“You often have a special relationship to your favourite armchair, it becomes a place to retreat, a safe space,” says designer Emma Olbers. For Ire ́s new Character Collection she has designed the easy chair Estrid, which she describes as a contempo- rary club armchair, an ”easy-to-understand and honest armchair that is nice from all directions”. In her studio at Södermalm in Stockholm, where she has been working for almost 20 years, sustainability has been consistent throughout everything she creates. Products should preferably be made from simple and natural materials, be carefully produced and last for a long time. She has colla- borated with a number of Scandinavian companies, from Skagerak in Denmark to Ire, Skultuna, Asplund, Tre Sekel and Eldvarm in Sweden, and since 2016 she also works as creative director of Ire.
How would you describe your armchair Estrid, if she was a character in a room?
“The armchair is warm, soft and enlightening, a character with experience. A bit of of an old wise lady observing her surroundings. I see Estrid as a person with a history, a generous armchair enjoying long discussions about life.”
Where did you get your inspiration?
“The inspiration comes from the classic club armchair. I wanted Estrid to feel classic but still contemporary, to have a harder outside but to be soft and inviting on the inside.”
How could someone tell that you are the designer behind it?
“The chair is quite simple, easy to understand and honest. It has a frame in ash wood that is visible and it has lose cushions with removable covers. It’s easy to take care of and almost boringly practical, just like me. And you can sense a flirt with the 60’s, as in many of my designs. I think it has to do with my parents buying almost all of their classic Scandinavian furniture in the 60’s, which I came to grow up with.”
Tell us about the manufacturing and environmental aspect of the armchair, how have your thoughts developed during the work?
“For a piece of furniture the manufacturing process and the choice of materials play an important role
when it comes to the environmental impact. Estrid is manufactured in Tibro in Västergötland where we have stringent Swedish laws regarding emissions. The frame is made of solid wood which only produces small amounts of CO2 emissions and the entire armchair is easy to disassemble when it is finally time for recycling. Estrid is easy to take care of and easy to update because of the removable covers. It’s simple and honest.”