Piet Hein was a Danish scientist, mathematician, inventor, designer, author and poet. Quoting Life Magazine in 1966, ' Piet Hein was no ordinary poet, he was very popular in his native Denmark and throughout Scandinavia. One out of ten scandinavians owns a volume of his work. In Scandinavian countries, a clever after-dinner speaker is defined as one who can talk for 30 mins without quoting Piet Hein'.
In 1959, city planners in Stockholm, Sweden announced a design challenge for a roundabout in their city square Sergels Torg. Piet Hein had the winning proposal and it was based on the superellipse since then the design has been used for many things e.g.Azteca Olympic Stadium, in Mexico City, the Superellipse table, dishes and other design products.
CLASSIC DANISH DESIGN
Piet Hein - The first time Piet Hein utilised the super ellipse was in connection with the design of Sergels Torv in Stockholm in 1959. In the years that followed, he toyed with other uses for this harmonic figure, leading to Super Egg, sports arenas, trays, textiles and many other fascinating items.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION
Piet Hein is among the Danes which have received the most awards in the twentieth century. In Denmark he has received the Aarestrup-medal ( 1969), the Industrial Design-prize (1971), the Storm Petersen-prize (1978), the Medal Ingenio et Arti (1985), the annual prize of Danish Design Council (1989) and the Tietgen Medal (1990) as well as honorary memberships of the Students' Association (1970), the Royal Copenhagen Shooting Society (1978), Det Danske Broderskab (the Danish Guild) (1978).
Of international distinctions can be mentioned Alexander Graham Bell Silver Bell (1968), Die gute Industrieform (1971), Doctor of Human Letters at Yale University (1972), Huitième Salon Internationale du Lumiaire (1973) and Nobel Lecturer (1983).
Piet Hein is the internationally best known Dane in our century next to the physicist Niels Bohr and the author Karen Blixen.