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2 December 2021
The company now led by its founder’s grandson, preserves the heart of modern Danish design, leading it into the future with respect for its roots and the environment
“When I was a boy, my grandfather let me roam anywhere in the laboratory, freely, and so that place became a second home for me. […] A memory of that period – I must have been six or seven years old – is seeing Hans J. Wegner working on a prototype of a new rocking chair. I was sitting atop a pile of lumber, looking down, Wegner and some carpenters adjusting and rearranging a chair, looking for the right design; a millimeter here, a millimeter there, so that it was beautifully balanced, even when no one was seated. ” These are the words of Knud Erik Hansen, CEO and grandson of Carl Hansen & Son, who in 1908 founded the carpentry that would later become the highly prestigious company that still bears his name.
This memory, shared in a book recently published by the company, is one of the most representative of the depth of the company’s history, a memory that embodies the distinctive elements of its production. First of all, there is the carpentry in which the skills and knowledge of materials have been nurtured over the decades. There is manual skill, the physical relationship with the furniture under construction. There is the approach to the project, which involves the designer and technicians in search of the best solution. And of course there is Hans J. Wegner, founding father of Danish modern design, whose career is closely linked to Carl Hansen who has always, and still today, produces its most iconic furnishings, one of them all: the Wishbone Chair. Knud Erik Hansen together with the company protects this design heritage with great respect for the past and the awareness that this past has made the brand important. At the same time, he takes it into the future with a careful selection of the interventions to be made, the innovations and the technological tools to be used, above all, to bring his own design all over the world.
The heart of the company remains the search for production quality, through a manufacturing of the highest level that has been perfected over the decades and has become increasingly refined and attentive to detail. These skills are put at the service of the designers carefully selected by the company to nourish the design heritage and adapt it to the contemporary. Remaining faithful to the minimalist and functional aesthetic of the origins that has never been betrayed but always respected.
This stylistic and methodical coherence that does not compromise with trends, but on the contrary influences them, has made Carl Hansen & Søn’s furnishings stand the test of time. And that is why its furnishings are present in elegant private homes, renowned hotels and restaurants, prestigious work spaces. Bringing an essential but recognizable aesthetic, the quintessence of modern Scandinavian style and a tribute to the natural beauty of wood.
In terms of materials, Carl Hansens & Søn has taken an important step into the future, committing by 2025 to use only wood from certified sources for production. As well as certified fabrics and leathers and 100% sustainable packaging. After all, the basic idea is that well-designed furniture, with a coherent aesthetic and produced with high-level skills, is destined to last a long time, to have more lives and, perhaps, to travel through more homes. “When you invest in a piece by Carl Hansen & Søn, it is the beginning of a journey together” says the volume, and producing (and buying) an object that can have a long life is the safest and most certain way towards sustainability.
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