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The famous Jet Desk from 1970
The Jet Desk by Ernest Igl
As you may know, the folks from antibeige have a certain sympathy for rebels and crazy ones – such as for someone like Ernest Igl. Ernest “Igl” Hofmann was on an artistic mission. In 1970, for example, he designed the legendary „Igl Jet Desk” as a rebellious act against „a style of furniture prescribed by woodworking machines – smooth, angular, pompous, aggressive and repulsive“. Conventional materials such as wood, glass and steel were therefore out of the question for the furniture reformer.
But first things first: Ernest Hofmann (1920 – 2001) graduated from the Commercial Academy in Karlovy Vary in 1938 and attended the College of Fine Arts in Prague and the Academy of Applied Arts in Munich. After the war he worked as a graphic designer, then soon made a name for himself as an internationally sought-after industrial designer. Igl didn’t see himself as a designer, but rather as a universalist and artistic problem solver: supported only by handicraft workers, he designed and produced models up to 10 m in length in a 400 m² studio.
His principle: to reduce ideas from three-dimensionality to two-dimensional flatness by unwinding them, and then to transform them into plastic messages by reshaping them – as a synthesis of analysis. With his education and degree from the Karlsbad Commercial Academy, he was well aware of the commercial aspects of design.
When he designed his iconic “Jet Desk”, it was years ahead of its time in terms of work ergonomics, (for example see the beveled edge on the front for more comfortable leaning against the table) and a patent application was filed for this desk in the US. In fact, there are hardly any desks that surpass an Igl Jet in exclusivity and elegance – if you are not attached to the representative oak desk of the company patriarch.