Design Icon

Design Icon: Panton’s Visiona Phantasy Landscape

by Maxwell Tielman


Design: Phantasy Landscape (part of the larger experimental Visiona 2 interior)

Designer: Vener Panton (Danish, 1926-1998)

Date: 1970

Country of Origin: Denmark

Materials & Construction: Wooden frame, foam padding, cloth covering.

Background: The vast social change, sexual liberation and narcotic experimentation of the late 1960s gave way to a wave of boundary-pushing psychedelic designs that sought to challenge the ways humans see and interact with everyday objects. Occasionally referred to as “Pop” design, a reference to the concurrent Pop movement in the art world, one of the torchbearers of this particular aesthetic was Verner Panton, the Danish designer whose formal experimentation helped to define a style. Although Panton is more well known for his stand-alone furniture, his large-scale “Visiona 2” installation was a trippy amalgam of his design philosophies—not just an interior, but an all-encompassing experience. Commissioned by the Bayer chemical company for the 1970 Cologne furniture fair, Visiona 2 consisted of numerous, interconnected rooms that provided visitors with a mind-bending, multi-sensory journey. Filled with explosive color, smells and mysterious pre-recorded sounds, spaces like the Phantasy Landscape (above) supplied a look into a hypothetical future—a new (and, let’s be honest, way more fun) way of viewing objects and their role in human life.

*Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

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