Tribute to Frank

Tribute to Frank is a cabinet exclusively designed for Stockholms Auktionsverk, 2014.

Pilot High

Design Alexander Lervik 2014

Producer: Johanson

Pilot Low

Design Alexander Lervik 2014

Producer: Johanson

Madison – conference table

Design Alexander Lervik 2014

Producer: Johanson

Eye Lounge

A chair for lounge, restaurants or conference environments. EYE chair is upholstered and avalible in many different fabric and leathers.

Design Alexander Lervik 2012

Producer: Johanson Design

 

Tingest – Bruket
Tingest – Servitören
Tingest – Trädkrona
Tingest – Skog Ljus
Tingest – Landskap
Tingest – Herrgård
Tingest – Betjänten
15 x Years, 15 x Photographers, 15 x Chairs Book. Exhibition book now available online!

The book 15 x Years, 15 x Photographers, 15 x Chairs is now available online at bookus.com or adlibris.com.

About the book:

Alexander Lervik will soon celebrate 15 years as a designer, during which time he has launched an equal number of chairs. By asking 15 Swedish and internationally renowned photographers from the fields of art, fashion and music to each pick a chair to photograph, he has not only given them free reign to interpret a chair from his production - but also to question and push the boundaries of what product photography can be. This book documents the photographic work of Martin Parr, Gunnar Smoliansky, Annika von Hausswolf, Vee Speers, Mary Ellen Mark, Lynn Goldsmith, Dawid, Brendan Austin, Bruno Ehrs, Mats Bäcker, Helén Pe, Andreas Ackerup, Elisabeth Toll, Julia Peirone and Gerry Johansson as each presents his or her unique take on the chairs of Alexander Lervik, with a text written by design author and editor Hanna Nova Beatrice.

Designed by Parasol

Mary Ellen Mark

“Every year I have a dog party for the holidays. My friends bring their dogs in costume and I photograph them. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to take a photograph using the beautiful chairs. The dogs liked the chairs a lot, as much as we humans. The leather was very comfortable for them to sit on. I picked the chairs because they were elegant and simple and I thought they would photograph beautifully with the dogs, who were to come dressed up, so the chairs would add a sense of elegance and sophistication to the portrait. We did a test with the office dog, Cooper. He loved the chair, so we knew the others would too. I work both as a documentary photographer and a portrait photographer, on location and sometimes in a studio. These photographs are taken in a studio so they require the utmost control, but even in this situation you are looking for a captured moment. I like to let the subjects surprise me, especially animals.I think all photography can be considered as great photography. Look at Irving Penn – he was one of my idols. He photographed everything from fashion, portraiture, still life, even cigarette butts – everything he did was a work of art. It’s how you see things and how you perceive the world, no matter what you’re looking at.

There are no limits. I considered the chair as an integral part of the photograph, adding to the character of the subject. It’s beautifully designed, clean and simple, and the ideal choice for a seated portrait.”

Mark is an American photographer working in photojournalism, portraiture and advertising photography. In the 1960s she spent many years photographing Vietnam war demonstrations, the women’s liberation movement and transvestite culture in New York. Her photography often addresses social issues such as homelessness, loneliness or drug addiction, and she is known for getting very close to her subject matter. She has also taken photographs on the sets of more than 100 films. She photographed the Nest Chair, designed in 2010 and produced by Johanson Design.

Helén Pe

“I wanted the armchair to feel used and worn in, so I chose to upholster it in vintage leather. To get to know it better, I used the armchair at home for a few weeks before the photo shoot, and the whole family fought over who would sit in it at the dinner table. The chair will only get more beautiful with age. The more people sit in it, the more beautiful the lustre of the hide will become. In my image I wanted to accentuate the beauty of ageing and decay. From the ashes, new life is born. The setting was chosen with that in mind. We did the shoot in an old castle north of Stockholm where many of the rooms had been left completely untouched for a long time, but the feeling of life remained within the walls. I worked only with natural daylight and used two exposures to capture the light from two directions; from the left side of the chair and to get the backlight on the old woman. It took me almost a whole day to take this picture. Normally, I don’t have that time to spend on a photograph, as there is rarely such a budget.

The first photos I took for Alexander Lervik were of the prototypes he made when applying to Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm nearly 20 years ago. Those were of a stool and a key safe. Since then I have photographed much of his furniture. What distinguishes this picture from others I have done for him is that I was completely free to interpret the armchair, with no restrictions whatsoever. There was nothing that had to be highlighted or made visible. Photography plays a big role in the furniture and design industry, but as a photographer there are different ways to approach it. Either you highlight an object’s form and function in a straightforward manner, or you create a setting in which the object is secondary to the emotion. In fashion you work more with emotions when creating an image, and I believe this will become increasingly important in design. When shooting a person, you sometimes just need to catch a look in the eye. An inanimate object requires a lot more.”

Pe is a Swedish lifestyle photographer with a focus on interior design and food. She works both commercially and editorially for magazines and book projects, alongside running her own publishing house. She has regularly documented Alexander Lervik’s furniture. She photographed the Lounge Chair, designed in 1999 and produced by Skandiform.

Martin Parr

“I rarely say yes to these kind of things unless I am paid lots of money, so this project was very unusual for me. But I thought it was an intriguing request. My partner and I chose the chair and the colour of it together. It’s a nice chair and I keep it at home – in fact I have it next to me right now. But I am not the slightest bit interested in design, I am really oblivious to it. The only designer I knew the name of before this was Philippe Starck. There was really no mystery about taking this picture, it didn’t take a long time or require a lot of effort. I can really photograph anything. I just went for a walk, looked for a nice setting, brought the chair there and took the photo. It was as simple as that. It was pleasurable but very quick. How do I feel about shooting a product rather than a person? Now you are getting too intellectual on me. I mean it’s just a chair after all.”

