The Hunting Chair designed by Børge Mogensen in 1950
Fredericia is a Danish town situated in Jutland, Denmark. It was once famous for being home to Denmark’s international furniture exhibition.
The Fredericia furniture factory was established in 1911, producing what might be considered traditional furniture of the time. Following WWII and the breakthrough of Modernism in Denmark, the Fredericia furniture exhibition’s renown was far-reaching, yet the Fredericia furniture factory, manufacturing an outdated furniture range, went into decline. By 1955 it was almost bankrupt.
The Spoke-Back Sofa designed by Børge Mogensen in 1945 (produced in 1963)
Andreas Graversen acquired the factory in 1955 and became the Managing Director for Fredericia from that point until 1995. Working with architect Børge Mogensen, they outlined a new path for Fredericia. It was a functional and humanistic one, where the furniture was modest and unobtrusive.
Both Graversen and Mogensen believed that furniture should live up to the demands of everyday living, having both longevity and aesthetic appeal. This quote from Graversen is extremely relevant, especially today: “It is of great importance that the things we purchase and live with, do not need to be changed but instead grow old with dignity and charm”.
NARA range by Shin Azumi
Andreas Graversen’s son, Thomas Graversen, assumed the leadership of Fredericia in 1995 and remains the current Managing Director. Whilst continuing to produce the work of Børge Mogensen, Thomas moved beyond his father’s assertive view of good design, believing “anything is possible.”
In particular, he worked with Danish designer Nanna Ditzel, whose designs were much more exuberant than Mogensen’s and who had worked with new production techniques and materials including foam and plastic.
Bench For Two designed by Nanna Ditzel
Today, Fredericia is a fusion of the ideals and beliefs of Andreas Graversen, with Thomas Graversen’s freer approach to design and production.
Refreshingly for a Managing Director, Thomas Graversen eschews the creativity-killing meddling of guidelines and committees. He says: “It is not our goal to please the majority or follow trends. Our furniture has strong ideas... it should meet with today's standards but not [be] confined to a specific design policy”.