Skip to main content
Member introduction: String Furniture: Reinventing an iconic Swedish gem in the 21st century
NEWS | Features

Member introduction: String Furniture: Reinventing an iconic Swedish gem in the 21st century

04 November 2018 | Written by sccj_office


The genesis of String Furniture can be traced back to Nils Strinning – a behemoth of 20th century Scandinavian design. This architect-turned-designer first made his name by winning a major bookshelf competition organized by Sweden’s largest publishing company Bonnier in 1949. It is said that the competition’s judges were fascinated by his concept’s minimalistic ladder-like side panels, simple but bold design, and generally modest appearance. That is perhaps why, upon its subsequent production and release, many thousands of avid readers and keen learners from Sweden’s post-war era grew a similar liking. “If you were a Swede growing up in the 1950s or 1960s, you were bound to come across Strinning’s bookshelves somewhere, at some point. That is how widely popular these were.” explained Ms. Hori.

But despite successfully developing its brand as a “household name” in Sweden, eventually, Strinning’s minimalist approach to design had to make way to designs that rooted from other more flamboyant schools of thought. In the mid 1970s production of String in Sweden came to a stop;but, in Germany, production continued through a Munich-based company called Deutsche String, an entity that had the rights to produce and sell String in Germany.

What happened thereafter is in some ways comparable to the story of the Exodus. Although they did not have to split open the Red Sea in two, when the two founders of String Furniture AB – Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson – decided to reclaim and reboot the String brand back in Sweden, they not only decided to secure an endorsement from Strinning himself, they also moved the entire value chain back over from Germany to Sweden. The purpose of this largescale transfer was to reestablish the company as a “100% Made in Sweden” brand. “When Erlandsson and Josefsson founded String Furniture in 2005, all of the product’s parts, including all of the small pieces used, were being made in Sweden again” explained Ms. Hori.

Today, String Furniture AB has a business presence in most European countries including all three Scandinavian countries, France, Germany, and the UK. Globally, String is sold in more than 40 countries including Japan, Australia, and China. They have very recently entered the US market, too. Its headquarters office is located at Malmo City, Sweden. Unlike its namesake, its Japanese subsidiary company, String Furniture KK, is very new. It was only recently established on February 15, 2017. According to Ms. Hori, this move was carefully considered over many years: “At present, Japan is the only country outside of Sweden where our company has an incorporated organization. Even though our Japan arm is relatively new, we’ve always had plans in solidifying our business foothold in Japan. That is why, Japanese is one of the four languages we’ve used on our website and brochure since the very beginning. The other three languages are English, German, and Swedish”. Their Japan office is conveniently located near Ebisu station in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

When asked “Why?” they saw Japan as one of its main targets markets, Ms. Hori provided her response by highlighting the main similarity and main difference between Sweden and Japan: “Our company’s core values really resonate with the people of Japan. I think many Swedes and Japanese share the same beliefs when it comes to design. Not only do Japanese people appreciate the beauty represented in our simple yet well-crafted designs. They can also fully appreciate and can relate with its practical side. The difference in market size is also important. As you might know, the population of Tokyo alone is bigger than the population of Sweden. That is a big upside for us”.

Both String Furniture AB and String Furniture KK are only involved in B-to-B sales. “We are not involved in B-to-C sales. If an individual customer is interested in purchasing our products, they need to visit a shop we supply our products to. We supply our products to many shops across Japan, both large and small. The closest shop from here in Ebisu is located at Daikanyama.” explained Ms. Hori.

Through our conversation I discovered that String Furniture AB’s business presence in Japan predated the establishment of String Furniture KK by several years. According to Ms. Hori, they have been selling their products in Japan since 2012: “We started off by providing our products to three distributors. I think we’ve had a good track record thus far. We were able to successfully communicate our brand’s core values to a very refined and very important group of Nordic design enthusiasts in Japan. We also collaborated a lot with the media to increase our brand’s awareness throughout the country”.

It is to no surprise that their main target market in both Sweden and Japan overlap a lot. “We mainly focus on design-conscious individuals in their 20s, 30s, and 40s (although not so much 20s in Japan). Because our products don’t take up too much space, it can easily be used in different spaces throughout the house: living room, bedroom, kitchen, and so on. Plus, as you can see from our design, it’s very easy to purchase and add more products to your existing collection: you can add or subtract, move and readjust, depending on your needs” explained Ms. Hori.

