1923 - 2005
Ditzel began training as a cabinetmaker. She went on to study at the city’s School of Arts and Crafts and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Schooled in furniture design, she completed her studies in 1946. The same year she married cabinetmaker Joergen Ditzel (1921-1961). They had been working together for several years and in 1946 they opened a design studio together. They participated in several design competitions and exhibitions within several areas ranging from furniture and interior design to everyday items and jewellery. While Joergen Ditzel was still alive everything that left the studio had both their names on it.
In 1950 the Ditzels submitted a competition proposal for a jewellery competition organized by Guldsmedefagets Faellesråd (Danish Goldsmiths Council), they won first prize. In the early 1950s the Ditzels designed jewellery for A. Michelsen silversmithy. The Ditzels were asked to design jewellery for Georg Jensen’s 50th anniversary in 1954. Ditzel's collaboration with Georg Jensen spanned more than 50 years during which time she produced more than 150 works for the company, mostly in jewellery design. Ditzels unceasing innovation in uses of silver and gold over half a century has produced jewellery with its own modern idiom, one that has come to represent Georg Jensen’s unique design language.
Considered one of the 20th century’s leading furniture and jewellery designers, Ditzel was most prolific during that post-World War II time period known as the Golden Age of Danish Design.
Ditzel worked alongside some of the greatest names in Scandinavian design. From the early days of her career, what set her apart from other furniture designers was her unmistakable innovation. She explored different materials including fiberglass, wickerwork and foam rubber, finding it impossible to limit herself by discipline. She instead preferred to dabble in such diverse specialties as cabinet-making, jewellery, tableware, applied art, and textiles.
In her lifetime, Ditzel held an international presence exhibiting in Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, Vienna, London, Stockholm, Milan, Glasgow, Manchester, Reykjavik, Paris, and Denmark. Recipient of numerous design accolades in Denmark and abroad, she was a leading figure in the post-war Danish modern movement when she died in 2005.
The Ditzels received the Lunning price in 1956. Nanna Ditzel was a member of the Georg Jensen foundation from 1988-1990.