April 2016


Vladimir Kagan has passed away at the age of 89. He was a major figure in the world of American design in the twentieth century and a number of his creations have made their way into major museums.  

Vladimir Kagan was born in Germany in 1927 and immigrated to the United States eleven years later. He was passionate about sculpture and painting but fate had other plans for him. He studied architecture and design at Columbia University before learning the art of cabinet-making from his father.

He designed his first piece of furniture at the age of 20: a chair whose production continued for 50 years. In 1949 he created the Serpentine sofa which established his reputation. It still exists in the Vitra Design Museum near Basel.

Vladimir Kagan will not be forgotten; neither will his sofas in the shape of green runner beans and his wooden tables inspired by boomerangs. He managed to make his designs both contemporary and timeless. Kagan has combined comfort, functionality and creativity: three elements which indicate he was a truly great creator. He designed the COMETE model for Roche Bobois in 2003.