An iconic chair, re-imagined in three fun and artistic designs.
Malmö-based design studio Lab La Bla provides a new take on a Swedish icon in the Lab La Bla-minos project. Originally designed in 1956 by designer, sculptor and architect Yngve Ekström, the Lamino chair transformed, over the years, into the quintessential piece of classic Swedish furniture. In 1999, the design was even crowned the “best furniture of the 20th century.” Still in production today, the timeless chair has maintained a strong presence in living spaces across Sweden as well as in the minds and hearts of generations of Swedes. In this project, the studio re-imagines the legendary Lamino chair, but with different personalities.
“People we’ve talked to described how the chair evoked memories of a dysfunctional family, visits to the psychologist or breezy summer nights, some thought of it as a chair for lazy dads or ageing grandmas. It was inspiring to listen to these wildly different experiences, noting how most people talked about the Lamino as if it was a someone – and not a something,” explain studio co-founders Axel Landström and Victor Isaksson Pirtti. “Materialized in these ‘Lab La Bla-minos’ are collective memories about love, hate and summer breaks – stories that shape-shift and come to life in a schizophrenic and hyper-democratic manner,” they add.
One new version of the chair features an exaggerated armrest that also doubles as a side table. To craft the chair, the designers worked with a family-run tannery that provided the sustainably-processed leather. Another version of Lamino is white. Made with locally sourced wool, it features a tactile surface with a distinctive pattern. The third version features fur, but painted blue and adorned with freshwater pearls. Created in a collaboration with Swedese, the Lab La Bla-minos chairs made their debut at the Shape-Shifters exhibition, held at the Olsson & Gerthel gallery. Photography © Lab La Bla.