Borge Mogensen was one of the godfathers of the Danish Modern movement. Born in Aalborg, Denmark he studied furniture design at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen and went on to train as an architect at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts' School of Architecture completing this in 1943. He was tutored by the famous Kaare Klint who was his mentor and then colleague – Borge later returned as his teaching assistant at the Academy. With the various years of academia behind him, he began his career and worked at various design studios in Copenhagen and collaborated with some of the country’s best designers.
Mogensen was a functional designer- not flashy or gimmicky. He was a designer that liked to challenge himself and others – instead of trying to outdo other designers in a trumped up and extrovert manner, he would focus on the fact that all furniture needed to have a purpose - functional probably best describes his overall style – but that doesn’t and shouldn’t imply that his work was boring - it was anything but. He became well known for his beliefs that furniture should be something that would stand the test of time, not to lurch from one fashion concept to another. He also wanted his clean, sleek, smooth practical designs to be easy to produce always favouring the natural materials with beautiful oak and other natural materials including leather and wool. It is really difficult to pinpoint just one of his masterpieces but one should certainly include the Spanish chair as an example of his work – comfortable, functional and stylish.
Sadly, at aged only 58, Mogensen passed away. He left a glittering legacy filled with iconic designs and earned his place as one of the most influential designers of his time. He was a highly decorated designer receiving many accolades and awards including the highest architectural honours in Denmark, the C.F. Hansen medal in 1972. Together with Andreas Graversen, who Mogensen collaborated with, they received the Danish Furniture Prize for their contribution to the Danish furniture industry, and in 1972 Mogensen was appointed Honorary Royal Designer for Industry at the Royal Society of Arts in London.