Kai Kristiansen trained as a furniture maker and finished his apprenticeship in 1948. Two years later he was accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts where he studied furniture design under Kaare Klint. In the mid 50’s Kai opened his own design office and collaborations with Schou Andersen – for whom he designed the famous #42 dining chair – began. Throughout his career, he has been associated with some of the best-known manufacturers, i.e. Kjærsgaard, Fritz Hansen, Tarm og Feldballe. Kai Kristiansen was responsible for organizing a regional Furniture Fair from 1956 to 1965 and from 1966 to 1970 he was the driving force behind the Scandinavian Furniture Fair. Kai is a veteran of Scandinavian design.

Because they were so difficult to manufacture, many of Kristiansen’s designs eventually went out of production. In 2014, Kristiansen collaborated with Miyazaki Chair Company in Japan to reimagine some of his classics designs. Today, his vintage designs are highly collectible, and he is recognized as one of the most talented Scandinavian designers of the 20th century.