winning designer Nanna Ditzel’s career has spanned five
decades and continues to be a source of wonderful innovation
right up to the present day. Born in Copenhagen in 1923, she
would later become an apprentice cabinetmaker at the Richards
School before completing her education at the School of Arts
and Crafts and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. In the same
year that she graduated from the Academy she and her first
husband, Jorgen Ditzel, established a design studio in order
to continue their already fruitful collaboration.
this period of her career she designed several signature pieces
like the “Two-Seat Sofa,” which was both functional
and decorative exhibiting striking curves. Another example
is the “Hanging” or “Basket” chair
that could be suspended from the ceiling and serves as a remarkable
example of the Ditzel’s experiments with wicker. In
1954 Nanna and Jorgen began creating jewelry for Georg Jensen.
These designs would win them both gold and silver medals at
the Milan Trienalle. Using the rippling of little waves across
the surface of water as an important source of inspiration
Nanna Ditzel created, throughout her career, jewelry that
communicates an elegant interpretation of simple organic form.
Collaboration with her husband also produced a series of children’s
furniture the most notable of which is the “Toadstool”
which was a stackable piece that could serve as either stool
Nanna continued her creative work even after the untimely
death of Jorgen in 1961. She participated in several international
“One Woman” exhibitions in cities like Amsterdam,
Berlin, and New York. Her work with textiles produced the
furnishing fabric Hallingdal for Halling-Koch Design Centre
and is distributed today by Kvadrat. Then, in 1968 she remarried
to Kurt Heide and moved to England where the two worked to
found a meeting place for international design called Interspace.
Here she had a studio of her own and a company, Nanna Ditzel
Productions, through which she sold her jewelry textiles and
In recent years she has received a lifelong Artist’s
Grant from the Danish Ministry of Culture and been the subject
of a book “Motion and Beauty” by Henrik Sten Moller.
Her recent designs include the popular “Trinidad”
chair, for which she won the ID prize in 1995, and the cast
iron “City Bench.” Other notable designs worth
mentioning include the delicate and beautiful “Butterfly”
chair and the finely rippled, “Seashell” chairs.