Swedese’s founder Yngve Ekström was one of Sweden’s leading furniture designers during the 1950s and 60s. He created one of the nation’s best loved armchairs, the Lamino (1956), a classic furniture icon that remains the top seller in the Swedese range. At Stockholm Furniture Fair 2018, Swedese is now relaunching three chairs from Ekström’s most productive era: Thema, Caryngo and Lamino Rattan.
Swedese’s factory and head office in Vaggeryd, southern Sweden, is home to the Swedese Archive, where all the company’s historical material is kept. From sketches via prototypes to classic original pieces, the archive is an endlessly updated treasure trove of Swedese history. From this rich archive, the company has selected three products that will now be brought back into production, all of which were designed by Yngve Ekström.
“We believe that by bringing back these three classics, we’re meeting the market’s demand for timeless design and sustainability. The three chairs, all of which are very different in their design and shape, also clearly show what a multifaceted designer Yngve Ekström was,” says Sonnie Byrling, CEO of Swedese.
Thema 1953. Design Yngve Ekström
The Thema chair was undoubtedly the piece that launched Yngve Ekström’s career as a furniture designer. It was presented to the enthusiastic interior designers at Nordiska Kompaniet (NK), Stockholm’s most fashionable department store, in 1953 and the rest is design history. Thema is an early example of Swedish flatpack furniture design that was cheap to distribute and could easily be assembled by the customers themselves. The chairs were sold as sets of four in one pack, with the tagline “Four chairs in one box”. The unconventional design with crossed legs and low clothes-hanger-like backs is named after Bach’s piano variations. The frame is made from black lacquered birch with a seat and backrest in oak or walnut.
Caryngo 1955. Design Carl Malmsten & Yngve Ekström
Caryngo was a unique collaboration between the two biggest Swedish furniture designers of the 1950s: Carl Malmsten and Yngve Ekström. Malmsten created the basic design and Ekström was responsible for the detailing. The first versions went by the name of “Model Yngve” but were later launched as Caryngo. The armchair’s solid oak frame and deeply sloping backrest are combined with glossy leather on the back and seat. The composition and the contrasts in the design and material choices make the chair feel both playful and serious at the same time. Lamino Rotting 1956. Design Yngve Ekström Lamino is one of the most renowned armchairs in Swedish design history. Its
comfort and neat elegance are typical of Yngve Ekström’s approach. Over the years, Swedese has updated the iconic design of the timeless original with the addition of new materials. Back in the early 1950s, a precursor to the Lamino chair called “Kurva” was available in a version with a seat and backrest made from rattan, and in the early 2000s the company also sold a Lamino in rattan. Now the rattan favourite is back from the Swedese Archive – a beautifully elegant armchair whose natural colours accentuate the laminated bentwood that has been such a feature of the Lamino and of Swedese since the very beginning. Lamino Rattan is available as a limited edition.