around 1955 to 1965 , but he was still coming up with good designs in the mid 1970s .

Hans Olsen’s best known design was the Roundette dining table and chairs produced by Frem Rojle in various forms . This was not only highly successful in the 1960s and 1970s , it is still very popular today . No other dining set design can beat the sleek clean look of the various Roundette sets so it still looks modern and fresh well over 50 years after it was designed .

We’ve just sourced another of his classic designs , the Balloon chair , which like a number of his chair designs has been re-introduced under licence from his family by a company called Nordic Warm . As with many such pieces the new ones are more expensive than the original vintage ones , and they look new which takes away a lot of charm . There is also something about teak from the 1950s and early 1960s that isn’t present in new teak which has been grown and farmed on plantations .

The Hans Olsen chair which I’ve always wanted to have is called The Fried Egg chair ! Not that popular back in the day , vintage ones are very sought after today . If you want to see more of his designs have a look at The Furnitureindex on the Danish Design Museum site , and search for him , or of course¬† just make a google image search perhaps .

Spotlight on Danish Mid-Century designer Hans Olsen 1919 – 1992

Spotlight on Danish Mid-Century designer Hans Olsen 1919 – 1992