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Verner Panton

Verner Panton

*  1926 Gamtofte
† 1998 Kopenhagen

The Danish designer and architect Verner Panton was one of the most innovative designers of the 20th century. His sculptural designs, many of them futuristic and playful, would exert a far-reaching and lasting influence on design everywhere. Verner Panton studied in Odense and Copenhagen until 1951. From 1950 until 1952 Verner Panton worked in the practice of Arne Jacobsen but in 1955 Panton opened a practice of his own in Copenhagen. In the years that followed, Verner Panton was much talked about for such innovative architectural concepts as a folding house (1955), "Cardboard House" (1957), and "Plastic House" (1960). Tirelessly prolific and versatile, Verner Panton worked as an interior designer, exhibition designer and designer in many fields. Breaking with convention, he designed unusual interior landscapes that featured vibrant color; the patterns decorating Verner Panton's carpets and wallpapers were inspired by Op art. Back in 1955, Verner Panton came up with a design for a swing chair made of laminated wood, the "S". With the "Panton" chair (1959/60), Verner Panton succeeded in translating the "S" form into plastic. From 1962 the "Panton chair" was made by Vitra for the Hermann Miller Comany; the "Panton" was the first chair to be made in one piece of pressure-diecast plastic. In 1958 Verner Panton designed the "Cone" chair and, in 1960, "Heart", developed from the "Cone" and also featuring a conical foot, along with further variations, all made by Plus-Linje. Other enormously successful Verner Panton designs among the many he invented over his long career include the range of lamps he designed for Louis Poulsen and J. Lüber. In 1960 Verner Panton designed the "Moon" lamp (known in the US as the "Visor"), with a lampshade of movable, interlocking slats. In 1964 Verner Panton designed "Fun", a range of lamps made of round scales of pearly shell. In 1968 Verner Panton designed the "Flower Pot" lamp. In 1969 Verner Panton came up with the "Ring-Leuchte" (meaning "Ring Lamp"), an acrylic diffuser mounted on a rectangular steel plate. Verner Panton used these lamps in his interior designs as an integrated structural feature of walls and ceilings and of course also did so in his own house in Basel-Binningen, Switzerland. Another 1969 Verner Panton brainstorm was the "Kugel-Lampe" ("Ball Lamp") as well as the stunningly futuristic "VP Globe" pendent lamp, with the actual lamp surrounded by an additional ball of acrylic. From 1969 to 1985, Verner Panton also designed geometrically patterned textiles for Mira-X, which featured Op art patterns as well as his signature "rainbow" of vibrant colors.