Through her vast travels, Danish professor and architect Bodil Kjær has gained deep insight into the relationship between design and architecture and contributed significantly to the spread of Danish Modern design principles—this was not, however, the main purpose of her travels. Kjær wanted to explore methods and materials that could be used to realize her ideas for functional furniture systems and work environments.
Kjær was born in 1932 and grew up on her family's ancestral farm near Horsens, Denmark, where she learned to appreciate quality and aesthetics.
She also gained a respect for nature and an interest in the dynamics of society.
After school, she went to England to study architecture, but returned to Denmark a year later. She enrolled at the Frederiksberg Technical College and the School of Interior Design, where she learned to create spaces from experts such as Finn Juhl and Jørgen Ditzel. In 1960, after a year in the USA, Kjær went back to Denmark and established a studio in Copenhagen.
In 1965, Kjær received a scholarship to further her studies at the Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. She stayed in London until 1979 working as a senior architect, and later opened a studio working on projects such as residential homes cooled using solar energy for Africa's tropical zone.
As a furniture designer, Kjær views furniture construction from a purely technical perspective, interplayed with modern architecture and created for people. She always considers context and has collaborated with different professions in her desire to optimize physical settings.
Her furniture systems support creative people in their work processes, and her designs include indoor and outdoor furniture, light fixtures, a service trolley and vases, all characterized by lightness and a functionalist expression.
Kjær's reputation led to speaking invitations and teaching posts at architecture schools including Harvard University, the Pratt Institute and the Royal Academy of Architecture in Copenhagen.
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