Bent Karlby

Bent Karlby was a Danish architect, designer and member of the resistance. He was educated at the Technical School in Aarhus in 1932. Karlby worked for Vilhelm Lauritzen 1934-39, Palle Suenson 1939-40 and Ernst Kühn 1941-43.

In January 1943, Karlby helped to start the illegal newspaper Danish Journal and was also involved in Danish-Swedish Refugee Service, where he was responsible for the purchase of ships for illegal sailing, and the free Danish. He had to fled in 1943 to Sweden, where he joined the Danish Brigade 30 April 1945. Karlby was transferred to Transport column and Motor Wagon Company.

From 1944 he ran his own studio in Stockholm and was in 1945 a member of the Architects’ Association. Bent Karlby drew a few houses, but was a far more significant figure as a designer of lighting and blinds. He designed a wide range of patterns for C. Krüger Wallpaper Factory and Brdr. Dahl Wallpaper Factory and was the 1940s and 1950s leading Danish supplier of modernist artist wallpapers. In 1946 he won first prize in an American competition in Chicago, which led to increased distribution and marketing of his murals in the United States. He was a member of the American Institute of Decoration 1947.

His lighting designs date mainly from the 1960s and 70s and includes several of LYFA‘s most sought-after designs including the Påfugl, the Kvadrille and Kina-pendant. In 1971, he designed a number of different plastic lamp for ASK Belysning.