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Rud Thygesen (born 1932) and Johnny Sørensen (born 1944) both graduated from the Danish School of Arts, Crafts and Design in 1966 and the same year they opened their own design studio. While still at school they established a co-operation with furniture producer Magnus Olesen which in 1971 was expressed in the first models of a range of laminated furniture of which the mutual connection – both technologically and aesthetically – is shown in a stringent and functional design.
Since then Thygesen and Sørensen have created a large number of furniture series – mainly in laminated wood. They have contributed considerably to the development of furniture in laminated and molded wood and have designed some of the most successful Danish furniture pieces.
Thygesen and Sørensen have been instrumental in continuing the golden age of Danish Design from the 50´s and 60´s. In 1995, after almost 30 years of cooperation, they decided to end the successful partnership to pursue individual careers.
When the Danish King Frederik IX shook hands with Rud Thygesen and Johnny Sørensen in 1970 in thanks for their 70th birthday gift, it launched a new era in the lives of the two young furniture designers. Until then, they had only just managed to make a living from their design studio, a lifelong dream, but following the royal handshake and photos in illustrated weeklies, their exclusive furniture collections attracted everyone’s attention, and the fairytale about the ‘King’s Furniture’ unfolded.Johnny Sørensen and Rud Thygesen have been showered with prizes, and not only for the King’s Furniture, because the studio has produced many more collections since the newly qualified designers resisted the general trend and struck out on their own as independent designers. One of their projects was the chairs they designed in the 1980s for Café Victor, a hip hang-out in downtown Copenhagen, and the two furniture designers still exhibit annually at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition independently of each other – just for the fun of it.‘Manufacturers wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole. But we do it “con amore”.’