Magnum photographer Parr is world famous for his documentation of the peculiarities of British life during the last three decades. Seaside leisure, over-consumption and mass tourism are some of the themes he likes to aim his lens at. A good example is his 1992 book. Signs of the Times: A Portrait of the Nation’s Tastes, for which he entered people’s homes and took pictures of the mundane aspects of their lives, combining the images with quotes from his subjects to bring viewers uncomfortably close. He photographed the Jefferson Chair, designed in 2002 and produced by Skandiform.

Annika von Hausswolff

“I related quite pragmatically to the chair and thought about where to place it when I would get it back from the exhibition. It was, after all, an exchange – a chair for a photograph. As the object wasn’t really ‘at home’ yet, I chose to leave the protective plastic on and let the chair face my study. I duplicated it for aesthetic reasons, and shot with a slight flare, which I think is one of the most endearing qualities of photography technology. In my art, I have worked a lot with the colour beige, representing the skin, or absence of it. My chair is beige, a sort of stand-in for a body, and the image is black and white. I like that combination. The chair I picked is simple and fairly ‘chair-y’, unlike many of Alexander Lervik’s other chairs that are more experimental. In this case, I had an idea of the chair visiting me in my office. I shot that situation over the course of several weeks until I was finally happy. This is obviously very different from the way I usually work with my images, which can take years to formulate. However, I sometimes shoot portraits in a similar manner where I improvise my way to the perfect image, together with the person I’m shooting. Because I’ve often photographed objects – sometimes as themselves, and sometimes as symbols, metaphors or stand-ins for a human figure  – I feel very comfortable with the chair.

I love chairs and I often buy them at auctions. I own far too many. I tend not to think about fashion photography versus architecture and design photography, as I rarely work within these genres. However, I do think a lot about the photograph as a medium and its ability to represent ideas, moods and stories. It’s completely impossible to imagine the world we live in without photographic technology. We live and die in pictures.”

Von Hausswolff is an art photographer based in Sweden, who represented her country at the Venice Biennale in 1999. Amongst her most well known work is the series ‘Tillbaka till naturen’ of 1993, for which she staged images inspired by crime scenes. Her photography often investigates themes of gender and power. In 2011 she created the book Avgrunden, documenting urban wastelands in the wake of the global financial crisis. Her work can be found in the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, Huis Marseille in Amsterdam and Moderna Museet in Stockholm. She photographed the Studio C hair, designed in 2004 and produced by Johanson Design.

Gunnar Smoliansky

“Actually, it was a bit of a mistake asking me to photograph a chair. I don’t normally do jobs like this – I mostly walk the streets and woods photographing things I see. But I did like the design of the chair, and I’m very fond of the Stockholm City Archives where we photographed it. I’ve shot there before, and in a way the building made the photo. At first I wanted to place the chair as if it had always been part of the building and I just happened to shoot it in passing. But that wasn’t really how it happened. This cool light came into the darkened room, and I set my mind on taking a photo that was next to impossible to do. It gave me some technical problems in the darkroom. The light is very harsh, making the image difficult and hard to access. I was ready to redo it, as you can’t see the chair very clearly, but I decided that wasn’t necessary. New technology hasn’t changed anything for me - I work in the same old way I’ve always done. However, I do take iPhone photos every day. I think it’s fun and immediate. I only take my real camera with me when I have the intention of taking a photo. But the phone is something you always have with you. I work every day of the week, except Christmas. I take the bus to my studio in the city, work a bit, and go to cafés to meet friends. I can’t think of anything more fun than work.”

Smoliansky, born in 1933 on the small island of Gotland, is one of Sweden’s most significant photographers. Since the 1950s, he has relentlessly photographed everyday life in Stockholm – with a focus on the southern area of Södermalm – and his images are an important chronicle of life in the city. He is also one of the founders of the image library Scanpix Bildhuset. He photographed the Red Chair, designed in 2005 and produced by Gallery Pascale in a limited edition of ten.

Brendan Austin

“The image was shot on a lake in the suburbs of Stockholm. I really wanted to shoot the swing in a location other than hanging it from a tree or in a studio. I looked for the right place for a long time. Alexander Lervik’s swing is an amazing piece of design – over the hours that I was making the image the swing changed the way the environment looked. By the time I had finished, late into the evening, the light was resonating throughout the area. It was truly beautiful to see. The chair totally dictated how the photograph was going to look. As it is the only artificial light source in the image, it becomes the focus, even though it was shot from a distance.

I tend to work quite slowly. Location scouting preshoot is an important factor in most of my images. The image is not necessarily sketched beforehand, although in some ways it is also not a ‘captured moment’. Once I see the area and surrounding environment, I generally see the image. Natural light also plays an important role in my photography, and working on location means that I have generally between 30 minutes and one hour to get the shot after the sun has lost its harsh shadows, but before I lose any light. This time the shoot involved a petrol generator, throwing lots of smoke grenades and generally having a bit of fun. It was very  enjoyable to see the swing become more and more prominent in the image as the light fell. Product photography has traditionally been designated as a dry, straight documentation of an object to purely show its form, but in recent years a certain kind of playfulness has emerged. Photographers are extending their ideas and concepts into new areas, just like fashion photography has done for many years. With this, I hope that product photography becomes a more defined genre. However, I also think that genres are now overlapping and interplaying with each other much more than in the past, especially in photography. Art photographers are shooting architecture and architectural photographers are shooting design.

People like to box each other, to place each other in a certain field, or even a field within a field. But the most interesting work comes when you get a chance to break out of that cycle.”

Austin was born in New Zealand, but grew up in a number of different countries, including South Africa, Thailand and the UK. He currently commutes between Stockholm and New York. His interest in photography began in South Africa when he was creating images for charity fundraising. He has exhibited at various venues including the Photographers’ Gallery in London and the Centrum för Fotografi in Stockholm. He photographed the Sense Light Swing, designed in 2005 and produced by SAAS Instruments.

