Recognized as the father of modern Danish design, Kaare Klint made a name for himself as a furniture designer, educator, and visionary. He designed icons such as the 1914 Faaborg Chair and the 1933 Safari Chair, as well as the design for the Danish Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.
As the son of an architect, Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint, Kaare Klint was immersed in architecture from an early age but made his mark on Danish design history as a furniture designer. In 1924, he helped establish the Department of Furniture Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. As associate professor and later professor, he inspired some of the greatest Danish furniture designers and architects including Hans J. Wegner, Mogens Koch, Arne Jacobsen and Poul Kjærholm who would continue shaping the Golden Age of Danish design from the early 1940s.
Today, Klint is regarded as a reformer. As one of the first designers to put functionalism and the practical study of architecture and furniture design principles above style, he redefined a period otherwise characterized by style-focused academic teaching. Klint had an outstanding sense of space and proportion and created “human furniture” based on studies of the human body. He studied an object’s uses over its form, and renewed Danish furniture design by refining tradition and developing objects perfectly in relation to their primary purpose. Klint was also aware of designs’ relationship to its environment, insisting his pieces never dominate a space, but unite form and function for a greater whole.
In all his work, he insisted on clear, logical design, clean lines, the best materials, and superb craftsmanship. Klint earned many accolades, including the Eckersberg Medal in 1928 and the C.F. Hansen Medal in 1954. In 1949, he became an Honorary Royal Designer for Industry in London.