Ferdinand offers comfortable extended sitting. The chair is based on the same theme as the Nomad chairs but, with its use of leather, is more exclusive. The construction is timeless. Chairs of this type were being made some 4 000 years ago. The turned wedges are the secret of the chair, like two wooden knots.
Ferdinand is manufactured by Gärsnäs in two models: one using light red beech while the oak variant is heavier and sturdier. The seat is made of natural or dark brown leather from Tärnsjö tannery in Upland.
Purchasers assemble the chairs themselves without having to use glue, screws or hammer. Ferdinand was awarded the 2013 ELLE Interior Chair Prize. In 2015 the chair won the year’s Lauritz Icon from the magazine Residence.
Ferdinand chairs are supplied in a flat pack direct from Gärsnäs.
Åke Axelsson (b. 1932) has designed and built more than 200 chair models during his 60-year career as an interior architect, from 1957 to the present. His major contribution has focussed on furniture for the public domain where we can all meet: libraries, restaurants, town halls, churches, museums, cafés and so on. These interiors often lead to specific designs of furniture which were then put into production. His focus has been social; designing the best possible furniture for all of us.
Åke grew up with seven siblings on a small farm in the south of Sweden during the 1930s and 1940s. The subsistence farm economy meant that almost everything had to be done by hand. Survival was inherent to the hands and the materials. ”Do it yourself” was a lesson that became typical of his professional life. Åke is by no means just a draughtsman. When he is developing a new item of furniture he goes to his workshop and creates a viable prototype using his wood-working skills. While he was still at elementary school his teacher recognized that Åke had “something in his fingers” and he encouraged him to go on developing his skills. His first piece of furniture was a little wall-cupboard that he completed at the age of twelve. It still hangs on his wall at home. Following some local wood-working courses, at fifteen he left home to train as a cabinet-maker in Visby during the years 1947 to 1951. More advanced students built furniture for the famous Swedish designer Carl Malmsten. The furniture was sold at the Malmsten shop in central Stockholm. Following this, Åke undertook an apprenticeship in Munich and then in the little Swedish town of Östervåla. But he soon began to long for something more in life than the somewhat dreary prospect of working in a furniture factory.
He applied for admission to Konstfack – now known as the University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm – where he trained as an interior architect from 1952 to 1957. “It was like entering a brand-new world”. His principal tutor, Carl-Axel Acking, was an architect and furniture designer and he prepared his students for important tasks in Sweden’s emerging welfare state. Lecture theatres, adult education facilities, schools, town halls – there were any number of commissions. And cabinet-maker Åke Axelsson helped to build the new society.
Åke Axelsson has presented this chair Wood for Garnas at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2010. He seems inspired by Thonet in several of his designs.
Wood is made from beech from sustainable managed forests. The components are made with a traditional steaming technique that uses a minimal amount of wood. Wood is packed disassembled in a recyclable cardboard in order to reduce transport volume and thereby carbon dioxide emissions. Wood is lightweight and comfortable and meets the highest requirements for both product durability and environmental sustainability. Wood is available in untreated or waxed beech, or with a eco labeled stain in black, white, dark brown or red. The back can be upholstered in a choice of vegetable tanned leather, sheepskin or cotton canvas.”