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GUEST BLOGGER: DESIGNER GUNILLA ALLARD ABOUT CINEMA

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The easy chair Cinema takes me on new adventures all the time – one day upholstered in fabric or leather, the next day molded in bronze and now as one of the motives in the latest Swedish stamp collection ”Sit comfortably!”

In 1988, I graduated from ”Konstfack”, the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Institute of Interior Architecture. The same year, Lammhults decided to carry out a one-year workshop inviting five newly graduated designers to use the competence and expertise in the factory.

My graduation project was ”Cabinet” – a high, narrow cabinet in sheet metal and a sideboard with a base of solid square iron and a table top of stone. These two products were placed on a hardwood floor covered with steel and brass sheet. This project and installation became my admission ticket to the factory. My favourite material has always been metal, so it was fantastic to come and meet the skilled product developers and start bending steel tubes!

During the workshop period, I developed the table Espresso, the sofa Cirkus and the stool Piano. Working with these products, I also discovered the high level of competence at the upholstery department. However, it was more or less a co-incidence that made me start working as a furniture designer. For many years, I had been working with film and I was certain that this was where I belonged. Parallel with my education, I had film projects every summer. I was Property Master for the movie ”Fanny & Alexander” by Ingmar Bergman. I was stage designer of the movies ”Dårfinkar & Dönickar”, ” Sort Höst” a Danish production, and ”Alfred Nobel”. In addition, among other things, I also designed the glass used in the movie ”Glasblåsarns barn”.

During these years, I saw that film production and furniture production are actually not that far away from each other – you are part of a team, everyone has their specific competence and I felt very comfortable knowing this!
After the ”workshop-year”, I realised that it would be possible to combine film and furniture design, working with film in summer, designing furniture in winter. The easy chair Cinema became my next furniture project and challenge – I saw the need for a small, neat easy chair. When designing new products, I have often taken inspiration from my own needs.

My thoughts in the design process for Cinema were:
Small and neat – New – Details – Proper dimensions …
After almost three years of product development, the easy chair Cinema was presented for the first time in Milan autumn 1993. Also included were the Cinema sofa and table. The name Cinema? It’s a greeting between my two favourite areas – film and design!

Designer Gunilla Allard

Cinema won the Excellent Swedish Design Award in 1995. The jury’s motivation:”…for classical, sophisticated design where the dimensions and treatment of the metal and the use of the leather upholstery is closey studied to the outmost limits.

And then the Georg Jensen Design Award in 1996. Citing the jury : ”Gunilla Allard, interior and furniture designer, is awarded this year’s Georg Jensen Design Award for her strict, minimalistic, elegant design. The proportions and details of her furniture show a genuine sense of quality.