Hans J. Wegner, 92; furniture designer made elegant chairs

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Hans J. Wegner, 92, a Danish furniture designer best known for his functional yet elegant chairs, died Jan. 26 at his home in Copenhagen, said his daughter, Eva Wegner. She did not provide a cause of death.

Born in 1914 to a master cobbler in Tonder, Denmark, Wegner was trained as a cabinetmaker before attending the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts.

His international breakthrough came in 1949 with the Round Chair, which soon became a classic. It was used 11 years later in the televised U.S. presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

“All designers should be carpenters,” Wegner told the New York Times in 1998. “When you sit in a chair, you should feel that the person who has made it has enjoyed it, that every detail has been worked out.”