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When a Swedish publisher held a bookshelf design competition in 1949, there was no way of knowing it would result in one of the most iconic concepts of the 20th Century. Bonnier wanted to jump-start sales of its books in the postwar economy and recognized consumers would need a place to store them. Of 194 entries, Nisse Strinning, with an assist from his designer wife Kajsa, took the prize with a nimble system called String.
Based on a ladder-like, coated-wire framework, String is lightweight, versatile and redoubtably stable. Quick assembly, easy to reposition and little trouble to transport as it's mostly flatpacked also add to its enduring appeal. At its launch, String was an immediate success far and wide—especially with a newly identifiable younger generation. Within 4 years of String's launch, in 1950, the system even caught on in the hallowed halls of the new UN headquarters in New York where they were installed.
The Swedish-based company continues to produce the timeless original designs, as well as a thoughtfully expanding array of components and accessories and in an evolving array of finishes to meet modern needs. The best part? It's as relevant and elegant today as it was back when Nisse and Kajsa submitted their original contest entry.