Mats Bäcker

“This is not a stool I would like to have at home, but I saw a movement in it that attracted me. I am totally uninterested in design and never photograph furniture or objects, but I do admire those who have the knack for it. Alexander Lervik’s stool got me thinking about an artist by the name of Louise who works at Swedish circus company Cirkus Cirkör. She reminds me of something out of nature. I spoke to her about the stool and she immediately knew what kind of photo I was after. I photographed her and her partner with the stools on stage. They were scheduled to perform at the Södra theatre in Stockholm that evening so we met there before the show to take the photo. The light was already      rigged for the evening’s show and we were able to use the theatre’s smoke machines. I took one photo towards the stage and one away from it. We actually cranked up the smoke machine so much that the fire alarm went off. The fire brigade arrived, evacuating the theatre and shutting it down for an hour. But it was fun. One of the firemen had been with Cirkus Cirkör and had a lovely reunion amidst all the chaos. And I managed to take all my pictures.

I tend to think that everything has already been  photographed. I personally never take a single picture for memory  or for show. I never want the camera in the way of my own experiences. To me, the memory of an experience is more important than the image of it. I have never photographed my own daily life.

My interest in photography is connected to my interest in music and performing arts. I cannot fight it, it’s a privilege to work closely with the music.”

Swedish photographer Bäcker kickstarted his career in his late teens, shooting artists such as Iggy Pop, and later launching the Swedish music magazine Schlager. He worked for a few years as a press photographer in Nicaragua and South Africa, and now focuses on theatre, opera and dance, also working for the Swedish national theatre Dramaten. He photographed the Diva Bar Stool, designed in 2003 and produced by Johanson Design.

Vee Speers

“As soon as I saw the chair I knew how I wanted to interpret it. The shape and flow of the design is almost organic, and using a nude I was able to create an unlikely abstract form that works with and against the movement of the chair. As I am a portrait photographer, I feel more comfortable combining a human element to draw attention to a still object. In this case, Alexander Lervik’s chair has a kind of sensuality, so the nude seemed to be a perfect synergy. However, it was important to me to keep a balance between the model and the chair, so that both were given equal importance. I wanted to draw attention to the chair in an unexpected way. I work with natural light whenever possible, and for this image I used an analogue camera with black-and-white film. To reproduce the image, I chose to use the Fresson charcoal process, which I have used in series such as ‘Bordello’ – but this time I requested a gold and silver metallic pigment that was applied to the paper by hand, giving it an almost painterly texture. This is the first time that Fresson has produced a print with both gold and silver together, so it’s really quite unique.

Sometimes I sketch images before and work towards that. In this case, I began with one idea, and finished with another that was completely different. I allowed the model to move with the shape of the chair, giving the form of her body a natural ‘flow’ against it. I am very close to my three daughters, so they are always really excited to model for me, and completely trust my sense of judgement. My series ‘The Birthday Party’ originally started off as an intimate project; I thought it would be good to freeze a few childhood moments before my youngest daughter became a teenager. This photograph is with my eldest daughter. As she is 21, she is an adult, and she felt completely comfortable with the idea of it being a nude.”

Speers, originally from Australia, left Sydney for Paris in 1990 in order to focus on her photographic work. Her breakthrough came in 2005 with ‘Bordello’, a project inspired by the decadent nightlife and characters in Paris in the 1920s, closely followed by her surreal series ‘The Birthday Party’, shooting her youngest daughter and friends dressed up in outlandish costumes. Since then, her work has been widely exhibited and well published in titles including The Sunday Times, Harpers & Queen, Arena and Esquire. She photographed the 44 Easy Chair, designed in 2005 and produced by Daredutch.

Julia Peirone

“In my image, I let the bar stool symbolise the adult world that children don’t always have access to; a world of bars, parties and late nights. I wanted to place a young girl in the centre of that world. She’s not sitting like one is meant to on the chair, but sort of hanging off it. It’s neither sexy in the right way or very grown up, but my aim was to get a contrast between the cold, hard chair and her playful body language. She’s almost falling over it. In recent years, our relationship to photography has changed. On the one hand we have a more relaxed approach to portraiture, while on the other we are becoming more accustomed to being in control of our own images, not least via social media, creating a duality in our relationship to photography. Usually I have an idea prior to taking a photo, but I also let a lot happen during the shoot. I like opening myself up to chance, and mostly look for movements that are slightly uncontrolled. During this particular shoot, the light suddenly came into the room, creating an interesting composition.

Sometimes it’s quite nice to break from the daily grind, and to get the chance to relate to different realms. However, in general I think it’s more difficult to portray a piece of furniture than it is a human being. I’m accustomed to relating to people, and I like the psychology and movements that occur while photographing  them. They are alive, to put it simply. A chair becomes a bigger challenge.”

Born in 1973, Stockholm-based art photographer Peirone gained public attention with her series of portraits of teenage girls, exploring the gradual passage from youth to adult self-awareness at a time when identity is increasingly constituted by images. She has exhibited at various venues including the Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki and Kulturhuset in Stockholm, and in 2012 her first book, More than Violet, was published by Art and Theory. She photographed the Piano Chair, designed in 2007 and produced by Johanson Design.

Elisabeth Toll

“My images show my chair touring the world. The Rib Chair is quite a cheerful piece and I liked the idea of it welcoming you when you most needed it. I picked the chair that had the simplest shape, because I like clear and simple things. I wanted it to be red as I imagined a picture in a snowy field or a vast landscape and I wanted the chair to be a bright element in there, like a point of light and not only a chair. Also, I liked the idea of having a place of comfort waiting for you in a remote place, which feels quite inviting but never really happens in real life. Sometimes I do sketches before I photograph, but in this particular case I decided to go on a trip with the chair to get to know it better. I brought it with me to the Swedish island of Gotland and while I was there, I had it with me in the car constantly. Wherever I went, I brought the chair out and went for a walk with it. The project almost became like a diary of a chair, and in the end I felt we became quite good friends. My approach is the same regardless of what I photograph. I don’t see any difference between photographing a living person or a still-life object.

