10 gruppen

If you live in Sweden or have some idea of what Swedish surface pattern design is all about I’m quite sure you’re familiar with the Swedish design collective “10 gruppen”. If not, please continue to read, this you don’t want to miss.

In 1970, ten Swedish textile designers, many of them based in Stockholm as designers and artists, formed the today iconic design group “10 gruppen”. The members of the group were Birgitta Hahn, Tom Hedqvist, Ingela Håkansson-Lamm, Inez Svensson, Britt-Marie Christoffersson, Lotta Hagerman, Gunila Axén, Susanne Grundell, Carl Johan De Geer and Tage Möller.

Three of the original members, Birgitta Hahn, Tom Hedqvist and Ingela Håkansson-Lamm ran the company until 2015, when they chose to sell the company to IKEA. But let’s come back to that.

10 gruppen 1972. Foto: Dunkers Kuturhus

So why iconic? In my opinion it’s both their bold patterns and their democratic ideals behind the patterns, such as solidarity and collectivism. “10 gruppen” wanted to challenge the norms in the textile field which at the time often consisted of discrete patterns. They collected inspiration from art, architecture, paintings and older Swedish folk art and designed colourful and eye-catching textile patterns which in the beginning was considered as both unsuitable and provocative. They really shooked the textile design world and their influence on Swedish design has been huge ever since.

”… we wanted to create a better world without war using colors, patterns and music.” – Carl Johan De Geer, one of the founder of the 10 gruppen

Over the years, “10 gruppen” opened a store in Stockholm, exhibited in both New York, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo and from that they went on to become a design agency working with international companies and furniture manufacturers around the world.

“10 gruppen” and IKEA had collaborated over the years in different projects and so in 2015 IKEA got the chance to buy “10 gruppen” and they didn’t hesitate. Their aesthetic fitted perfectly together, and the success was a fact. In 2017, five of the original members, two external designers and three new designers, Ida Pettersson, hanna Dalrot and Iina Vuorivirta launched a temporary collection of a total of 10 patterns called “AVSIKTLIG”, in my opinion a very bold and joyful collection that is so significant for the great “10 gruppen”

Foto: www.ikea.se/AVSIKTLIG