Interview with String Furniture Founders Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson

  • Photography Courtesy of Great Dane
  • Interview with String Furniture Founders Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson

    est caught up with founders and directors Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson of  Swedish-based String® Furniture ahead of their Australian launch of String® Galvanized. Exclusive to Australia at Great Dane the latest addition to the iconic shelving system family; String® Galvanized informs the outdoor version of this beloved design.

    It all began with the search to find a book shelf that balanced functionality and form. In 1949, leading Swedish publishing house Bonniers launched a competition calling for a shelving solution that was affordable, easy to ship, easy assemble and easy to install. Married couple Nils and Kajsa Strinning won the competition with their ingenious solution: a flexible, elegant and minimalist shelving system that could be mounted onto any wall- and so the String® Shelving System was born.

    A shining example of timeless Scandinavian design, the modern system was met with immediate success and Nils Strinning rose to fame as one of the most influential designers of the era.

    Refined and evolved since its inception, String has launched their highly-anticipated outdoor collection, exclusively available through Great Dane. Est attended the Melbourne garden party celebration of String Galvanised where we caught up with co-founders and directors Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson to chat through the histroy of String and the inspiration behind the latest member to the shelving family.

    Interview with String Furniture Founders Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson
    Interview with String Furniture Founders Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson
    Interview with String Furniture Founders Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson

    The String Shelving System has reached an iconic status over the years, what do you think has contributed to the attention it has received?

    Peter and Pär: String experienced a phase of significant growth in the 50s and 60s – it increased in popularity across the world. Its popularity can be credited to its inception as a minimalist, functional system that can be used for any purpose. String is flexible and affordable, making it a worthy investment for a range of customers and their respective lifestyles. Producing beautiful photography has also helped enhance the attention String has received over the years, impeccably demonstrating how functional and dynamic the system

    What about the String Shelving System do you think sets it apart from other shelves and storage solutions?

    Peter and Pär: String is a dynamic, modular system that can be assembled in different ways, and can be deconstructed and transported to a new space when needed with ease. Unlike other storage solutions, String is designed to suit people’s needs, even as they change over the years. The endless configuration options ensure they can be a perfect storage solution even when people move homes, or go through different stages of life.

    In 2017, we decided to introduce metal to the system, which was historically made of wood. This helped us maximise String’s functionality, enabling us to add rods, hooks and other components. The enhanced utility made String® an ideal option in hallways, bathrooms and kitchens.

    Interview with String Furniture Founders Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson

    What would you say is the most popular String product throughout String Furniture, including sister collection such as String Plex and String+ ?

    Peter and Pär: String Pocket is the most popular product, there are seventy thousand sold every year globally and it’s a single modular piece that ties in with the rest of the String product story.

    The original String System continues to be a bestseller too, especially since people can buy shelves and panels to add to their existing configuration.

    Married couple Nils and Kajsa Strinning designed the clever shelves in 1949. Have many modifications or refinements been made since that date?

    Peter and Pär: Nils and Kajsa Strinning made very few changes to the system, mainly to the dimensions. Since taking over String in 2005, we have introduced some significant modifications, that we felt enhanced functionality without compromising on the ethos of the brand. Wecurrently offer a variety of dimensions, so there’s a String solution for every storage requirement. Introducing metal to the system in 2017 was also a big step for us, as it opened up a world of possibilities.

    The String System has been widely featured across projects worldwide, what is the most innovative use you’ve seen the system being used for so far?

    Peter and Pär: As String is fully modular, the design possibilities are endless. Most notably, String was used in the United Nations offices in New York City in the 1950’s. Retailer COS use it in their stores, and it’s used at hotels too. We see String popping up in more visceral environments as workstations. Its ability for varied use lends itself to the idea of the module being flexible and free to create a solution that works for an individual. Our Instagram features our favourite uses of String.

    Interview with String Furniture Founders Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson

    Congratulations on the launch of your outdoor galvanised String System. What elements have changed in comparison to the indoor version?

    Peter and Pär: String Galvanised is a narrower system, and can be built as high as one needs it to be. The shelving panels come with high and low edge options. We anticipate people placing plants on the system, so we have designed String Galvanised shelves in a manner that prevents it from bending.

    To this day, you still manufacture your products in Sweden. What influenced the decision to keep the production process local to the design’s roots?

    Peter and Pär: Manufacturing String in Sweden is a practical, yet also a sentimental choice. Sweden is where String was born, and we are proud of our its history and heritage. The factory where our systems are produced is only a few hours away from the office, so being close to our manufacturer is important to our quality assurance. When a problem presents itself we can solve it quickly, and we’re also able to produce stock based on our projections.

    Interview with String Furniture Founders Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson

    Founders and directors of String furniture: Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson at the Melbourne garden party launch of String Galvanised.

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