Ib Kofod-Larsen 1921-2003
Ib Kofod-Larsen was a Danish furniture designer who created ergonomic designs that were masterfully materialised using precious woods such as teak or rosewood. He became an acclaimed Danish designer, attracting worldwide recognition as his name and furniture designs reached far beyond his home country. He completed an education in architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1948. In the same year, he won the Holmegaard glassware competition at the annual cabinetmakers’ guide. This brought him to the attention of Danish furniture maker Faarup Møbelfabrik who saw his potential and subsequently hired him. It was here that he designed one of his more spectacular pieces: the Model 66 sideboard.
Throughout his career, Ib Kofod-Larsen focused mainly on seating positions and their construction, high-quality upholstery, regularly using rich leather, and bentwood shells. His work was pioneering and experimental; using curvature and space within the furniture to create a modern and airy effect.
'The leather shell seems to be floating inside the wooden frame.'
His work with Faarup brought Kofod-Larsen to the attention of furniture makers in Sweden and the UK. In Sweden, he worked with OPE Möbler to create one of his most famous designs, the Salen or Seal chair which was first made in the 1950s. The now iconic chair epitomised the human-centred design that was prevalent in the mid-century period. Comfort is the main focus, seen in the angled frame and arms that invite reclining, and the warm leather seating. Despite being made of heavy materials, there is still a lightness in the chair’s appearance, seen in the way the “leather shell seems to be floating inside the wooden frame.”
He designed for the biggest manufacturers of the time, in Finland and abroad. These include High Wycombe, Christensen & Larsen, Carlo Gahrn, Bovenkamp, Petersens, and Fredericia Furniture.
Kofod-Larsen didn’t only design furniture, however, He also spent time developing designs for radio and television cabinets, silverware , glassware, fabrics, textiles, curtains, wallpaper and industrial design. He was a pioneering force in mid-century furniture design. His works sold across the social classes, from Queen Elizabeth to the general public, who appreciated the beauty and functionality of his pieces.