Via the somewhat unlikely trajectory of Denmark-Canada-back to Denmark-back to Canada, designer Niels Bendtsen has established himself as a foremost emissary of contemporary Scandinavian design.
Miles Coffee Table for Linteloo
Born in Denmark, Bendtsen emigrated to Canada at a young age where he apprenticed under his cabinetmaker father, cutting his chops in design and manufacture during the heyday of mid-century modern. Beginning in 1963, Bendtsen ran a retail outlet, importing and selling furniture imported from Scandinavia.
Reflect Table for Bensen
This experience likely fomented in him the penchant for user-friendly furnishings such as the sublime Park Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Created for his own brand, Bensen, Park is made of molded foam, steel, and upholstery—a contemporary chair with a wing back silhouette and super-sharp tailoring. It’s equal parts ergonomic and aesthetically engaging.
Park Lounge and Ottoman for Bensen
The Wallee Light for Flos is another piece that achieves an uncanny synthesis of familiarity and innovation. Featuring a recessed wall-mount design, Wallee is elegant and unobtrusive: “A slim and refined arm with an elegantly bent mono block aluminium extrusion and aluminum luminaire, it provides visual comfort and homogeneity… the ideal choice to illuminate works of art.”
Wallee Light for Flos
Here’s an oldie but a goodie: Bendtsen’s Ribbon Chair. This piece from 1975 (one of Bendtsen’s first) is made of tubular steel, cotton canvas, and polyester fill. Ribbon is an armless chair whose simplicity, comfort, lightness, and palpable texture charmed legions, not the least of which was the Museum of Modern Art, which gave Ribbon a place in their permanent collection.
For our last look let’s go back to Bendtsens’s very own Bensen studio. Here’s the Canyon Modular Sofa. This is versatile and flexible seating that welcomes and encompasses. With “an elegant proﬁle, clean lines, and novel construction techniques that become part of the aesthetic design,” Canyon invites you to get lost in its beautifully faceted contours.
Canyon Sofa for Bensen
Niels Bendtsen has designed lighting and furniture for Flos and Lintello. Today, the bulk of his output is with his own brand, Bensen. His work is in the permanent collection at MOMA. Read more here.