Norwegian architect and designer Ingmar Relling (1920-2002) is known as one of Norway’s most internationally recognized designers and is considered a major player in the Scandinavian mid-century modern design movement.
Relling was born in 1920 in Sykkylven, Norway. At the age of 16, he apprenticed as a carpenter at Vestlandske Møbelfabrik. His brother Adolf Relling, who was also a furniture designer, urged the younger Relling to enroll at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry (SHKS) in Oslo. During his time at SHKS, Relling studied under the accomplished architect Arne Korsmo (1900-1968) who had considerable influence on his style. Relling graduated in 1947 and began his career as an interior designer at his brother’s company, Rastad & Relling in Oslo.
Relling designed a variety of furniture for the company, and in 1948, he decorated the rooms of the Royal Yacht of Norway. In 1950, Relling moved back to his hometown where he established his own design studio. During this time, he also worked with KJ Måseide Alesund and Vestlandske Møbelfabrikk, the latter producing his 420 Chair (1950s). In 1954, Relling designed the Nordic Chair. Composed of two separate parts—a seat and back—the Nordic Chair could be folded and stored while not in use, a feature attractive to homeowners with smaller living spaces.
Ingmar Relling (1920-2002) was an impassioned designer who created a series of functional furniture designs during his long career. He started his career at Rastad & Relling design studio in 1947 before establishing his own studio in Sykkylven in 1950.
Today, he is considered as one of the greatest contributors to the golden era of Scandinavian Design. Simplicity, minimalism, elegance and uncompromising quality are key concepts in all of Relling’s designs.
In 1965, Ingmar Relling designed his greatest creation: the Siesta chair. It earned him first prize at the Industry Council for Furniture and Furnishing Industry Chair competition the same year. Even the White House was furnished with Ingmar Relling’s Siesta. Today, the Siesta chair stands out as an internationally recognized classic and a Norwegian icon.