Re-Framing the J39 Chair


The man behind the J39 Chair, Børge Mogensen, was the furniture designer who placed quality furniture at reasonable prices in to Danish homes. From his private practice, Børge Mogensen created some of the 1950s’ and 1960s’ most iconic classics. Børge Mogensen’s lifelong mission was to create simple and practical furniture.

Rumour has it that it was a surplus of roundwood in the factory’s stockroom that led to Børge Mogensen designing the J39 Chair in 1947. It is safe to say that this was truly a fortunate incident, as the chair is one of Denmark’s most sold wooden chairs today and has been in production ever since its launch. Today, the chair is fondly known as “The People’s Chair”.

“The J39 symbolizes “the Danish school” within design. “The People’s Chair” J39 is special, as it appears in many contexts and as the idiom is very subtle. Despite, the chair not being a crazy experiment of form, it has some special characteristics that can be reinterpreted – separately or together. The vertical roundwood legs, the braided seat and the free backrest provide designers with an intriguing freedom to reinterpret the chair, and we are excited to see the results. We hope that Pulles and Herkner with the “Re-framing” project can show us some new qualities in the design that we probably otherwise take for granted when we think of classics such as the J39”, says Rasmus Graversen, Copywriter and son of Thomas Graversen, owner of Fredericia Furniture, the company producing the J39 Chair today.

The two designers, Niek Pulles from Heyniek and Sebastian Herkner, will each re-frame Danish design for our joint DANISH™ and Frame Magazine exhibition: “Re-Framing Danish Design”. The exhibition will be on display from 28 until 30 May 2015 at The Silo in Copenhagen.

Niek Pulles and Sebastian Herkner have been given the freedom to re-frame/re-interpret the J39 Chair as they wish, and we are very excited about what the results might be.



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The goal of DANISH™ is to promote Danish architecture and design in a broad perspective, and demonstrate all the potentials in these fields.

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