In the same way as the garments in a fashion shoot create an atmosphere, the chair has a certain aura. Compared to a shoot involving a model, however, a product never gets tired, never contradicts or hesitates. My chair was quite a nice companion.”

Toll first studied archaeology and law before discovering photography. Today she is one of Sweden’s better-known fashion photographers. Based in Paris, she contributes to magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar UK and Bon, but also produces her own work, such as the series ‘Masquerade’, exploring such themes as decay and vulnerability. In 2012 she won Elle Sweden’s Fashion Photographer of the Year award. She photographed the Rib Chair, designed in 2009 and produced by Johanson Design.

Andreas Ackerup

“I chose to photograph myself naked with the chair. I live in an old house from the early 17th century and took the picture in my living room. To tie it in with the house, I wanted to make the photo reminiscent of an old painting, but in the present, to unite the 17th-century mural with the modern day. I also wanted to create some form of movement to make the image less static. I wanted to create a ‘moving still’. Alexander Lervik assigned the Cabin Chair to me and it fitted me perfectly. I chose the bluegreen fabric and the legs as I found they looked lovely together, and gave it a luxurious bohemian feel. I often use a flash to ‘freeze’ the moment. Frequently when I do a job I visit and document the location, arranging the pictures in a way that feels real and genuine. There is hardly ever a finished sketch of how the image will turn out in the end. I work more with gut instinct to get as close to authenticity as possible.

It seems to me that furniture manufacturers don’tfeel the need to incorporate people in images of their products. Or perhaps it’s purely habit that makes us want to see only objects in these pictures. However, if furniture photography is to evolve as fashion and architectural photography has, it requires more creativity and originality. I think it’s important to add real life to a photo. It wouldn’t feel as dynamic to simply shoot a piece of furniture.”

Ackerup is a Swedish photographer working in a wide range of fields spanning fashion and art, and his images are often very direct in their subject matter. His expertise lies in portraits, and he is well known for the series of self-portraits he has taken every day since 1998. His commercial clients include Absolut Vodka, H&M, Nokia, Rodebjer and SAS. He photographed the Cabin Chair, designed in 2008 and produced by Johanson Design.

Lynn Goldsmith

“When I was first contacted by Alexander Lervik I was not familiar with him or his work, but I liked what I saw on his site – and the fact that he works much like an artist. I thought the collaboration was interesting as well, and that is why I got involved. I asked for two stools as I thought I’d have one in New York where I live part time and one in my studio in Aspen. They are two such different and separate environments and I wanted to see how the chairs adapted to the different spaces. I did the first shoot in Times Square in New York. This was around the same time as Clint Eastwood had held a much talked about speech to an empty chair on Tv, addressing an ‘invisible’ President Barack Obama and discussing what he saw as the good, the bad and the ugly state of American political affairs. Because of this, the chair as an object had taken on a whole new meaning in America. It really hadn’t occurred to me until then. But wherever I went, the stool stood out.

The second shoot I did was a self-portrait, which is a bit of an ongoing project. When I photograph myself the person aspect of me takes on a new narrative. This project has  already resulted in the book The Looking Glass, where questions of identity are explored through self-portrayals for which I assume different guises. I work much in the same way regardless of what  I photograph. I have some friends focusing on still-life works, and many of them have a difficult time taking photos of people. But I treat everything the same way. It doesn’t matter if I do a book on flowers or shoot cowboy hats. I am not lighting them as objects – I take portraits of them, I humanise them. It all started when I was about eight years old and I was taking photographs of my dolls. I would do their hair, redress them and create scenes for them to play in front of the camera. I gave them personalities.

Irving Penn, who has had a major influence on me,worked in a similar way. He made no difference between his subjects. It didn’t matter if he photographed a cigar in an ashtray, a famous model or natives with bags over their heads; he made everything into an object. I do the opposite to him, I turn all objects  into people, and I turn everything into something human. It’s mirrored in my daily life. When I leave my house in Colorado, I speak and wave goodbye to it. ‘Goodbye house,’ I say, ‘see you very soon.’”

Goldsmith is a multi-award-winning portrait photographer whose work has appeared on the covers of magazines including Newsweek, Time, Rolling Stone and Interview, as well as on numerous covers of records and CDs from the 1970s onwards. Her subjects have varied from entertainment personalities and sports stars to film directors and authors. She has published more than ten books of her images, as well as working as a film director and as a music performer under the name Will Powers. After more than 40 years of photography she continues to exhibit worldwide. She photographed the Nest Bar Stool, designed in 2010 and produced by Johanson Design.

Dawid

“The image of the Bubble Chair looked intriguing, and when I later saw the real thing it reminded me of Tatlin’s Tower, designed by Russian artist and architect vladimir Tatlin in 1919 but never built. It’s a very unique building with an exaggerated central perspective. It’s like looking up at a tower from below through a wide-angle lens, and this is how I took the photograph of the chair. I often get an idea immediately when seeing an object I’m going to shoot. I try to get a feel for its character and focus on this, and each subject is treated differently. This chair could have been photographed in a thousand different ways, but when I get a vision I almost always stick to it. I distinguish my own photographic projects from other assignments. With the former it’s my own story, whereas with commissions I’m retelling someone else’s. But of course I use the same tools, lighting and aesthetic. I’m not very clued up on what other photographers do and how furniture is photographed in general. I simply have too  many of my own thoughts and ideas buzzing around in my head – there’s not much room for anything else. But I do like photographing  furniture and products. They have patience.

There are often hidden layers to my images. At first glance, they look fairly simple, but I strive for a photographic quality that is perhaps mostly aimed at enthusiasts or other photographers who appreciate and understand it. I have a fairly substantial studio and work more like an old-fashioned artist. I go there every day, have a bit of a slow morning before I get started, and then I get on with it. When I’m doing a shoot, I don’t work quickly – I’m thoughtful  and thorough. And that was the case with this one.”

