VERNER PANTON: The Danish Designer and Architect

Verner Panton on Heart Chair - Photo by VS America

Verner Panton who was a designer and architect was born on 13 February 1926. He was a unique personality with an extraordinary sense for space, light function, shape and colour. Verner Panton was well known for his inspiring personality and was one of the leading interior and furniture designers of the 20th century in Denmark.

He was the creator of ground-breaking and ultramodern designs in different materials, particularly plastics, and in vivacious and striking colours in his lifetime. Despite the fact that his style looked very ancient, it reclaimed recognition at the end of the 20th century. Panton’s notable furniture styles and models were still in production as of 2004.

Biography of Verner Panton

Verner Panton – Photo by Mobelaris

Verner Panton was a qualified architect and he spent his early childhood in his village of birth from the age of 10 with his father. Originally, Panton wanted to become an artist, but this dream was punctuated by his father. As a result, he was determined to become a qualified architect.

For this reason, he went to the School of Fine Arts for training. It is noteworthy that Verner Panton began working as a traditional tradesman with specialisation in bricklaying before he went for his architectural training. He became a qualified architect in 1951.

The main rationale behind his work then was to incite people into making use of their thoughts. He pointed out that nearly all people spend their entire lives living in tedious, abject traditionalism, and extremely frightened to use colours. He, therefore, showed people innovative ways in order to encourage them to use their phantasy thoughts and made their environment more exciting by conducting tests with furniture,colours, lighting, and textiles as well as using the latest technologies,

With an incredible belief in the limitless possibilities of the form, Verner Panton worked productively and created a new set of theories concerning how lighting should work and the way it should influence its environments.

It was on this premise that Verner Panton introduced different designs of up-to-date lamps with personalities, which are different from any of his Scandinavian colleagues all through the course of his profession. He had an extremely clear approach about his work, function, colour and shape. He also made brave and conscious use of a variety of materials. It was even his utilisation of several materials that made his colleagues reproachful to the timelessness of his design. The great interest in his design in the present day proves otherwise. In 1955, Verner Panton opened his own design studio.

Lighting and Lamps Light Design

Original Verner Panton ‘Moon’ Lamp for Louis Poulsen – Photo by 1stDibs

The basic light principle and the idea of lighting and lamp design by Verner were intended towards creating the lamp in which the bottom and the shade would serve as a reflector. The source of the lamps light is concealed underneath a milky white, hemispheric acrylic shade while a white, trumpet-like base adds to a stunning allotment of light and a well-balanced form.

On the other hand, the table lamp possesses a slightly smaller shade to offer a more reliable design for tabletop placement. In its early days, a lot of editions were manufactured, but the fact is that only Panthella with white shade and pedestal is the version in production today.

The first lamp to be manufactured by Verner Panton was the Topan lamp of 1959, then the Moon lamp which was produced in 1960.

In 1964, Panton got in touch with a lighting manufacturer in Switzerland concerning a lamp he had designed that had more than a few small reflective discs. The initial model of this lamp was produced with discs removed from silver foil.

Interior Design Projects

Visiona 2, exhibition for Bayer, Cologne Furniture Fair, 1970 – Photo by Archinect

Verner Panton undertook numerous interior design projects for Bayer of Germany. He was the one who instigated the dialogue with Bayer regarding the improvement of the Panton Chair.

At the end of his negotiation with the chemical company, Panton was told to get a stand prepared for them at the 1968 furniture show in Cologne, Germany in order to Promote fabric Dralon.

Bayer wanted to exhibit the numerous potential provided by the innovative textile. As a result, Visiona O exhibition ship was launched having a length of its dockside decorated with round, radiant discs manufactured of Dralon. It was an extremely successful project.

Panton traveled to Hamburg to do the furnishing of the Publishing House in Spiegel after this breathtaking result. The refurbishment was intended to use the design to encourage and stimulate workers, to support them to rest in the bar, staff swimming pool, and the canteen, as well as to rouse their concentration while working.

The Stacking Panton Chair Projects

Heart Cone Chair by Verner Panton – Photo by

In 1955, Panton started his own company. As a result of this development, he attracted a great deal of debate with his latest architectural conceptions. However, he dazed his detractors and audiences with the project he presented at the Furniture fair in Fredericia.

This was where he displayed furniture by hanging it from the ceiling. He started to modify how the chair was structured with his Heart Chair and Cone Chair, both manufactured of upholstered bent sheet metal. The chairs are without legs and were shaped like a cylinder, and it doesn’t have distinguished back.

The stacking Panton Chair was the first to be manufactured from one piece of moulded plastic in 1960. It brought the artist into the limelight and also gave him global acknowledgement. The chair was designed to provide a soft, instead of inflexible, support. There is mass production of this chair now, even though it was first produced in smaller quantity.

As a result of the success experienced from the production of Panton Chair, Panton went ahead to manufacture some other amazing and well-known objects like the Pantower, Flowerpot Lamp and the Pantower, and some domestic living spaces. All these works were defined by Panton’s typical bright colours and geometric shapes.

Vitra Panton Chair – Photo by AmbienteDirect

His Projects and Works

  • Peacock Chair
  • Cone Chair (1958)
  • Panton Chair (1960)
  • Spiegel Canteen Project (1969)
  • Bayer Visiona O Ships (1968 and 1970)
  • Verner Panton S-Chair Model 275 Thonet

Verner Panton died in Copenhagen on 5 September 1998 at the age of 72 years.