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Born Washington DC 1949

father: George Danko; patternmaker and model maker

mother: Arlene Danko; homemaker and landscape painter

education: BA, Art and Art History; University of Maryland,1971.

Made sculptured fixtures for local shopkeepers in Washington DCs Georgetown area.. local store owner Mary Vinton co-signed loan to buy machinery

1971-1973
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1974

Designed and built first of three cantilevered sofas for Georgetown Leather Design. First project that represents the Danko methodology: combining esthetics, physical structures and technique for a novel outcome.

1975-1976

Received NEA Craftsman Fellowship.

Visited Thonet plant in NC. reflecting growing interest in limited production furniture. Carved the snake sculptures for the Paradise Café. Began designing first plywood chair.

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1977

Moved shop to Alexandria, VA. Continued to develop the one piece plywood chair.  Father designed and made the first plywood press to mold the plywood chair. Opened a retail store on King Street, and had shop in the back.

1978

IMuseum of Modern Art NYC accepted the first one piece plywood chair into its Design collection. In show at American Crafts Museum, NYC: NEW HANDMADE FURNITURE.  Designed and made Chuck’s Desk, a first try at molding curved panels.

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1979

Designed the #4 and #8 Crystal tables: Fascinating structures, only 2 discrete parts,  very mathematical. Will work with any even number of trapezoids; top and bottom pieces are rotated from each other 360˚ divided by the number of trapezoids

1979 (continued)

Designed and made a bentwood rocking chair. Designed and made double #8 Crystal table that expands molecularly.

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Designed the Clyde’s chairs for Clyde’s Restaurant, Tysons Corner VA.  First large commission for multiples.  Awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Design Fellowship, 1980.    

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1980
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1981

Carved the High Tech Chippendale table. The Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art acquired a #8 Crystal table and six of the first one piece plywood side chairs.

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1981(continued)

Designed a second and a simpler one piece plywood chair.The design was originally for Knoll International. It had a variable cross section as a way of making the rear legs thicker for strength. It became our best selling chair. Also designed and made the Spyder tables, which came in 3 and 4 legs.

1982

Designed and developed the Unfolding Chair.  The Unfolding Chair had polyester straps molded into wood.  This allowed the chair to fold without using visible hardware.  The design received much critical acclaim and was accepted into two Smithsonian's National Museum of American American Art in Washington DC.  (where it is currently on display). 

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1983

Designed and made the Everychair Series. The upholstery seat panels were a different structural application of the folded wood concept.  The Everychair Series won the IDSA, Certificate of Achievement; Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York acquired the Unfolding Chair

1982 (continued)

Designed the Lazy Spiral Chair. The seat/back is adjustable allowing the chair to recline.

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1984-1986

Developed the Waveform chair.  A unique physical structure guided the design that may well be among the most comfortable chair ever. See DESIGN STATEMENT.

Designed and building personnel residence. Museum of Modern Art, NY acquired the Bodyform Chair. Completed chairs for the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center

1984-86 (continued)

Completed chairs for the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center, NY. Museum of Modern Art, NY acquired the Bodyform Chair.

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1987

Completed personal residence in the Moyaone Reserve in Accokeek, MD. The house is partially earth sheltered with heat mass and passive solar orientation. Self contracted and built window walls.

1988

Designed house for Eric Straus, a neighbor in the Moyaone Reserve. He liked my house with the window wall, earth berm and concrete for heat mass with passive solar orientation. Also built window walls.

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1989

Fan Chair. Design reflects unique physical structure using folded wood back and seat and stress skin panels under seat to hold structure together. Quite a comfortable chair.

1990-1991

Designed the chair for the Electronic Cottage.  The design adopts a way to use stress skin engineering to structure a chair. Eliminates the need for conventional joinery and secondary bracing.  The design also experiments with folded wood and color inlay. Nearby: Tomato Palace Restaurant, Columbia, MD

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1992

Designed the Radia Lounge chair and the Ariascape seating system as a commission for Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD.  Both these designs use the folded wood process in interesting new ways.

1993

Designed the Delta Ray Chair; the second generation of the stress skin panel concept. Completed the Randall Children’s Museum in San Francisco

Made a 1/4 scale mold of a one piece chair with a flair back.  These chairs became the Europa chair and barstool. 

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1994

1994 Designed Grace & Lace chairs, the third generation of the stress skin panel concept.  This chair is the culmination of efforts to design a chair using the stress skin panel concept.  The chair for the electronic cottage had 12 parts, the Delta Ray had 11, and the Grace & Lace chair had 5, and is easy to make.  Also designed the Greenbelt side chair, which incorporates recycled automotive seat belting as seat suspension.

1994 (continued)

Designed the Greenbelt chair for the Rouse Company. They were for the food court in the Columbia Mall, Columbia MD. This was first use of recycled seat belt material and the chair went on to become our best selling chair and still is.

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1995

Collaborated with architect Hugh Hardy to design the chairs for the Windows on the World at the World Trade Center in NYC; Licensed Grace & Lace chairs to Sauder Manufacturing. Began working with Joe Persing, who owned Mastercraft Specialities. Moved to Pennsylvania. Formed the Danko division of Persing Enterprises.

1996-1997

Designed the Gotham side chair. Used the molds from Windows of World for the frame and used recycled automotive seat belt material for  suspension. Filled out the Gotham line with an armchair, side chair, bistro chair, barstool, and bar chair. Began designing a new press for molding plywood.

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1998

Designed and produced the Europa chair and bar chair.  Spent an entire year designing and making the tooling for just these two chairs.  These designs combined compound forming and molding variable cross sections.  The mold also closes at oblique angles to allow the plane of the back to be wider than plane of the legs. 

