Preben Fabricius was born in Denmark in 1931 and with business partner Jorgen Kastholm he helped shape the world of furniture design up until his death at age 52 in 1984. Fabricius started out his career as an apprentice cabinet maker under master joiner Niels Vodder who has made numerous furniture pieces for other Danish designers over the years. He studied at the School of Interior Design, training with well known architect Finn Juhl, and upon graduating was hired
by architect Ole Hagen.
Fabricius met Jorgen Kastholm at the School of Interior Design and the two became fast friends. In 1961 they solidified their business partnership and founded their own architect’s office, specializing in the design of single family homes and furniture to go in them. Many of their individual accomplishments were overshadowed by their joint ventures, furniture that was not only elegant and refined, but designed with attention to detail, quality, and functionality.
The two men found their designs inspired by the functionality and resoluteness of past Scandinavian furniture design. This design had a large impact on the way people decorated during the 1960s and the two men devoted themselves to creating furniture that optimized shape, the quality properties of different materials and ergonomic factors. They believed that comfort and proper support were key in designing furniture that was functional and that people enjoyed sitting in. Many of the principles they followed in their furniture design are still followed in the designs seen today.
Three of the designs that Fabricius and Kastholm collaborated on were considered classical and timeless, yet modern enough to attract the consumer’s eye. The FK bucket seat is one of them and it won the 1969 Good Shape – or in the German ‘Gute Form’ – award, the very first time this award was ever given out. The ‘Scimitar’ chair that they developed in 1962 was the epitome of their work, showing off that something sculptural could still be simple and functional. The ‘Scimitar’ has not been in production since 1984, but Gert Auhagen, the owner of Bo-ex Furniture Aps, is planning on bringing it back into production after painstakingly restoring the chair’s original base. In addition to the ‘Scimitar’ chair, Fabricius and Kastholm also produced the ‘Scimitar’ table.
Fabricius and Kastholm’s partnership also produced furniture that can still be seen in 120 international airports, the Louvre in Paris, and in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. All of their furniture is being produced and manufactured today by Bo-ex and besides the two ‘Scimitar’ items, Bo-ex is also manufacturing the Sculpture Chair, the Bo562 sofa and matching chair, the Daybed 1965 and the Stool 1963.
In 1969, Fabricius received the Illum Prize for his work as an architect and furniture designer. After his death in 1984, Kastholm continued designing furniture, including pieces which are still being produced by R. Randers as well as working as an architect up until his own death in 2007. Together these two gentlemen influenced future generations of architects and furniture designers, encouraging them to be creative and unafraid to work in unusual media.