One of my latest obsessions has been reading about the 20th-century design studies by Kaare Klint and Børge Morgensen that sought to create furniture systems that could be adapted to store anything.
Today I’m working through Morgensen’s Øresund series, developed between 1955 and 1967. One of the foundations of this system is a module of 19.6 cm (almost 7-3/4”). These modules plus a plinth module of 9.5 cm (3-3/4”) can be combined into a wide variety of pleasing forms.
It’s not a big leap to distill the systems into whole-number ratios, a la “By Hand & Eye.”
Here are some of the formulas from Øresund.
Table height: 68.3 cm (26-7/8”). Three modules plus a plinth module.
Countertop height: 97.9 cm (34.6”) Four modules plus a plinth module.
Desk height: 107.5 cm (42.32”) Five modules plus a plinth module.
Chest height: 127.1 cm (50.03”) Six modules plus a plinth module.
Max height for pulling out a drawer: 146.7 cm (57-3/4”) Seven modules plus a plinth module.
Eye level: 166.3 cm (65.47”) Eight modules plus a plinth module.
Height of a man: 185.9 cm (73.19”) Nine modules plus a plinth module.
Height of a door: 205.5 cm (80.91”) Ten modules plus a plinth module.
Minimum ceiling height: 225.1 cm (88.62”) Eleven modules plus a plinth module.
The system also used two depths for carcases: 36 cm (14.17”) and 54 cm (21.26”).
The examples shown in “Furniture Designed by Børge Morgensen (Arkitekten Forlag, 1968) are quite pleasing to the eye.
I hold that a man may become a teacher at any age, but that he should not take upon himself to write reminiscences until he is in the sere and yellow leaf, otherwise “in the thin grey line.” It is only then that his retrospective eye sees further than the mass of his neighbours, and he can, if the spirit moves him, picture scenes and phases of life which are far beyond the common.
It is said of man that he may look forward in life up to the fiftieth year of his age, and beyond that he must look backward. In doing the latter, a long vista is presented to a man like myself, who counts his winters to be three score years and ten, and on reflection one is led to say with Shakespeare that “a man in his time plays many parts.”
Personally, I can endorse this truism, for one of my parts has been that of a professional handrailer and staircase builder, when the newel staircases, now so general, were scarcely known. I started in this line in 1847, when fourteen years of age, my father fitting me out with a bench in his shop, and equipping me with the necessary tools. (more…)
James Wilson, who has the honor of being the maker of the first pair of terrestrial and celestial globes ever made in America, was a native of Londonderry, N.H. He was born in 1763. He early felt a strong love of knowledge, and gave proof of talents of the right stamp for acquiring it, but felt constrained by circumstances to devote himself to the laborious occupation of a farmer.
Up to the age of thirty-three he pursued that employment in the place of his nativity; not, however, without reading, observation, and reflection. His inclination and genius turned his thoughts and studies especially to geography and astronomy, with the means of their illustration. (more…)