In these coronavirus times, people all over the world are sitting at home in their living room – perhaps even in an iconic Norwegian Siesta chair made by the Norwegian designer and architect Ingmar Relling (1920-2002). Read more about the iconic Norwegian Siesta chair.
Ingmar Relling is known as one of Norway’s most internationally recognized designers who created a series of functional furniture designs during his career. He took apprenticeship at a tender age of 16 at Vestlandske Møbelfabrik. His brother Adolf Relling, who was also a trained furniture designer, insisted that he enrolled at the Norwegian Academy of Craft and Art Industry in Oslo.
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Before starting his own studio in his home municipality Sykkylven in 1950, he started his career at Rastad & Relling design studio (1947).
420 Chair and the Nordic Chair
In the 1950s, Relling produced his 420 Chair for Vestlandske Møbelfabrik and in 1954 he desined his Nordic Chair, composed of two separate parts, a seat and a back. The chair could be folded and stored while not in use. Simplicity, minimalism, elegance and uncompromising quality are key concepts in all of Relling’s designs.
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The Iconic Norwegian Siesta Chair
Nearly a decade later, in 1965, Ingmar and his brother Knut designed the Siesta chair. The Siesta has been produced in over 800,000 units and is still in production. United States President Jimmy Carter purchased sixteen Siesta Chairs to furnish the White House during his term. Over the years, the simple construction and design has remained the same, but the materiality, the thickness of the cushion and general detailing have changed with the trends.
The Siesta Chair can be found in permanent collections around the world, like the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Die Neue Sammlung in Munich, the Cooper-Hewitt in New York, and the National Museum Oslo.
In 1992, the Siesta was awarded the Classic Award for Design Excellence by the Norwegian Design Council.
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A legendary contemporary furniture designer
Today, Ingmar is a legend in the world of contemporary furniture designers and is known for his designs characterized by minimalism, simplicity, elegance, and, more importantly, high quality.
Another gem by Ingmar Relling is the Tema chair from 1973 that borrowed a big leaf from the Siesta and was engineered from flat steel and a thick leather skin seat.
The furniture museum
The furniture museum, Møbelmuseet, formerly Norsk Møbelfaglig Senter (NMFS) in Sykkylven is a museum and a documentation center for the furniture industry of Norway. Among others, the museum contains a permanent exhibition showing the development of the furniture industry, and now celebrates Ingmar Relling’s 100th anniversary.
The Iconic Norwegian Siesta Chair, written by Tor Kjolberg