A man of many talents, the Swede Björn Dahlström (born 1957) has a background in advertising and graphics but has designed as far apart products as a pneumatic drill for Atlas Copco, furniture for Cbi and Zoltan Milano, electrical appliances for Krupps, textiles for Marimekko, toys for Playsam and the now classic Tools kitchenware series for Hackman and iittala. Amongst his other designs are a futuristic tent and a stylish bicycle for Skeppshult. The use of contrasting colours, curved shapes, large scales and unusual materials always make the Dahlström designs humorous while both functional and pleasing to the eye. His work is represented both at the National Museum in Stockholm and at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Certain things are so closely associated with a particular time that they become timeless. There is no better example of this than the string® shelving system designed by Nisse Strinning in 1949. It may seem strange that a thing so simple and unpretentious as this economical, light shelving with its minimal framing has become one of the twentieth century’s foremost design icons. But the reasons are many. It is simple and cheap to transport as a flat package. The shelves are easy to assemble. Each shelf can be quickly relocated. Shelves of different depths can be combined and the framing functions as book ends. It is robust and can be extended in any direction.