A tribute to the form by Gert and Rasmus Wingårdh
Gert Wingårdh is one of Sweden's most acclaimed architects. He has extensive experience and is well respected within his field. Presently, he collaborates with his son, Rasmus Wingårdh, with a background in the fashion industry. Together, under the name Wingårdh & Wingårdh, they now leave their mark on the Lamino chair, by emphasizing what is already there.
Gert and Rasmus come from two different backgrounds, architecture and fashion. Now, they converge in the world of furniture. Rasmus shares his perspective on integrating different design domains, learning from each other, and leveraging knowledge and experiences across boundaries:
"I have always advocated the integration of different design realms. I believe all fields can benefit from new ideas. Fashion is very fast-paced and ever-changing, sometimes even a bit too fast. The furniture industry can at times be a bit slow and could benefit from more focus on collections. I think the possibilities are endless. By capitalizing on each other's expertise and collaborating across boundaries, we can only grow and evolve."
"A designer's task is to push for development, and to achieve that, influences from all directions are necessary. I believe that the more we can collaborate and learn from each other's experiences, the better it gets. We're facing significant challenges ahead, and we all need to step up and meet them with open minds and a willingness to innovatively improve things," says Gert.
Harmony between function and form
Lamino is a beloved design classic that has captured people's hearts for decades. It was created in 1956 by the designer Yngve Ekström for Swedese. Yngve successfully merged comfort and aesthetics in an outstanding manner, contributing to the chair's enduring popularity and its status as a timeless favorite.
"Lamino is an incredibly comfortable chair that has achieved great success through its fundamental design precisely because it embodies a perfect harmony between function and form. As an architect, it's these kinds of aspects that I appreciate," says Gert.
Rasmus agrees: "In a way, our interpretation of Lamino is a tribute to exactly what we value in it. The shape of the seat and the form of the leg structure - in everything we've done, the focus has been on highlighting these elements."
"What I truly respect about Swedese is their craftsmanship and all the fantastic collaborators we've had the pleasure of working with throughout the project. For us, the project was about showcasing craftsmanship as much as possible, and not about implementing our own design philosophy. To be asked to leave our mark on a beloved and iconic chair like the Lamino is a great honor, and I hope we have done it justice. Design can be copied or discarded, but refining it is a rare opportunity."
"Rasmus thinks that I'm a maximalist and he's a minimalist. From that, the idea of duality emerged, and it was important that it influenced the design and the final product. Working conceptually from start to finish clarifies one's idea. It's a challenge in itself," says Gert.
"The concept of duality arose during the process and represents two distinct design ideas forced to intersect. I believe that because we're father and son, there's a transparency in how we view each other's designs - in both directions - which might be difficult to achieve if we were two unrelated designers. Plus, he's the senior, so in the end, he gets to decide, haha," says Rasmus.
The encounter of father and son
"After 25 years in the fashion industry, it feels exciting and necessary for me to evolve in new areas. Throughout my time in the fashion industry, I've established brands, revitalized existing ones, and designed a variety of products for others. Now, I want to do this alongside my dad and see what I can learn from him, as well as explore what we can achieve together," says Rasmus.
"As a father, I am of course proud to work alongside my son. My role as an architect is and will always be my primary focus, and in this case, it gives me a unique position to act as the creative director for Wingårdh & Wingårdh. I can paint with broad strokes, and Rasmus can refine the details. It's a perfect match."
"It's inevitable when two designers come together that conflicts arise. However, it's also in those moments that you're forced to test your ideas against the toughest criticism. Sometimes, this leads to a return to the drawing board, refining, and perfecting things to make them even better. In the end, all design is a sum of compromises. But by staying humble throughout the process and not letting your ego dictate, I believe we've managed to find a good and functional way of working. There will always be things you wish you could have done differently," says Rasmus.
"I say what I like, and then Rasmus gets to do it, haha. We bounce ideas back and forth a lot. Our role is to push things forward and try to maximize the potential in our design and even in ourselves. In that, we've found a good balance. Compromises are always a factor in our industry, but the challenge lies in determining what we're willing to compromise on and what we absolutely can't imagine giving up," says Gert.