Nils Strinning (1917-2006) studied architecture in Stockholm from 1940 until 1947 and already designed his first unmistakable String design objects during his student days. With the crockery basket “Elfa”, which the Swede designed in 1946, he laid the groundwork for what we call “Scandinavian design” today.
In the year 1949 Strinning landed his greatest success. He took part in a design competition by the Swedish publisher “Bonniers folkbibliotek”. The publisher was looking for a novel functional and reasonably priced book shelf. Additionally, it was supposed to be easy to send and build.
Strinning wanted to cater to exactly these demands. With a lot of love for detail he designed a bookshelf together with his wife, Kajsa Strinning, with a slender packaging that made it easy to ship anywhere. And it was almost child's play to build. The individual shelves were easily moved up or down. It was so robust that it held countless books and it was easily expandable in all directions. The idea of the String shelf system was born and Strinning won first prize in the competition.
In the year 1952 Strinning founded not one but two companies: the String Design AB and the Swedish Design AB. Strinning designed numerous pieces of furniture and household items, among them the famous shelving systems “String Plex”, “String Pocket”, and “String Soft”. All String modules are still being manufactured in Sweden, simply under then name “String Furniture AB”.
“String Plex” is an ingenious shelf system refined with transparent Plexiglas elements. “String Pocket” on the other hand designates a mini shelf, which needs almost no space at all, and is also wonderfully suited as an additional element. The “String Soft” shelf frame enchants us with its soft colours like mint and powder pink and a pleasantly smooth surface.
All bookshelves are extremely versatile. Assemble your very own individual String shelf system! Older String cases can even be combined or expanded with new ones, because the basic elements have not changed since 1929.
With his String shelving system Strinning won more than 15 prizes and awards. Among them was a gold medal at the Triennial in Milan in 1954. In 1979 String was taken up into the design collection of the Swedish National Museum. In the years 1993 and 1999 Strinning was awarded for first-class Swedish design by the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design (Svensk Form).
In every String object it is very clear that functionality is its main concern. Clear shapes and individual assembly possibilities combined with a beautiful design make the String shelving system a true design classic of the 20th century.