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The designs of Poul Kjærholm are hardly in need of further introduction. They transcend the trends and vicissitudes of fashion by speaking a minimalistic design language. Clear, honest lines. Noble materials. Quality where-ever you look. This is Danish Modern at its very best.

Take this PK 91 Folding Stool for example. It very clearly bears Kjærholm’s signature. The preference for steel and leather as materials to work with is an example of this. The deliberate renouncing of all ornamentation is another. Here speaks a confident design, not unlike Arne Jacobsen’s, which is positively looking for the future in the present.

Underneath however one should not underestimate Kjærholm’s tribute to the tradition. Although he prefered steel over wood, which was unlike the mainstream Danish tradition at the time, Kjærholm knew his classics. In fact, it is not exaggerated to say that Kjærholm’s PK 91 is a translation in steel of the wooden Folding Stool of his teacher Kaare Klint.

This does not in the least distract from Kjærholm’s genius. On the contrary, it underlines that true genius consists out of variations on a theme. The story of Danish Modern furniture can be seen as a set of such variations. Kjærholm’s variation in steel is one of the most beautiful!

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Photograph for Adam Edelsberg by Scott Kingsley.
Photograph for Adam Edelsberg by Scott Kingsley.

© Text: Qualitative Design

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