Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Modern and Organic Designs of Duo Madsen and Larsen!

With all the modern and Mid-Century Modern designers we get to profile on this blog, it can sometimes seem like a lot of the designs sort of start to look the same after awhile. Not all of them, of course, but it sometimes feels like if something isn’t crazy or wild looking, then it doesn’t stick in our memory. But every now and then we’ll come across designs that while seemingly modern, have delightful details strong enough to set them apart—like today’s designs! This time, it’s not just a single person behind these designs, it’s a duo: Madsen and Larsen!


There’s the two seater bench made of natural materials that looks more like two fabulous and sleek chairs set next to one another than one actual piece. Or the chair made of natural materials that has such sleek lines it looks futuristic. Or personal favorites, two wood armchairs upholstered in black leather in such a way that it looks like everything but the legs was turned upside down and dipped in black ink.



Definitely these two designers had special details on their side. Without them, the lines and sleekness and other feels to the pieces do have a generic sort of Mid-Century Modern feel to them. But we had never seen that sort of upholstery treatment like on those arm chairs before and we think it is so cutting edge—even for today (and they were made in the 1950s).



Classmates together at Kunsthåndværkerskolens Møbelskole in the 1940s, Axel Bender Madsen and Einar Larsen clearly had similar design tastes, but differing enough aesthetics that they made a dynamic team. Madsen had actually studied in cabinetmaking, and Larsen had a long history working in the Ministry of Housing and Building. When master cabinet maker Willy Beck started a business in 1946, he asked Larsen and Madsen to design for him, and a twenty-five year long design collaboration began—and as you can imagine, it was pretty successful for all involved. Prices today can range from mid to high, but we’re so inspired by some of these pieces we know you will be, too!




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