It takes a spark to light a fire. Such a spark was cast one evening three years ago during the 2010 London Design Festival. As part of 100% Norway, Ambassador Bjarne Lindstrom organized a reception to connect Norway's best home-grown talents with the international design world. While there, three young designers, Christoffer Angell, Øyvind Wyller and Simen Aarseth, met Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt Design. That chance encounter has now come full circle with Bernhardt Design's launch of Angell Wyller Aarseth's Oslo Chair at the 2013 London Design Festival.
The Norwegian design collective Angell Wyller Aarseth (AWAA) was founded in 2010 by Angell, Wyller and Aarseth. They decided to form a loose collective to explore their complementary ideas about design, while also continuing to work individually as interior architects and product designers. The Oslo chair is AWAA's first product together to be launched commercially and it is a balanced mix of the Nordic trio's design philosophy and Bernhardt Design's American heritage.
When Helling asked them to design an armed side chair, AWAA first delved into the physical essence of an armchair - namely that it is made up of four legs, a seat and back, and arms - to focus on a pure skeletal structure. They then set out to layer comfort onto the structure by adding a sling seat and back that seem to rest upon the frame, like garments on a figure.
As a result, they have created a light, airy chair that is comfortable and strong, yet visually simple and open. Rather than being made from traditional Scandinavian hardwoods, Oslo is made of solid walnut, giving it a distinctively American sensibility. The Oslo chair may be upholstered in fabrics and leathers from Bernhardt Textiles or in the customer's own material. With the debut of the Angell Wyller Aarseth's Oslo Chair at the 2013 London Design Festival, Bernhardt Design shows that what starts as a spark can become a bright light.