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Peter Karpf

Peter Karpf

Denmark (1940)

In 1967, Interior Design magazine featured twenty-seven-year-old Peter Karpf alongside his transparent acrylic resin light fixture. The Danish architect-designer had already designed innovative chairs of wood and Plexiglas and a series of lamps. He had learned furniture design from Fritz Hansen and worked for Grete Jalk and Arne Jacobsen.

Early on in his career Karpf experimented with adjustable chairs that could be ganged to form multiple seating arrangements and stacked once the upholstery was removed. He continued to ponder flexible, simple seating solutions incorporating ganging, stacking, and folding into the 80s and 90s when developing his NXT, Oto, and Tri plywood chairs. Karpf developed his first prototype for NXT in 1962 although the design was not patented until 1986. Over the years, Iform, Fritz Hansen, and Dansk have manufactured Karpf's designs.

Karpf collaborated with architect Fini Bolbroe on Spectaculume, a versatile consumer-assembled lamp for Dansk in which the kit-of-parts could be configured 119 different ways. While some early controversial Karpf creations – such as the multi-spoked lounge chair and the string chair – were valuable experiments, other designs have endured. His candlesticks, monolithic molded plywood chairs, and light fixtures have become Modern Danish classics.

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