Swedish photographer Björn Dawidsson, who uses the artist name Dawid, is well known for his experimentation with the medium of photography. Whether working in acrylics, drawing with chemicals on photographic paper or using pencil on paper, his work invariably pushes the boundaries of what photography can be. He photographed the Bubble Chair, designed in 2010 and produced by Moroso.

Bruno Ehrs

“A chair is a finished object in itself, and as a photographer you must ask yourself what can weigh up against it. This is not an easy task. Either you reproduce a piece of furniture and let the chair tell the whole story, or you add a story on the side. I personally like the latter, for the simple reason that I enjoy creating my own content. Contrary to a press photographer who captures events as they occur, I can build my own events. I wanted to capture an image that had no indication of place, one that lacked reference to both time and space. Moreover, I wanted to add a personal imprint in the image. Anyone looking at a photo must be able to feel the creator’s intent. In this case, it all started with my hand. The presence of my hand makes me part of the picture as both producer and actor. I took the picture late one summer night on the Swedish island of Gotland. The chair is upholstered in sheepskin to make it fit in with the landscape. It was a fairly quick shoot. I’m often excited when I accept a job, but when the time comes to do it, it may not always turn out how I originally planned. However, with this mage most things fell into place.

Photography today is very democratic. Anyone can take a picture. Technology is constantly evolving, and readily available for everyone who wants to use it. These factors make the voice of the photographer all the more important. When I look at my old photos, I remember the moment I took them. I remember  what I felt at that moment, the elation over the state of an object. However, over time I have learnt to refine what I have. I’ve endeavoured to purify my technique – I’ve simplified and revamped, and I’ve become more transparent as a photographer.”

Ehrs is based in Sweden and has worked as a photographer for over 35 years. His work can be found in the Nationalmuseum and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and he has published a number of books of his work – most recently the nostalgic Memories of, showing the span of his subject matter from reportage, architecture and celebrities to still life and the Swedish royal family. He photographed the Eye Chair, designed in 2011 and produced by Johanson Design.

Gerry Johansson

“As soon as I saw the image of the chair, I knew how I wanted to capture it. Then the end result became something very different from what I first imagined, but this is often the case. The fact that the object happens to be a chair is not really important. I normally photograph places without many people around. But they are all places that humans have created, like a playground, a back street or a political sculpture. If you want to capture a picture of a remarkable sculpture and there’s a person next to it, most of the viewer’s attention will go to the person rather than the thing that was meant to be the focal point. I don’t have people in my pictures because I want to highlight what I am capturing. I also never work in a studio.

This image was taken in my living room. When I shoot, I first rig the object, then twist and turn the camera until I find the right angle. When that looks good I take the picture. This photo is totally different from anything I usually do. Except that it looked good in the viewfinder.”

Johansson is an unassuming photographer who has worked in Sweden for several decades. He is widely known for his often melancholic images of urban culture, where humans are only present in the traces they have left behind. He has taken pictures in a wide variety of locations worldwide, which has led to several international exhibitions and published books. He photographed the Spike Chair, launched in 2013 in a limited run of ten for Gallery Pascale, Stockholm.

Summerhouse Birdnest

In 2007 I was asked to to design a house on the small island of Svanholmen in the Stockholm Archipelago. When visiting the Island the first time I was attacked by the the birds swallow, nesting on the island until mid June every year. I decided to use the birds as a theme for the house and instead of hunting them away, inviting them to the house. With inspiration from the Olympic Stadium in Beijing and from a regular birds nest I made a house with a structure the birds may use to build their nests, and with time their presence may colour the wood, giving it a beautiful surface. The house is 40 squaremeters and built with environmentally friendly materials. It has solar panels for all the light and power supplies. The house will be a part of the owner Fredrik Härrens concept »Ideas Island« inviting creatives to use the house for a limited period of time. Photo by Henrik Bonnevier. The house is presented in the Residence magazine june issue

Twilight bird-table

When the twilight comes the acrylic bird-table starts to glow. A beautiful detail in a dark garden! The house is made in acrylic with a base in black colored wood. LED lights starts in the twilight. Battery power supplied 300x220 mm

Spike Chair

The Spike chair is unique in shape. The seat and seat back are fashioned from a number of rods, like a bed of nails, which collectively mimic the curve of a body. The base of the chair is made of tubular steel, welded together with a three-millimetre steel base plate. The upper section is made of turned ash components.

Alexander Lervik gained inspiration for his new chair during a trip to the Philippines."One day it poured with rain. Raining stair rods, as they say, and that's exactly how it was. The shafts of rain resembled slanted lines and in that rain I suddenly saw the outlines of Spike in front of me," says Alexander.

He had long intended creating a follow-up to Red Chair (2005) when the image of Spike suggested itself in the rain on the Philippines. Spike, like its predecessor, will only be sold in a limited edition. It is not suited to mass production due to its unique shape, but, as with Red Chair, should be seen as an artistic object for those interested in design.

"There is a sense of freedom in being inspired by the rain, seeing a shape and working from that. Otherwise I have to take into account stackability, weight and other practical elements that are essential in a mass-produced product. I believe that the total freedom of projects like Spike makes me a better designer of commercial products," says Alexander.

To make the chair ergonomic it was necessary for the rods to be produced in a number of different shapes. The 60 rods vary in length, with 30 different sizes in total.

"I wanted to create a sculptural chair with a strong graphic identity. It was a challenge to make Spike comfortable despite its distinctive appearance," says Alexander.

Spike is to be sold in a limited edition of ten via Gallerie Pascale. It will be unveiled at Gallerie Pascale on Tuesday 5 February, from 6pm.

Address: Humlegårdsgatan 15

Producer: Gallery Pascale

Lumière au Chocolat

La lumière au chocolat lamp, unlike other lamps, is completely dark when you first turn it on, mimicking light spreading along the horizon at sunrise. The heat from the lamp causes the chocolate to begin melting, and it takes several minutes for the first rays of light to penetrate. Holes soon form and as the light grows the chocolate melts. The material and structure of the lamp are the result of pure curiosity. Alexander Lervik wanted to explore the possibility of creating a contrast to light, i.e. dark. The shape of the lamp has been devised based on extensive testing involving the melting process.