Since 2014, they have expanded their product line into the office sector. Swedish designers Anna von Schewen and Björn Dahlström have carefully interpreted Strinning’s minimalist design philosophy within a modern office framework. Their main products include a freestanding shelf, a height-adjustable desk/table, and mobile cabinet. Ms. Hori amplifies the fact that String Furniture is the only company in the world that designs four-legged height adjustable desks/tables. Ms. Hori further explained that: “A four-legged desk/table is more well-balanced than a T-legged desk/table. Compared to the latter, the former hardly sways. Moreover, because these desktops/tabletops are made of wood, and plastic is not used in the legs, they blend in nicely even when they’re placed within a residential setting. Also, these tables/desks are height-adjustable. This is very important in Sweden. As you might know, more than 90% of office desks used in Sweden today are height-adjustable”.

Ms. Hori has been working with String Furniture since 2011. She was approached and hired by the two founders – Peter Erlandsson and Pär Josefsson – through two mutual friends of theirs. One of those friends worked inside the Embassy of Sweden in Japan many years ago. Ms. Hori first visited Sweden to study glass making at a school managed by the Swedish glassware maker Kosta Boda when she was still a teenager. After returning to Japan several years later, she worked as an editor of a design magazine introducing different styles of Swedish and other Nordic designs to its readers in Japan. Due to her longstanding relationship with Sweden, Ms. Hori is looking forward to meeting both new and old friends alike through her company’s SCCJ membership.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to String Furniture KK as a new member of SCCJ. You can find out more about String Furniture KK at:

Photos at the top (from right)
From 2018 String ® P8~9: String ® system. floor panels in white. shelves and cabinets with sliding doors in walnut.
From 2018 String ® P16~17: String ® pocket. grey x 2.
From String ® 2017 works P12~13: Height-adjustable desk (left and right). work desk, 160x78 cm, in white. also available as 120x78 cm, 140x78 cm, and 180x90 cm in white, ash, oak and linoleum. free-standing shelf (center). the string panels (height 1150 mm) can be mounted as free-standing shelves. shelves can be mounted either on one side or on both sides.       







不動のシェルフブランドとなったString®も時代の変化の煽りを受け、1970年代中盤に国内生産が停止しました。しかしドイツのミュンヘンを拠点とするDeutsche StringはドイツにおけるString®の製造と販売の権利を有し、生産を継続させました。


その後、ストリングファーニチャーの創設者Peter ErlandssonとPär Josefssonがドイツに残っていた権利をスウェーデンに回収し、「100% Made in Sweden」ブランドとして再出発を試みました。「彼らがストリング ファーニチャーを設立したのは2005年。小さな部品を含むすべてが、再びスウェーデンで生産されるようになりました」と堀氏は語ります。








 2014年には、オフィス家具シリーズstring® worksを発表しました。スウェーデン人デザイナーアンナ・フォン・シェーヴェンとビヨーン・ダールストロームがストリニングのミニマリスト哲学を引き継ぎ、モダンなオフィス家具を完成させました。このシリーズは電動の昇降式デスク・テーブル、フリースタンドシェルフ、モバイルキャビネットから構成されています。四つ脚の昇降式デスク・テーブルを手掛けるのはString®だけだと堀氏は強調しています。「四つ脚は、一般的な昇降式デスクにみられるT字のものよりも横揺れしにくく安定性に優れています。また、天板が木製だったり、脚にプラスチックが使われていないので、住居での使用も違和感がなく、どんな空間にも馴染みます。そしてもちろん、電動で高さ調整が可能です。ご存知の通りスウェーデンでの昇降式デスクの普及率は90%以上と言われています。」

 堀氏は設立者Peter ErlandssonとPär Josefssonに2人の知人を介して出会い、2011年からString®に関わってきました。知人の1人は以前、在日スウェーデン大使館に勤務していたといいます。堀氏は10代の頃にガラスデザインとテクニックを学ぶためにスウェーデンのガラスメーカーKosta Bodaが運営する学校に通いました。帰国後、スウェーデンを始めとるする北欧の暮らしやデザインを紹介するライフスタイル雑誌の仕事に携わりました。長年におよぶスウェーデンとの関係をもとに、堀氏はSCCJのイベント等を通して様々な交流を広めていきたいと語ります。

 ストリング ファーニチャーのSCCJ入会を心より歓迎いたします。同社の詳細はこちら(

string® systemフロアパネル:ホワイト、シェルフ・キャビネット:ウォールナット
string® pocket
string® works: 昇降式デスク(左右)。天板サイズ160x78 cm。その他、120x78 cm、140x78 cm、180x90 cmもあり。天板カラーはホワイト、アッシュ、オーク、リノリウム。フリースタンドシェルフ(中央)。