OLE KORTZAU (1939- )

Ole Kortzau was born in 1939 and graduated from the Roya Academy of Fine Arts in 1966. He began his career as an architect, and formed a small collaborative of architects called Gronne Studio in 1973. After three years, he quickly grew dissatisfied with the field.  Architecture was too stringent and removed from the area where he had the most interest: designing items within the home. He then began to freelance in the area of design, keeping a small notebook with his ideas sketched out within. He frequently sought out new ideas and inspiration, delighting in the process of design, rather than marketability, and typically drawing his inspiration from the local cultural heritage and nature, and rendering a soft sensuality into his designs. He is probably most well known for his series of Danish beachscape postcards, which were very popular during the 70's and 80's, however has also created a number of designs for such varied firms as Georg Jensen, Holmegaard Glass, Kvadrat (textiles), and Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactury.

His works show a softer modernism, rather than focusing on tight geometrical shapes, which can be seen in the Waves curtains he designed for Kvadrat. Taking inspiration from the soft sinuous patterns drawn in the sand by the waves at the beach, he translated the design into strips of torn tissue paper, and soon after had samples of the fabric pattern ready. The co-founder and former director of Kvadrat Poul Byriel had commented on the design's durability, to which is evidenced by its continued production to this day, 36 years later.