Nanna Ditzel studied cabinetmaking at Richards School in Copenhagen and trained in the furniture department of the Kunsthandvaerkskolen (Arts and Crafts School) from 1943-46. While studying furniture design, Ditzel met her husband to be Jørgen Ditzel and after graduating in 1946 they married and founded their own design studio.
During the following fifteen years the couple designed jewelry as well as furniture, mainly for smaller living spaces. In 1952 they designed plywood children’s furniture and in the late 1950’s manufacturer Poul Kold asked the Ditzel couple to design furniture for his company. Among the results was the Ring Chair from 1958, made with state-of-the-art latex foam upholstery which made it possible to create seats with a stronger sculptural quality than with traditional sprung upholstery. The Ring Chair was to become the Ditzel’s most successful furniture together with the Aeg hanging chair for Wengler (1959).
In 1955 the Ditzel duo designed a children’s high chair for the firm Kold Savværk which was awarded the Danish Lunning Prize the following year. With the prize money the Ditzel’s made study trips to Greece, Mexico and the USA. In 1960 they won a gold medal at the Milan Triennale for a silver necklace they’ve designed for George Jensen. One year later Jørgen Ditzel died, and Nanna had no other option than to pursue a solo design career and turned once again to children furniture. The first result of this was the Toadstool for Kold Savværk in 1962.
During the early 1960’s Nanna Ditzel’s work was the subject of exhibitions in London, Vienna, New York and Berlin. In 1965 she designed the furnishing fabric Hallingdal produced by Kvadrat, which became a sales success. Form 1968 to 1985 Ditzel lived in London where she together with her new husband Kurt Heine established the Interspace furniture showroom in Hampstead, and from 1970 also ran her own design studio where she among others made jacquard weaves design for Sundour Fabric and the plastic chair OD 5301-2 made for Odense Maskinsnedkeri in 1969.
In 1985 Nanna Ditzel moved back to Denmark where she designed the Bench for Two (1989) and the stackable Trinidad chair (1993) for Danish manufacturer Frederica Stolefabrik, for which she was awarded the ID Prize in 1995. Nanna Ditzel died in 2005 at the age of 82. Her OD 5301 chair was a part of the Female Traces exhibition at the Museum of Furniture Studies in 2019/2020.