1999

Designed the Atmos rocker, Atmos lounge chair, the Library/Study chair.  Designed the Javelin, Moroccan Modern, Obelisk, and TriArc tables, all designs to use scrap from Europa Chair.  The rocker and the library/study chair are significant because they allow the user to sit in a fixed position when working at a table or to enter and exit the chair; when the user shifts their weight back on the chair, it rocks back.

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1999 (continued)

Designed the Javelin, Moroccan Modern, Obelisk, and TriArc tables, all designs to use scrap from Europa Chair.  The rocker and the library/study chair are significant because they allow the user to sit in a fixed position when working at a table or to enter and exit the chair; when the user shifts their weight back on the chair, it rocks back.

2000-2001

Completed a rudimentary machine to edge corrugated polymer. Applied for patent on the process. Began looking for a company to manufacture and market edging machine. Designed the Stewardship bench and the Hanging Garden bench.  This was a Rouse company job. 

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2002

Designed the Zinnia bench for Discover Mills Mall. Began developing the Cricket Chair made from recycled tires and plastic.

2002 (continued)

Bought house at 839 McKenzie St.  Renovated interior before moving into house in fall of that year. Completed the Cornucopia Table for Danko dining room, which has unusual expanding mechanism based on a parallel rule concept. Continued work on the Cricket chair group

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2003

Completed first prototypes for Cricket Chairs. These designs were meant for classrooms. Began sketches and planning for kitchen at 839 McKenzie. Design phase took over a year. Concept was redesigned 3 times before a single piece of wood was cut.

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2004

Completed a first version of a chair using recycled tires as seat and back suspension. Completed and installed first cabinet prototype for Danko kitchen.  Ended association with Persing Enterprises. Began figure drawing with Susan on Saturday mornings and continues figure drawing, and began drawing musicians.

2005-2006

Completed the Equilibrium chair, a new version of the study chair designed in 1999. Sold first order to Wakeforest University. Began association with Frank Chervan Inc. Rented space in shop of Nick Wickstrom, a well regarded cabinetmaker in York.   Founded Peter Danko Design with Cliff and Judy Braun in joint venture with Hasty Plywood in N. Carolina. Completed kitchen at 839 McKenzie Late this year.

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2007

Designed Sylvan Chair, 4th single piece plywood chair. Completed 1/4 scale working model to mold chair. Also designed the Kumo chair. Traveled to Hasty Plywood many times setting up tooling and production 

2008

Designed Baobab Table and Wavetop styling for EcoEden chair. Continued traveling to Hasty Plywood in North Carolina

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2009

Designed the Nue Chair. Curious to see if corrugated polymer could be used structurally for seating. Polumer seat and back held together under tension to the wood sides. Gave up on looking for party to license edging machine concept, so began designing production prototype machine to put finished edge onto corrugated polymers.

2010

Re-designed the Cricket chair and named it the NoCO2 chair,  Re-styled wood and re-engineered the frame. Also developed a much quicker method to assemble tires to frame and seat. Sold this chair to George Mason University. Continued part-time to build edging machine.

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2011-2012

Applied what I learned from the Nue Chair to design a new version. Continued to build edging machine.  Completed basic machine and began running trails.  Edging machine process continued to improve.  Began machine to model corners that same month.  Designed the Stainless Steel bench using Wire Mesh material made here in York. Was Artist in Residence for York County for 2012.  Show opened at YorkArts, June 7 and ran through August 4th. In October moved From Wickstrom space to lease larger space in the Dallco business complex.

2013

Continued developing edging machine and chair with fluted polymers. The chair design passed both BIFMA tests for structure and the CAL-133 fire test. Renamed Ashton Chair. Further developed the concept to include upholstery and belting. Goal was to replace the Greenbelt Chair as a less expensive alternative .

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2014

Designed Alchemy Chair in conjunction with Wire-Mesh Company here in York PA. Peter Geissler was summer intern. Mastercraft Specialties/Persing Enterprises filed for Bankruptcy and I bought my press back from them at auction. Began relationship with Blockhouse Furniture in Emigsville, PA. New owner of Danko shop space moved me to another building in the Dallco complex. Completed Edging Machine.

2015

New owner of building moved Danko workshop to another building in the complex By coincidence, new space is large enough for machines bought at Mastercraft/Persing bankruptcy auction. Court releases Danko designed molds to Danko for copywrite reasons.  Received a Commission from YorkArts to make a reception desk and a kitchen. Continued working with Blockhouse to manufacture Danko chairs, bending parts in Danko shop.

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2016

Completed the kitchen for YorkArts, (renamed) and now Creative York. Designed Glow Cabinet with inline sliding doors. Designed and built Hostess station for Handsome Cab restaurant. 

2016 (continued)

Designed Benches for Creative York and Handsome Cab. Continued Ply-bending parts for Blockhouse to make Danko tables and chairs.

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2017

Developed machine to Wyzenbeck test specs to test graphic decals for suitability for the Ashton Graphic seats and backs. Outcome of testing interesting. See <https://www.peterdanko.com/ashton-graphic/Designing>  Abandoned Edging machine and Canibalized parts to design and develop edging machine 2. The idea was to make a more reliable and computer controlled machine suitable for commercial use.

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2018

Designed Ashton Lounge Chair and continued to 

Design and Develop Edging Machine 2. Began making sample exhibits and artwork with fluted polymers.

2019

Developed method to finally make Cyclone table. Worked with blacksmith Tom Moore and summer intern Alex Munro. Continued to perfect edging machine and process for making making magnetic panels. 

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2020

Designed Legolas Table and Ashton Arm chair.

Continued to improve reliability of edging machine and related processes.

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