Stockholm’s Form Us With Love—while being one of the most established of design companies in the Scandinavian design landscape—is still very young compared to its peers, being founded in 2005. Yet its reputation as one of the most reliably creative and investigative studios belies its tender age, as Janinge, a new collaboration with IKEA shows.
“IKEA asked us to design something specific enough for a home that would withstand the international tests for public seating,” says Form Us With Love. In layman’s terms, the design industry is split into two facets; contract and domestic. The latter comprises of furniture and items intended for home use, the former contains office furniture, pieces for public spaces, hotels et al. Domestic tends to verge on the more attractive side of the aesthetic scale, whereas the extensive regulations applied to contract design negates a more utilitarian aesthetic and often overbuilt construction to withstand the daily stresses of being used hundreds of thousands of times in its lifespan. In short, it’s not exactly the kind of quality IKEA’s known for, which makes the results of Form Us With Love’s work even more compelling. Because Janinge brings a superior level of contract-specific construction to the regular consumer, wrapped up in a beautifully studied design language more befitting of the domestic setting.
“To pass [the tests], we had to design for strength, durability, impact, drops, tilts and stability,” they tell CH. And, while working within these stringent conditions, the brief from IKEA for Janinge makes the collection the most affordable objects the studio has ever created. Indeed, almost every other chair at this price point would not stand a glimmer of a chance of even being close to passing such tests.
By analyzing the strength of existing old Scandinavian wood frames and building molds around the technical findings, the collaborating entities achieved the levels of construction needed to eclipse BIFMA standards. The stackable Janinge features a mix of 75% polypropylene and 25% fiberglass and pigment in a sweet spot of durability, practicality (super-easy to clean even when used outdoors) and allowing a pop of color in the yellow colorway.
“Our collaborative objective was to find the perfect multi-purpose chair; easy to fall in love with and quick to maintain,” the designers summarize. Casting an eye across the range in context of its designers’ own back catalogue it’s very easy to see why Form Us With Love remains one of Sweden’s most cutting-edge design collective. It’s arguably one of the only Scandinavian studios with the credentials to carry out IKEA’s ambitious brief—and the pairing has been so successful that another collaboration is already in the pipeline.
Janinge is available in grey, crisp white and yellow from IKEA.
Images courtesy of Form Us With Love