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Bodil Kjær

Denmark (1932)

Bodil Kjær was born in 1932 and grew up on her family’s ances­tral farm near Horsens, Denmark, where she learned to appre­ci­ate quality and aesthet­ics. Kjær refers to her designs as archi­tec­tural elements, rather than furni­ture pieces. Her aim was never to create sculp­tural state­ments but rather to find func­tional, economic, and aesthetic solutions.

In 1965, Kjær received a schol­ar­ship to further her studies at the Royal College of Art and the Archi­tec­tural Asso­ci­a­tion School of Archi­tec­ture in London. She stayed in London until 1979 working as a senior archi­tect, and later opened a studio working on projects such as resi­den­tial homes cooled using solar energy for Africa’s trop­i­cal zone. Through her vast travels, Danish profes­sor and archi­tect Bodil Kjær has gained deep insight into the rela­tion­ship between design and archi­tec­ture and contributed signif­i­cantly to the spread of Danish Modern design prin­ci­ples ­– this was not, however, the main purpose of her travels. Kjær wanted to explore methods and mate­ri­als that could be used to realize her ideas for func­tional furni­ture systems and work environments. 

As a furni­ture designer, Kjær views furni­ture construc­tion from a purely tech­ni­cal perspec­tive, inter­played with modern archi­tec­ture and created for people. She always consid­ers context and has great respect for nature and an inter­est in the dynam­ics of society. After school, she went to England to study archi­tec­ture but returned to Denmark a year later. She enrolled at the Fred­eriks­berg Tech­ni­cal College and the School of Inte­rior Design, where she learned to create spaces from experts such as Finn Juhl and Jørgen Ditzel.

Her furni­ture systems support creative people in their work processes, and her designs include indoor and outdoor furni­ture, light fixtures, a service trolley and vases, all char­ac­ter­ized by light­ness and a functionalist expression.

Video

Credit: Carl Hansen & Søn

Designs by Bodil Kjær (7)