String® 1949
Jonas Wetterlöf, String Furniture
Peter Erlandsson, String Furniture
Stories 2021.12.20

Modern since 1949

String® was born out of a historic competition hosted by the Bonnier publishing house when they realized that most homes did not have bookshelves. In order to reach a mass audience, the competition specified that the shelf should be affordable, easy to ship and equally easy to assemble. Nils and Kajsa Strinning’s String concept fit all the criteria and their design quickly became hugely popular.

String® became a common piece of furniture in Swedish homes during the 1950s, and the 50s and 60s were eventful years for Sweden’s favourite shelf. It was mounted in the offices of the UN Headquarters in New York, became a gold medal winner at the Milan Triennale, part of the exhibition at H55 which was the start of the Swedish design movement, and became the best-selling Scandinavian furniture piece in Germany.

“During the 50s and 60s, String was huge. When we meet older people in Sweden today, many have a relation to the String shelf. They had it in their room when they grew up, and it’s the same story in Germany where the market was actually even bigger than in Sweden,” says Jonas Wetterlöf, CEO of String Furniture. “The heritage and the iconic design is something we have maintained and developed as we’ve taken the brand into the future.”

A brand revival

String Furniture was established in 2004 with the purpose to revive the production and distribution of the String® shelf, which had been in decline for a number of years. The assortment was carefully revised and new features for the shelving system were designed and developed. Nisse Strinning, who was still alive when the shelving system was rejuvenated in 2004, was as creative then as in 1949. Strinning designed a brand-new product, which he named String Pocket.

“Almost overnight, the updated shelving system was here to stay,” says Peter Erlandsson, co-founder of String Furniture. And the company has continued to grow ever since.

”When we took over String in 2004, we had our sights set on exports. We were not afraid to go beyond Sweden’s borders,” says Erlandsson.“Today, we have agents around Europe and our own subsidiary in Japan, and we have worked our way to the US, China, and countries such as Australia and Chile, just to mention a few. What we can see is that there is great demand for minimalist design and flexible function.”

Read more about the story behind String® and the milestones through the years.

 


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