The sketches of the Grace armchair, designed by Tove Kindt-Larsen in the 1930s, remained hidden in her archives for more than 80 years before being brought to production by the Danish design brand Gubi. With the launch of the charming rattan chair, Gubi aims to restore Kindt-Larsen’s well-deserved position in design history.
ARCHITECT AND DESIGNER Tove Kindt-Larsen (1906–1994) often used to collect smooth pebbles and driftwood pieces from the white-sand beaches on the northern coast of Denmark. The organic lines and smooth textures found in nature were a great source of inspiration for many of her works. One stunning example is the Grace armchair, which was recently introduced by the Danish brand Gubi.
“My mother’s design philosophy was based in nature – she once came home with a peacock feather just to reference its colors. Gubi embodies my mother’s unique blend of daring and grace, making them the perfect partner with whom to bring her Grace chair to life at last,” Tove Kindt-Larsen’s son Ebbe Kindt-Larsen commented.
Gubi became interested in the rattan armchair after the chair’s conceptual sketches from 1936 were discovered from Kindt-Larsen’s archives among old jewelry designs. The final version, released in early 2021, was developed together with the Kindt-Larsen family. The chair will be available at Finnish Design Shop later this spring.
Viewed from any direction, it is nearly impossible to find straight angles in the chair: the structure consists of slender, overlapping rattan arches and curves in different sizes. The skillfully crafted frame is made by Indonesian artisans close to where rattan naturally grows, and the attractive look is complemented by generous seat cushions.
Grace is the first piece of rattan furniture in Gubi’s collection. According to Jacob Gubi, the owner and creative director of the brand, the chair’s form and aesthetic interact with the existing collection in an interesting way, but also bring something completely new to it.
The forgotten pioneer of Danish modern
Trained as an architect in the 1920s, Kindt-Larsen was also interested in furniture design, which she studied at Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts under Kaare Klint, sometimes referred to as ”the godfather of Danish design”. She was one of the first female designers in the golden era of mid-century Danish design and did pioneering work with rattan and bent plywood furniture.
Until now, Kindt-Larsen has been known mostly for collaborations with her spouse, Edvard Kindt-Larsen (1901–1982). The couple found a common interest in modern, functional design and established their joint studio in 1945. Over the years, the Kindt-Larsens designed a vast range of products from textiles to jewelry, wallpapers and tableware, as well as other projects such as exhibitions and buildings.
In 1943, Edvard Kindt-Larsen was appointed the chief designer of the annual exhibitions of the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild, and for the next 23 years, the Kindt-Larsens designed and curated the legendary furniture exhibitions that brought together the most important designers of the Danish modern. But like many female designers of the time, Tove's work was sometimes overshadowed by men – for example, despite their joint work, the honorary prize of the Cabinetmakers’ Guild was directed only to Edward.
With the release of the Grace chair, Gubi aims to restore Tove Kindt-Larsen to her rightful place in Danish design history. It also gives visibility to her independent designer career as well as her recognizable style – a unique blend of daring and grace.
Who: Tove Kindt-Larsen (née Reddersen)
- Was born in 1906 and died in 1994
- Studied architecture and furniture design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen
- Married Edvard Kindt-Larsen in 1937 and established a joint design studio in 1945
- Best-known work: The rattan chairs Grace (1936) and Swing (1937), and jointly with Edvard Kindt-Larsen: Fireplace chair (1939), Pagoda sofa (1956), Pagaj chair (1960), Prisma sofa (1964)
- Awards: 1. prize in the Cabinetmakers' Guild competition (1937), 3. prize in the Danish Reeds Guild competition (1937)
Text: Nora Uotila Images: Gubi