Preben Fabricius & Jørgen Kastholm
Inspired by the pioneers of 1920s functionalism and the 1960s innovative Scandinavian language of form, Preben Fabricius & Jorgen Kastholm designed a range of minimalist furniture that in recent years has enjoyed a renaissance among collectors and enthusiasts of 20th century design.
Fabricius and Kastholm opened up their design office in a dingy basement in the town of Holte in 1962. Shortly after they started their partnership, a German furniture manufacturer, Alfred Kill (owner of Kill International) contacted them. He wanted to produce their furniture, but they rejected him. Fabricius and Kastholm wanted to be in total control of the production of their designs, and neither one of them was very keen about the concept of mass-produced furniture. They felt that something was taken away from a piece of furniture which was manufactured by a machine. Yet Alfred Kill was persistent, and he approached the partners several times without success. Finally when Kill offered Fabricius and Kastholm 7000 Danish Kr. per month, and a completely free hand to produce furniture for other manufactures, they could no longer say no.
Fabricius and Kastholm quickly became Kill International’s star designers helping the company achieve a reputation as a producer of high-end furniture at the level of firms such as Walter Knoll of Germany and Herman Miller.
Examples of some of their more well known designs include: FK87 – The Grasshopper Chair (1968); FK-82-X – The X Chair (1968); The Chair (1963); FK Lounge Chair (1969); FK10 – The Skater Chair (1968); The Scimitar Chair (1962); the Bo562 Couch and matching chair and the Sculpture Chair (1964). The FK Lounge Chair symbolizes classical design, and is as timeless as it is modern. The chair won the very first German prize for “Good Shape” (“Gute Form”) in 1969. In 1969, Preben Fabricius received the Illum Prize for his work as an architect and furniture designer.
Preben Fabricius and Jørgen Kastholm ended their partnership in 1970. Fabricius became a teacher at The School of Interior Design in Copenhagen while continuing to design furniture, some of which was produced. Kastholm moved to Düsseldorf in Germany, where he opened his own design studio. In 1976, Jørgen Kastholm was nominated professor of furniture design and product-development, at the Bergesche Universitat in Wuppertal. Kastholm continued designing furniture right up until his death in 2007. Several of these pieces are still in production today. Non of the designs they designed as individuals, received the same recognition as their collaborations.
Fabricius and Kastholm’s furniture is used in over 120 different airports around the world as well as the Louvre in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.