The organic shapes, sculptural forms and simplicity of style that define the Scandinavian style can be largely traced back to the work of Finn Juhl.
Finn Juhl is almost single handedly responsible for reinvigorating Danish design in the 1940s and 50s, and bringing it firmly to the forefront of the world's stage.
Juhl trained as an architect but taught himself how to make furniture. By throwing out the traditional cabinetry rule books and pursuing elegance of form and function, it is in this realm that he flourished. He created an aesthetic, entirely his own, inspired by biomorphic forms seen in the Surrealist art of the likes of Joan Miro.
At first Juhl's forward thinking designs were too much for the regular Danish public. However, his work was embraced overseas, where he won numerous design awards and was commissioned to design several interiors.
As Juhl's style evolved he began to explore the sculptural possibilities of wood to it's full extent. He experimented with organic and primitive shapes, upholstery and innovative construction. One of his most famous designs is the Chieftain Chair (1949). The seat and backrest seem to float above the wooden frame.
In 1951, Juhl designed the interior for the Trusteeship Council Chamber for the United Nations headquarters in New York City. This was his first American project and not only did Juhl ace the task, he exposed an international audience to what is now known as 'Danish Modern Design'.