Born in 1926 in Gamtofte, Denmark, Verner Panton studied at Odense Technical College before enrolling in architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He worked from 1950-52 in the architectural firm of Arne Jacobsen, and founded an independent studio for architecture and design in 1955. His furniture designs for the firm Plus-linje attracted attention with their geometric forms. In the following years Panton created numerous designs for seating furniture and lighting.
His passion for bright colours and geometric patterns manifested itself in an extensive range of textile designs. By fusing the elements of a room—floor, walls, ceiling, furnishings, lighting, textiles, wall panels made of enamel or plastic—into a unified gesamtkunstwerk, Panton's interior installations have attained legendary status. The most famous examples are the "Visiona" ship installations for the Cologne Furniture Fair (1968 and 1970), the Spiegel publishing headquarters in Hamburg (1969) and the Varna restaurant in Aarhus (1970).
Panton's collaboration with Vitra began in the early 1960s, when the firm decided to develop what became his best-known design, the Panton Chair, which was introduced in 1967. This was also the first independently developed product by Vitra.