How Finn Juhl Influenced the Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian Design

Finn Juhl has been one of the most influential Danish designers of the mid century era.

Who Finn Juhl was?

Juhl was born in 1912 and started his career quite young, in 1934, working in the Vilhelm Lauritzen‘s architect studio, were he remained for 11 years.

Already his early works, probably because of the famous cabinet-maker Niels Vodder influence, were characterized by an extreme care  for the manufacture and the research of virtuous shapes.

Many of them, in fact, were re-interpretations of traditional Danish furniture, but introducing abstract organic shapes (influenced by  contemporary artists like Alexander Calder and Hans Arp) like the early Pelican Chair for Niels Vodder and the chair N.48 prove.

As I wrote in The Greatest Inspiration for Your Mid Century Modern House, the Aalto’s House-Office, many Scandinavian architects and designers preferred natural materials like the wood for their works, sometimes taking it to the most extreme use possible.

Juhl, also, introduced new techniques to implement the Teak’s use; starting what was later called the “Teak style” whose influenced later on, the modern mid century design.

Starting from 1945, Juhl become Senior Instructor for the Copenaghen’s Interion Design School and, thanks to his position and innovative approach, influenced the mid century modern Danish design.


As I wrote before, Juhl had a particular attention for the manufacture and many of his early works were in fact produced by craftsman and consequently in small numbers.

From the 50s on his furniture were massively produced in the USA by the Baker Furniture; the Baker sofa is one of the product he designed for the company.

After two decades (60s and 70s) of disinterest, from the 80s on the Juhl’s works have been again appreciated and in 2010 the OneCollection brand, that today produces all the Juhl’s furniture, won aWallpaper Design Awardin theBest Reisue/Sofa designcategory.

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