FDB, or Fællesforeningen for Danmarks Brugsforeninger, is one of the earliest manufacturing and wholesale cooperatives to have been formed in Denmark, and has played an instrumental role in popularising great Scandinavian design.
From the 1920s onwards, elite architecture and interior design moved away from the opulence and decoration that characterised the pre-War period. With architects like Le Corbusier at the helm, the world of design moved towards functionality and minimalism, stripping things back to the bare essence. Yet for the common market, it was too big a step to take.
With Borge Mogensen as chief of the furniture office, FDB employed a group of designers who viewed functionality from a different perspective. Their designs bore the hallmark of Mogensen's teacher, Kaare Klint - deemed by many to be the father of Danish design. They sought to reform and improve the lives of common people through furniture that was tailored not only to human needs but to human dimensions.
The philosophy was a democratic one, but encouraging people to purchase the furniture was no easy task. Difficulties arose from the scale of the task that FDB had set itself - to manufacture large quanities of furniture whilst maintaining a high build-quality. Yet with perseverance, excellent advertising, and a business plan that deemed customer satisfaction to be more important than profits, FDB succeeded in becoming an icon of Scandinavian design.
Despite incredible sales figures right through the 50s and 60s, FDB Furniture was closed in 1980. Fortunately, the decision was made to re-open the company in 2013, with a view to reissuing iconic designs and adding to the existing catalogue. The ethos remains the same - outstandingly well made furniture at an affordable price.