Bio, History and Major Accomplishments of Ingmar Relling Designer
Biography and History of Ingmar Relling
Ingmar Relling is one of the pioneers of the great Scandinavian mid-century design movement. Born in 1920 in Sykkylven, Norway, he is the most recognized Norwegian designer of all times. He took apprenticeship at a tender age of 16 at Vestlandske Møbelfabrik. After insistence from his brother Adolf Relling, also a trained furniture designer, Ingmar enrolled at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry (SHKS) in Oslo. At SHKS, he studied design and architecture under the tutelage of the much-acclaimed architect Arne Korsmo who made a huge impression on him.
Soon after graduating from SHKS in 1947, Ingmar took up a job as an interior designer at his brother’s firm, the Rastard & Relling. However, for the most part of his career in the company, he dedicated his efforts toward furniture design. In fact, he was responsible for the design and decoration of rooms in the Royal Yacht of Norway while at the company.
In 1950, Ingmar Relling relocated back to his hometown of Sykkylven where he founded his own design studio. In this period, he collaborated with other hometown designers like Vestlandske Møbelfabrikk and KJ Måseide Alesund, with the former producing his renowned 420 Chair in the mid-1950s. It was after four years of grinding at his studio that he designed the famous Nordic Chair (1954).
Nearly a decade later, in 1965, Ingmar and his brother Knut, came up with the Siesta Chair: the crowning moment in his colorful career. What’s more, he snapped the top prize for this ingenious design at a competition organized by the Industry Council for Furniture. 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.
He died in 2002.
(1) Nordic Chair
It’s an ingenious chair that comprised two separate components – the back and a seat. Because it could be folded and tucked away, this chair design gained incredible traction with people with smaller rooms. In this design, he followed the lead of most Scandinavian contemporary designers with a functional style that’s complemented by simplicity and flexibility.
(2) Siesta Chairs
Siesta Chair design is what placed Ingmar Relling on top of the map, with more than 800,000 pieces produced. He designed it in collaboration with his brother Knut Relling. The design was so popular that the Siesta chairs found their way into the White House. And the efforts of Ingmar didn’t go unnoticed. The Siesta chair design was awarded the 1992 Classic Award for Design Excellence by the Norwegian Design Council.
The Siesta chair is currently produced by L.K. Hjelle, a Norwegian furniture powerhouse. Even after more than half a century, the Siesta is still considered an icon of Scandinavian furniture design.
(3) Tema Armchair
Tema Armchair was designed by Relling’s in 1973 for fellow Norwegian company, Vestlandske Møbelfabrikk. It borrowed a big leaf from the Siesta and was engineered from flat steel and a thick leather skin seat. And just like its predecessor, Tema armchair was a huge success in Norway and around the world.