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.
— Christopher Schwarz