Jørgen Gammelgaard

Jørgen Gammelgaard

Born: 1938 - Died: 1991

Jørgen Gammelgaard was a Danish furniture maker, industrial designer and professor. He completed his apprenticeship for C. B. Hansens Etablissement in 1957, and got the silver medal for his final project. Following the apprenticeship, Jørgen Gammelgaard worked with A.J. Iversen, until admitted to the School of Applied Arts in 1959. He attended this school until 1964, and then became a guest student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, working under Poul Kjærholm and Ole Wanscher.

In the 1960s, Gammelgaard worked with inventory designs for the studios of Arne Jacobsen (1968-1969), Mogens Koch, Steen Eiler Rasmussen and Jørgen Bo. During this period, he also did consultancy work for the UN in Samoa, in Ceylon and in Sudan. During his stay in Samoa, Gammelgaard had a simple fluorescent tube as his only light. To get a better quality of light, he ingeniously tilted the horizontally hanging fluorescent tube 90 degrees, to an upright vertically position, and fitted it with a range “shades” cut from plastic. This was the inspiration for the world famous Tip-Top lamp, from 1971, which was bought immediately after his presentation, by the Danish Arts Foundation.

He got his own studio in 1973. In 1982 Jørgen Gammelgaard initiated into a collaboration with Børge Schiang, resulting in his masterpiece, Skagen karmstolen (in wood in 1983 and metal in 1985). His designs include the light Swing VIP (1983), silverware for Georg Jensen, the lighting of the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Rødovre Library, and IBM’s headquarters in Lyngby, a folding chair in steel and canvas for Design Forum and EJ20-couch Erik Jørgensen.

Jørgen Gammelgaard was the first designer to receive the annual awards from both the Danish Design Council and The Council for Arts and Crafts. In 1987, he became an appointed professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, which lasted until his death.

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Swing vip by Jørgen Gammelgaard for Design Forum 1983
Tip-top by Jørgen Gammelgaard for Design Forum 1971