"The lamp was initially cube-shaped, but once we determined how chocolate melts together we modified the shape to resemble a cut-off pyramid," says Alexander.

After roughly 15 minutes the chocolate has melted down and then solidifies into chunks.

"I find it poetic, with complete darkness at first and then a tiny ray of light penetrates the dark chocolate," says Alexander.

La lumière au chocolat lamp forms part of the Lervik 100 range.

Producer: SAAS

Lucy Folding Table

The basic design of the Lucy folding table derives from a long-standing fascination with the construction of folding legs and how this can be developed further.

"The penny suddenly dropped one day. The S-shaped clip was the solution for my folding table," says Alexander Lervik.

Lervik's insight resulted in a solution where the folding leg is adjustable and locks in both folded and unfolded position. This is possible as one section of the folding leg remains in the locked position, while the other can be manually transferred into a clip. The legs are locked in standing position by their own force. The solution is an innovation, but it actually came about by chance:

"I wanted to create a really attractive table that didn't pay attention to practical requirements. That was how the idea for folding legs cropped up, as they are stylistically pure in shape. The whole thing finished up with me having designed a smart folding table based on beauty rather than practicality," explains Alexander.

The range of applications for the Lucy folding table is numerous. From conference and function rooms to flexible modern workplaces:

"I believe that folding tables like Lucy will be used more and more. You simply set up the table when you have numerous people in the office, and fold it up again once your project is finished," says Alexander.

Producer: Johanson Design

Madison Table

The shape of the Madison bistro-style table is a response to a practical problem:

Furniture producer Johanson Design wanted to reduce volumes for transport and commissioned Alexander Lervik to come up with a table that could be packed flat without sacrificing on stability or quality.

"I deliberately made the table extremely simple and stylistically pure so that it would fit into as many settings as possible – offices, cafés, restaurants and conference rooms," says Alexander.

Producer: Johanson Design

Nothamn

Alexander Lervik will be launching his Nothamn lamp range for Belid at Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair. The range consists of floor, table, bedside and desk lamps as well as a pendulum and ceiling model. Alexander drew inspiration for this range from a quarry in the village of Nothamn where he spends summers with his family:

"The very first time I visited Nothamn I was struck by the distinctive shapes that mark the thousands of rocks along that stretch of coast. When I began sketching the Nothamn range, the rocks at Nothamn popped up as inspiration," says Alexander.

He initially developed the Nothamn range for the Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm in 2011, when handling the interior design for the 367 hotel rooms and the lobby. The range was so well-received that Alexander and Belid developed additional models, and these will now be made available to a wider audience through Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair.

Producer: Belid

Nest

Nest pendulum light fitting

"I wanted to spread light over the table instead of simply using a thin LED strip, hence the particular shape of the lamp, which is also characteristic of the NEST range," says Alexander Lervik.

The shape of the lamp, a cluster of wooden rods, is inspired by Villa Nest, designed by Alexander Lervik on an island off Stockholm.

Inspiration has been drawn from the Bird's Nest arena in Beijing and then adapted for the island's summer visitors, the birds.

New LED technology. The building is solar-powered, so low energy consumption is important.

Ash wood.

Producer: SAAS

Ask Spotlight

Ask is a wooden LED spotlight for integration into ceilings. The fitting is designed in two parts: an installation cup, recessed into the ceiling plaster, and the actual spotlight, secured to the cup by means of magnets.

"I was commissioned to design a recessed spotlight for a private home and wanted to break up the monotony of the white plaster ceiling. The wood also creates a pleasing lighting effect," says Alexander Lervik.

Producer: SAAS

Jeahna

Alexander Lervik, together with designer Johan Carpner, designed the Jeahna tent lamp, which was exhibited at Stockholm Design week 2012. This year producer Zero will be launching the lamp in three sizes, between 1.5 and 4 metres in diameter. Despite its size the lamp takes only ten minutes to assemble, from delivery in canvas bag to working lamp.

"We saw a picture of a tent lit up at night and realised that a tent structure must be the optimum textile solution for an outdoor lamp. And that's how Jeahna was born," says Alexander.

He and Carpner collaborated with Hilleberg the Tentmaker on construction. Jeahna can withstand sun, wind, wet and cold conditions, and is ideal for gardens and courtyards. Together with Zero they have developed various light fittings for Jeahna – offering everything from general white light to controlled RGB effects.

Producer: Zero

Bubble Chair

A chair for lounge, hotel rooms, restaurant or conference environments. Bubble-chair is made in moulded wood and a upholstered seat.

Design Alexander Lervik 2010

Producer: Moroso

 

Jewellery

In collaboration with Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair we have created a selection of jewellery accessories thru the space age technique of 3D printing.

The selection incorporates light and shape. In the creative collaboration between Alexander Lervik and VAVE S:R focus has been on creating a dramatic look thru light and shade and to find new interesting collisions of material and shapes.

A fantastic experience for us that us that ended in a beautiful jewellery collection in gold, silver, and white.

Producer: V Avenue Shoe Repair

Reform Sofa System

As the name suggests, Reform is variable; you can in effect create your very own version, but the most unique thing about it is actually the construction. While other system sofas are based on the idea of adding and combining different modules, Reform starts with a common base that is adapted to your requirements. Alexander Lervik came up with the idea several years ago.

"I had the idea of building a sofa system in the same way as different car models, starting with an identical base component," says Alexander.

The Reform system is probably the most flexible sofa system on the market. You can choose between high and low backs, with or without armrests, laptop tables, or breaking up your row of seats with a screened phone compartment. It is also possible to vary the fabric and colour of each segment.

Producer Johanson Design has developed an easy-to-use computer program for architects and customers to enable them to simply build their own version of Reform.

