Poul Cadovius, a renowned Danish designer and manufacturer, was born in Frederiksberg in 1911. Initially, he honed his skills as a saddler and upholsterer, but his passion for industrial design led him to establish his own furniture manufacturing company called Royal Systems in 1945. During this period, Cadovius conceived a groundbreaking idea to develop a floating, modular shelving system that would optimize floor space and revolutionize traditional shelving concepts. The introduction of the Royal System in 1948 propelled Cadovius to great acclaim, earning him a gold medal at the Finland Furniture Fair in 1950 and a silver medal at the XI Triennale di Milano in 1957. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, it became an iconic representation of midcentury modern design.
Between 1964 and 1967, Cadovius expanded his influence by acquiring the esteemed furniture manufacturer France & Søn, renowned for its industrialized production of teak furniture. He subsequently rebranded the company as CADO. Collaborating with a distinguished roster of legendary Danish designers, including Sigvar Bernadotte, Grete Jalk, Arne Vodder, Edvard Kindt-Larsen, and Finn Juhl, Cadovius produced an impressive portfolio of notable pieces. Among these were Ditte & Adrian Heath’s 594 Dining Table and Chairs (1971), Steen Ostergaard’s Lounge Chair and Model 290 Chairs (1968), Ole Wanscher’s Senator Chair series (1960s), and a series of coffee tables in the 1960s designed by Cadovius himself, incorporating aluminum, rosewood, and hand-painted designs by Susan Fjedldoe Mygge.
Cadovius was known for his minimalist aesthetic that flawlessly blended form and function. His designs seamlessly merged industrial elements with organic sensibilities, offering affordability without compromising elegance. While the Royal System shelving unit stands as his most significant contribution to Danish modernism, Cadovius left a lasting legacy with over 400 registered patents, continuing to inspire future generations of designers.
Poul Cadovius passed away in 2011 at the remarkable age of 99, leaving behind a rich heritage in the world of design.