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Nanna Ditzel in Vilette chair, photo: Schnakenburg & Brahl
Trapholt © Kenneth Stjernegaard
Toadstool © Kenneth Stjernegaard

Nanna Ditzel (1923 to 2005) is one of the most influential personalities of 20th century Danish design. She is best known for her furniture designs, but she also designed textiles (such as “Hallingdal”, the first woollen fabric produced by Kvadrat, now an icon of textile design) and jewellery (for the Georg Jensen silversmiths, for example). Her most successful furniture designs, which have long since become classics, include the egg-shaped hanging basket chair from 1957 as well as the “Trinidad” chair from 1993, which owes its name to the traditional fretwork of the Caribbean islands, which inspired Ditzel when designing the fan-shaped recesses in the seat and back shell. Under the title „Nanna Ditzel – Taking Design to New Heights“, the Trapholt Museum of Art and Design in Kolding, Denmark, is now presenting the first exhibition of the complete works of the designer, who would have been 100 years old this year, until 11 August 2024.

As the curator of the exhibition, Sara Staunsager, reports in an interview with Stylepark, it is not just about presenting Ditzel’s designs. Rather, the show sheds light on Ditzel’s way of working and focuses on “her ability to think radically and create designs with ground-breaking impact”. According to Staunsager, the exhibition shows that she “worked neither with routine nor with what had already been done, said or done”. Her work is characterised by “the ability to work creatively, collaborate, reflect and be media-aware – all skills that we now call 21st century skills.” To emphasise these skills, the exhibition will present two of Ditzel’s major works in particular, her “Stairscapes” (furniture landscapes that invite you to lie down, lounge and move freely) and the last museum exhibition “Haven”, as examples of how she was inspired and then translated these impressions into designs.


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