Despite its thin, lightweight feel Reform offers comfortable sprung seats. At the same time the system has been designed to stand up to extreme environments; it can be seen, among other places, in Viking Line's new ferry terminal in Turku.

Producer: Johanson Design

44 Easy Chair

Easy chair for lounge habitat. An advanced moulding technique has made this particular chair possible: the seat and back rest are both moulded two-ways. The chair is an inspiration from the classic designs of the fifties. Choose between veneered,aluminium, stainless steel lacquered or upholstered.

Design Alexander Lervik 2005

Producer: Daredutch

 

Eye

A chair for lounge, restaurants or conference environments. EYE chair is upholstered and avalible in many different fabric and leathers.

Design Alexander Lervik 2011

Producer: Johanson Design

 

Jefferson Collection

Upholstered chair for lounge or conference environments. The chair is a part of the Jefferson furniture range with a characteristic conformity that ties the products together. The chair has three different supportive chassis: centre piece stand; four legged stand; four legged stand with wheels. Choose between chromium or silver lacquered metal.

Design Alexander Lervik 2002

Producer: Skandiform

 

Nest

The nest furniture range is constructed with a strong design identity using the metal part to combine the legs and the seat. The same part is used for tables, lounge chair and the restaurant chair.

Producer: Johanson Design

Piano

Bar chair for private spaces, offices and restaurants. An advanced moulding technique has made this particular chair possible: the seat and back rest are both moulded in rubber. Frame in steel

Design Alexander Lervik 2007

Producer: Johanson Design

 

Red Chair

Chair made from seven lacquered steel sticks. The red chair was originally shown in the “Five playful chairs” exhibition in 2005. The red chair is made in a limited edition of ten chairs totally and has been acquired by the prestigious Nationalmusem in Stockholm and The Röhsska Museum of Design and Decorative Arts in Gothenburg.

Design Alexander Lervik 2005

Producer: Gallery Pascale

 

Rib

A stacking chair in pressed felt.  The first ideas concerning Rib grew out of a thought of a stacking chair with a strong graphic touch. Very soon I decided about the billowing seat then for a long while I looked around for the right material to use. The choice of felt gives Rib a unique character. Also the making of the chair makes it special as the stand is mounted underneath, within the felt material.  Rib was awarded Best in Show, Forum +1 at the Stockholm furniture fair 2009 and "Best of the Best" at 100%design in Rotterdam 2009.

Producer: Johansson Design

Art Glass

The collection is composed out of unique pieces of glass that Alexander made in collaboration with Kosta Boda. The technique of putting a glass mass on top of blown glass in this way was not used before at Orrefors/Kosta Boda.

Producer: Gallery Pascale

 

MyBrain

A replica of the designer's brain, originated from an MR scan at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. The image was processed through a 3D-printer, and became this unusual lamp shade design. Yes, it is bright. MYBrain is represented at the Röhsska Museum of Design and Decorative Arts in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Design Alexander Lervik 2007

Producer: Gallery Pascale

Brighthandle

Brighthandle, the luminous door handle that communicates with coloured light, was first launched at the Furniture Fair in Milano in 2001. It received great response, and almost a thousand people from 43 countries showed interest in purchasing the door handle. Brighthandle was awarded “Hardware product of the year” by an American magazine and featured in magazines all over the world.

In the fall of 2001, a company, Brighthandle AB, was formed by Alexander Lervik and Fredrik Arnander to further develop and sell the doorhandle. In July 2006, the company were sold to Assa Abloy, the largest lock producer in the world. The doorhandle is now launched in Europe and the USA .

Design Alexander Lervik 2000

Producer: Assa Abloy

Sense Light Swing

Sense Light Swing is a light fixture that is also a moving, eye-catching work of art that works well even in large spaces. The shape of the fixture comes from a hanging swing for children; Alexander Lervik´s concept for Sense Light Swing was created, after all, for the 2005 show “Five Playful Chairs´.

The seat of the swing, made from transparent acrylic, is lit from within by a strip of high-powered LEDs.

Sense Light Swing creates a spectacular light show as it swings back and forth on its long hanging cords. Sense Light Swing has garnered large amounts of attention in the international media ever since its prototype phase.

Seat dimensions: width 550 mm, depth 200 mm. Source of illumination: LED.

Producer: SAAS Instruments

Darkness

Traditional lamp design meet LED technology. The shade lights up and   offers the impression of an ordinary lamp. But inside there's nothing. No light bulb, no materials, nothing. Only darkness. Surroundend by light.

Design Alexander Lervik 2007

Producer: Dark

Brightdoor

Here's an entire door that says yes or no with green and red. The light switches as you lock or unlock. By using the Brighthandle technology with a building's safety system leads to an ultimate combination of functionality and design. The Brightdoor is constructed in a special plastic surface which efficiently spreads the light.

Design Alexander Lervik 2007

Producer: SAAS

Collabone Carpet

Handmade carpet Collabone.

Design Alexander Lervik & Johan Carpner 2011

Producer: A-carpet

Noway Clothes Hanger

The hanger was designed during a inspiration trip around Asia.
One of the main impressions from the visit was all the advertising signs in, for example Bangkok, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Made in lacquered metal.

Design Alexander Lervik 2006

Producer: Johanson Design

Balett

Made out of brand new LED technology, this pipe has an outer shell that will light up, but an inner tube that stays pitch black. Except for a light projection of a tiny dancer. Of course.

Design Alexander Lervik 2006

Producer: Gallery Pascale

Light Art

Light art in four different rooms at the hospital in Karlstad, Sweden. The concept focus is birds in different variations, all with light inside, from small birds in glass from Orrefors/ kostaboda to big birds in plastic that are over three meters in width.

