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As a young man, Josef Frank was a part of early Vienna Modernism's front figures. But by the beginning of the 1920s, he had begun to question modernism's growing programmatic streak. The French architect Le Corbusier's belief that a house should be a "machine for living in," was not to Frank's taste. He was against puritanical principals and feared that standardized interior design would make people all too similar.
Frank represented a freer, more artistic style ideal, and he developed his own type of modernism with values such as comfort, hominess and a wealth of color in focus. He perceived tubular steel furniture as a threat to humanity. By contrast he wanted to include nature's colors and forms in interior design and to be able to breathe and feel free even in enclosed rooms. For the same reason, he preferred furniture that people could see through: a cupboard should be on legs that were so high that one could distinguish the borderline between the floor and the wall; a chair should have an open back.
Designer Michael Anastassiades was invited to do an exhibition and a series of products in February 2013 exclusively for Svenskt Tenn. As homage to Josef Frank, Anastassiades created a series of furniture where he plays with the concept of sincerity, through a reinterpretation of selected objects that Frank designed over the years, for Svenskt Tenn. Through a change in material, form or functionality, the pieces acquire a new identity, suggesting alternative stories over Frank´s original vision.
Bird Cage Cabinet
For hiding your favourite objects in plain sight. Inspired by chair 2025 designed by Josef Frank in 1925. Bird Cage Cabinet in white lacquered woodwork with rattan. Height: 180 cm. Diameter: 45 cm.
Archipelago island tables
Occasional tables whose shapes reflect the islands of the Stockholm archipelago. The irregularity suggests a cut section of a tree trunk with untrimmed bark edges. Inspired by coffee table 1057 designed by Josef Frank in 1946. Archipelago island tables in elm burl root with turned legs in walnut. Height: 48 cm.
Svenskt Tenn was founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson. Together with well-known Austrian architect Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn quickly gained recognition as an established brand of quality, timeless design and excellence. The cooperation between Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank remained not only lifelong but also one of Swedish design history’s most interesting partnerships. Together, the duo created a highly personal style with a combination of Viennese elegance and Swedish functionalism.