Wegner’s simple corded seat stool is an example of the Danish tradition of designing modern furniture using sticks and dowels.
It can be used as a footstool as well as a standalone seat. In 1939, FDB hired the 28 year old architect Børge Mogensen as their chief architect for their visionary furniture programme. The vision was to create high quality functional furniture with a reasonable price tag that could make the ideas of simple modernism popular among the people.
Mogensen decided that the furniture should all be based on established cabinet-maker’s principles found in traditional furniture types from around the world, while at the same time being adapted for ease of local production without compromising on quality.
Børge Mogensen then invited his friend Hans J. Wegner to participate in this venture, which came to lay the basic foundation for the development of the concept “Danish Modern” in the 1950’s. A few pieces from the programme became so accomplished that they have been in continuous production ever since their launch in the 1940’s. Fredericia’s special relationship with Børge Mogensen have ensured that these models will always be a part of Fredericia’s ‘The People’s Collection’.
Both Mogensen and Wegner’s furniture for “The People’s Collection” was based on an evolutionary design approach. Wegner’s rocker was inspired by traditional Windsor furniture, whereas Mogensen’s J39 was an evolution of methodology taken from Mediterranean region folk furniture. The C18 table was inspired by the functional style of the American Shaker culture. The durable and sturdy, yet refined quality of “The People’s Collection” makes the furniture suitable for both private and public use. And to this day, both new and vintage versions of the furniture can be seen in public institutions, universities, cafés, restaurants and private homes in Denmark as well as throughout the world.
Made in Denmark: J16, J16 stool, C18
Made in the EU: J39
Hans J. Wegner
World-renowned designer of iconic Danish chairs, Hans J. Wegner (1914-2007) insisted on infusing his functional designs with a poetic and playful edge. Wegner's essential rocking chair, the J16, was designed as part of a program to popularise the idea of simple modernism led by Børge Mogensen during the 1940s in Denmark.
Hans J. Wegner is acclaimed for his chair designs that made mid-century Danish design popular on an international scale. He began his career as a cabinetmaker in 1931, subsequently studying at the Copenhagen School of Arts & Crafts. Throughout a long and productive life, Wegner designed roughly 500 chairs, many of which have become popular classics that are still in production today.
As a boy, Wegner showed a keen interest in woodcarving, and as a child he often visited the local museum to seek inspiration in the statues. Later, he set his wood carving aside, but took his fascination of wood and sculpture with him when he went on to train as a furniture maker and designer.
Wegner’s design reflects his understanding that a chair is a piece of furniture in close contact with the human body, a fact that places high demands on comfort and ergonomics. If anything, his training in furniture making further nurtured his love of wood and he has a special talent for utilising the wood grain to create surprising sculptural lines.
Wegner was the born the same year as his colleague and friend, Børge Mogensen, where they studied together at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen. During the 1940’s, Wegner created a number of furniture designs for the Danish Coop FDB, where Mogensen was head of design. In this work, Wegner restricted his design to follow the rational ideas of the pioneering furniture programme. The two designers also collaborated on groundbreaking furniture exhibitions where they projected the future for Danish interior design.
Wegner's furniture is exhibited in prestigious design museums around the world, and he has received several honours and awards. The Lunning Prize in 1951 and The 8th International Design Award 1997, as well as he was appointed Honoury Doctor at the Royal College of Art in London, just to name a few.