Christen Sorensen, passed away on June 10 at the age of 93. He leaves behind a legacy of countless designs from the countries he called home during his lifetime.
After working in the Danish furniture industry for twelve years, Christen “Chris” Sorensen became profoundly aware of its shortcomings, which prompted him to apply for admission to the “Kunsthandwaerkerskolen” (Copenhagen’s School for the Arts and Crafts) to study design. On the faculty at that time were some of Denmark’s most famous architects and designers – Hans J. Wegner, Borge Mogensen, Bender Madsen, Jorn Utzon (Architect of the Sydney Opera House), and Ejner Larsen, among others.
Sorensen opened a furniture design and production studio in Copenhagen when he completed his studies at design school. His chairs were exhibited throughout Scandinavia as well as at the Triennale in Milan in 1955. He moved to Montreal in 1956 where he was involved in many design projects: airport interiors; three pavilions for Expo ’67; commercial interiors; and furniture. Some of his chair designs are currently displayed in the permanent collection at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.
Keilhauer’s Respons chair, which Sorensen designed, was introduced in 1990, and is still in the company’s catalog, twenty-five years later. “Chris had a quiet, unassuming manner that belied his substantial talent,” says Mike Keilhauer, President, Keilhauer. “We still sell the Respons chair because it is one of most comfortable chairs anyone has ever designed. Chris will definitely be missed, as much for his talent as for his character.”
Sorensen spent his last twenty years living in Spain with his wife, Marie Thérèse, where he studied Spanish, excelled in wildlife photography, and participated in regular wine tastings with a group of local architects and designers. Though officially retired since 1995, Sorensen continued designing for the remainder of his life.