Design Alexander Lervik 2010

Conveijor

Alexander Lervik interprets the feeling of being on the move in a new lobby installation at Nordic Light Hotel. During the winter, Nordic Light Hotel’s lobby will be transformed into a hub for arrivals and departures. The installation will open in connection with Stockholm Design Week 2010. From 8 February until April, industry folk and the general public will be able to experience the flight and travel-inspiring installation, which alludes to the baggage that we carry with us.

”I’m very proud and regard this opportunity to be seen at Nordic Light Hotel during Stockholm Design Week as a challenge. I have always been fascinated by the hotel milieu and I wanted to create an exhibition that links us to the physical setting. The hotel is a temporary home when you’re on the move. At the same time it’s a venue for new meetings between people, each with their own story and personal situation in their baggage,” says Alexander Lervik.

The installation is being constructed in partnership with Johanson Design, Finnish SAAS Instruments and Belgian Dark.

Alexander Lervik has distinguished himself within both product design and interior décor, designing everything from furniture, textiles, glass and industrial design, to restaurants, nightclubs and shops. His work can be seen at the National Museum in Stockholm, Röhsska in Gothenburg and at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Oslo. Alexander Lervik’s work has a strong conceptual basis and is born out of a clear idea. www.lervik.se

Over the years, Nordic Light Hotel has become a natural arena in Stockholm for several design events. The hotel’s fundamental concept is based on creating a changing environment and inspiring experiences for an audience with an interest in design. During the year, the lobby features several different guest installations, with everything form established designers to those who are completely new on the scene, all of whom work closely with the hotel’s own design team.

Producer: Johanson Design

Nest Table

The nest furniture range is constructed with a strong design identity using the metal part to combine the legs and the seat. The same part is used for tables, lounge chair and the restaurant chair.

Producer: Johanson Design

Neptune

Lounge or coffee table in moulded wood. Despite its somewhat spacious dimensions it does not cramp a lot of space. The idea is that one should be able to sit in an easy chair and not have to move ones body in order to fetch a drink etc. One simply places the glass right next to ones seat and needs thus not to bend forward. The table can be furnished with three easy chairs or with one sofa and two easy chairs. Available in veneer or lacquered in optional colours.

Design Alexander Lervik 2002

Producer: Johanson Design

Boomerang Bench

A bench for public habitat. The idea behind the product is that it should invite to different kinds of sitting. The inside of the boomerang lets a small number of people have a confided and private space. Should a single person desire a private atmosphere one simply sits on the outside of the boomerang. Bench in laminated birch natural or stained. Chassis in chromium.

Design Alexander Lervik 2002

Producer: Skandiform

U-Sit Sofa System

U-sit a modular sofa system

Design Alexander Lervik 2007

Producer: Johanson Design

Skugga

A candle holder that plays with the shadows. A distinct star is formed when the candle is lit and as the candle burns down the star grows outwards. The candle holder is made from lacquered laser cut steel.

Design Alexander Lervik 2004

Producer: Gallery Pascale

Dimension

Dimension– Light art
Made for the Bank Skandia in Sweden.
It is an art piece but also a 3D screen. Built of 1728 heads. 35.000 parts. 24.000 LED lamps.
The cube has a dimension of 3x3x3 meters. Inside its possible to show 3D movements, movies and text.
Presented in April 2010.

Lounge

A chair for lounge or conference environments. Lounge easy-chair has two different supporting chassis: with metal runners or swivelling pillar chassis on feet. Chassis in chromium or silver lacquered metal.

Design Alexander Lervik 2002

Producer: Skandiform

 

Studio

Studio is a stackable chair and manifests a pronounced graphical expression. Arm-rests available for optional assembly. Seat veneered or upholstered. With four legs or a single stand chassis in chromium or lacquered.

Design Alexander Lervik 2004

Producer: Johanson Design

Cabin

A upholstered armchair for conferences, restaurants, hotel lobbys and lounges.

A modern armchair with italian influences.

The seat is hugged by a plastic shell witch gives a feeling of a soft inside combined with the hard outside. The stand comes in different designs, all of the designs both in chrome or laquered steel. The armchair is designed to fit all kinds of environments with its small shape and generous seat.

Producer: Johanson Design

Diva Bar Stool

Stackable bar stool with a distinctive appearance. Seat upholstered in optional fabric or leather. Chassis in chromium or lacquered.

Design Alexander Lervik 2003

Producer: Johanson Design

 

Aero Door Knob

Aero door knob

A door knob made of plastic that gives a firm and steady grip. The door knob design is inspired from the airplane industries modern design.

Design Alexander Lervik 2003

Producer: Confalonieri SPA

Punto Doorstop

A door stop with a clear graphical appearance. The design of the door stop has an aimed surface which gives the door a “gentle” reception. Made of steel and rubber.

Design Alexander Lervik 2002

Producer: Confalonieri SPA

Tradition Candle Holder

Advent candle stick made of glass and wood. The classic Swedish advent candles stick upside-down so that the bog moss is kept safely inside the glass.

Design Alexander Lervik 2003

Producer: Design House Stockholm

 

Mobil Candleholder

A candle holder in stainless steel. The idea is that Mobile should be a new version of the old oil lamps that where used to light up ones way in the darkness. The shape of the candle holder constitutes a comfortable grip.

Design Alexander Lervik 2002

Producer: Simplicitas

Spaces
Nordic Sea Hotel

Interior design

Alexander Lervik has completed several major interior design projects, such as the total refurbishment of the Nordic Sea Hotel, taking care of designing all 367 hotel rooms, right down to the smallest detail. He only undertakes a small number of interior design and architectural assignments per year. The assignments carried out are often overall concepts that can range from interior architecture and specially-designed furniture to the look of menus and logos.

Past projects include:

Clarion Hotel Gillet in Uppsala, NK men's and ladies' footwear, all Rizzo's shoe stores in Scandinavia, Sturecompagniet, Push nightclub in Gothenburg, Restaurant Supper in Stockholm, Villa Fågelbo outside Stockholm, Flustret nightclub in Uppsala and the White Room nightclub in Stockholm.

Restaurant Supper
Push Nightclub