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Did Gunni Omann designed for Omann Jun or not, after all?!

Category
Interior design
- 12 Jun 2018 -
4 posts / 0 new
#1
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Interior design

Hi all,


Today, I just found out I might have been wrong and mislead all the past years, as I read this today on the pamono profile of Omann Jun: "Interestingly, Gunni Omann is often fasley attributed as the designer, however he never designed furniture for the company, but was instead only involved in sales."


Anyway, was this common knowledge and it was only me who has been mistaken all this time? If so, do you know how this "myth" originated?


The fact is that old Omann Jun ads credit Gunni Omann as an author, as easily seen on https://www.danish-modern.co.uk/gunni-for-omann-juns-m%c3%b8belfabrik/.


Does anyone have a hint on this?


Thanks!


Country
Denmark

Comments

- 12 Jun 2018

As per direct correspondence with Ulrich Omann, the 3rd generation owner of Omann Jun, Gunni was not a designer but rather did sales to the U.S.

Here is Ulrich's exact response to my inquiry of how design credit should be given:

"I think it is better to say that it was designed by the family Omann, who have always contributed 100% to design and production :) To say that it was made by a in-house designer is also wrong!"

Omann Jun is still in business: : www.omannjun.com

- 13 Jun 2018

Yes, as far as I know, the family had several members which were all involved in the furniture business and they all contributed more or less, designwise. There even was a second company right next to Omann Jun. which also was owned by one of the Omann brothers and which also produced cabinets. So, after all, it will be hard to tell, who was responsible for what exactly.

- 13 Jun 2018

I also don't think it is wrong to say that Gunni Omann was the designer. He was who the family put forward as the designer's name back then. The family sales manager for the largest market of the day probably did have an outsized say in the designing if he was being good at his job. And it is reasonable and helpful for the family to clarify now just what they think was meant, or not meant, by Gunni's name on the designs. Families are complicated. And the concept of design is complicated. And it is even more complicated with a family firm like Omann. Americans love to put their names on things, even when they are claiming someone else's thing. Danes have a much different culture around putting their names on things, which makes all this even more complicated.

Did Hans Wegner design the Chinese chair and all its later variations, or did he do it in collaboration with a lineage of nameless chinese cabinetmakers and Danish ones? According to the mythology Wegner was an amazing woodworker and he delivered perfect sketches capturing on one page every detail the cabinetmaker would need to know. And when the cabinetmaker could not figure out a particularly complex woodworking problem, Wegner himself woud provide the answer. So he is perhaps an example of the most pure use of 'designer', but it is still tainted with historical references, at minimum. And I could ask analogously with Finn Juhl and his Egyptian chair. Did George Nelson design anything at all? How much of the Eames' design was theirs and how much came from their design office? Human relationships are complicated. Is there anything truly new under the sun?

The word 'designer' is inherently flawed when used in this way. The case of Gunni Omann might, perhaps, be more flawed than some. It is probably less flawed than others. Everything is a story.

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