Erik Magnussen

DENMARK (1940)
Erik Magnussen studied ceramics at The School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen. As a designer, he has developed a reputation for finding elegant, inevitable solutions to complex problems. He received the prestigious Danish ID Prize on several occasions, was recognized in 1983 as Designer of the Year in Denmark and was given the British design distinction Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) in December 2001.

As a young ceramicist, Magnussen set up shop in his parents’ basement. He worked for the Danish porcelain manufacturer Bing & Grondahl, designing a popular porcelain set, Form 679, comprised of just 11 items rather than the usual 50. In addition to creating innovative ceramic tableware collections, Magnussen has since branched out to design tables, chairs, a vacuum jug, high-tech products and lamps. Often his tables and chairs employ tube steel frameworks, such as the Chairik series, which couples bent steel legs with birch or colorful melamine. While the materials have changed, Magnussen still handles them like a sculptor, molding the seat of the simple, armless Chairik Chair to provide comfort and back support.

For his Click series of tables for Fritz Hansen (1994), Magnussen drew inspiration from fellow Scandinavian Bruno Mathsson’s self-clamping leg, developed for the Superellipse Table. Magnussen has taken the idea one step further. Not only can you simply click the table legs into place without using tools, but a groove along the underside of the table allows the legs to be located anywhere around the perimeter. Like Mathsson, Magnussen is also an architect. He recently completed the renovation of his mid-19th-century country house near Riberac, France.