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Poul Cadovius

Poul Cadovius

Diseñador danés Poul Cadovius


The Danish designer and architect Poul Cadovius was born in Denmark in 1911. Originally trained as a saddler and upholsterer to follow the family business, he soon became interested in industrial design and established his own furniture manufacturing company in 1945.

His first commercial success was the innovative Royal System shelving system designed in 1948, a year before the popular "String" and considered one of the first modular shelving systems. His aim was to create pieces of furniture adaptable to different interiors, so he devised a floating, modular shelving system that maximised space and signalled the end of conformity in shelving, a revolution at the time. The Royal System shelving won the gold medal at the 1950 Finnish Furniture Fair and the silver medal at the XI Triennale di Milano in 1957 and remained a hallmark of mid-century modern design throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Abstracta was another of his most innovative creations, a modular system devised from aluminium tubes that could be combined to create anything from tables to the most complicated shelving structures.

Between 1964 and 1967, Cadovius acquired France & Søn, a teak furniture manufacturer, and eventually renamed the company CADO. Throughout his career he collaborated with an impressive list of iconic Danish designers through France & Søn and CADO.

He worked with materials such as wood and metal, creating aesthetically appealing pieces. His designs are characterised by clean lines, functionality and attention to detail.
Due to growing demand abroad, his furniture was manufactured under licence in a number of countries, including Sweden and the United States.

Their minimalist aesthetic is considered a perfect harmony of form and function: industrial and organic, affordable and elegant. Although the Royal System bookcase, along with Abstracta, was his main contribution to Danish modernism, he registered more than 400 patents over the course of his long career, leaving behind a legacy that inspired many future designers.

In the 1980s, due to financial difficulties, he sold his company and retired.

Cadovius passed away in 2011 at the age of 99, leaving behind a legacy and designs that are appreciated and recognised worldwide.

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