collection and adds new pieces
If there is one positive impact of the pandemic it is companies moving closer to home and discovering what is important. “The corona situation has given us the opportunity to focus more on our in-house production,” says Elias Stenberg, Marketing Manager at Swedese.
Besides launching new products – the table Savoa by Finnish designer Sakari Hartikainen and the Pinot seating collection by graduate designer Mika Lindblad – Swedese is rediscovering their old designs through the collection A Distinctive Line by Swedese.
The table Savoa is made of solid oak and is characterised by a playfulness and a flexibility, where the material take centre stage. "Savoa is a sculptural expression of the delicate balance we all seek in life. Strong but flexible, traditional but innovative, solid but light," says Sakari Hartikainen, who works internationally in product, furniture and concept design, and designs for both home and public environments. This is the first collaboration with Swedese..
Since 1945, Swedese’s basic idea has been to produce furniture that will last a lifetime and preferably even longer – they should be passed down through generations. The company was founded in 1945 by the two brothers Yngve and Jerker Ekström and Bertil Sjöqvist. The most well known design of Yngve Ekström's extensive portfolio is the Lamino armchair from 1956. The head office is located in Vaggeryd, Småland.
Furniture gets revamp
The company has worked with stylist Tina Hellberg to update existing furniture with a new look, including choice of wood, surface treatments and colours. This includes the stool Avavick, the series Comma with trays and mirrors and the armchairs Amstelle and Laminett. The showroom in Vaggeryd, Småland, has also been given a total revamp – and soon in Gothenburg.
"I start from existing furniture, some that are new, some that have been around since Yngve Ekström's days when he started Swedese in 1945," says Tina Hellberg. "Since all production takes place under Swedese's own regime, there are lots of possibilities to choose types of wood, surface treatment, upholstery and so on."
The Pinot seating collection is made without using upholstery to showcase the construction of the pieces, which are made from oak wood, linen and leather. The collections consists of a sofa and an easy chair made as part of Mika Lindblad's graduate project at Beckmans College of Design in collaboration with furniture producer Swedese.
The future workplace
As more people are expected to continue working from home, Swedese is also adapting its offer. "A large part of our business is about comfortable sitting, and we have spent a lot of time thinking about what workplaces and meeting places will look like in the future," says Elias Stenberg.
"We believe that we will be able to reach the design-conscious, who want to work at home but who do not want to buy unnecessarily ugly pieces of work furniture. One example is our shelf Libri, which is also available as a desk, combined with a comfortable yet elegant swivel base armchair such as Stella.”
The Pinot seating collection by Mika Lindblad
TNE: You have stated that "sustainability was once simply called quality." Is sustainability more or less about going back to old-fashioned production methods?
ES: "I think so. There are two parts to this: One is sustainability from the quality aspect. The basis for good sustainability rests on quality. A concept that we have worked with for many years is ’Swedese Repair’. If you just add a little love and maintenance, our furniture can live for both two and three generations. The second part is about circularity, that you have to take care of the material the day that you can no longer use the furniture. We have a dream of finding a solution to cold foam. If we break that code, I would be extremely happy."
TNE: Which markets will you focus on?
ES: "The Nordic market is always our main focus. We strongly believe in Norway, which is close to Sweden in terms of style and materials. We are not a huge exporter, but there are some clusters that love the Scandinavian design tradition both in the southern parts of Europe, Asia and in North America."
"A large part of our business is about comfortable sitting, and we have spent a lot of time thinking about what workplaces and meeting places will look like in the future."
The company has worked with stylist Tina Hellberg to update its existing furniture collection through the collection A Distinctive Line by Swedese.