The String® Story

1949 - today

Some things become so strongly associated with a specific time, they actually end up timeless. That is one way of summarizing Nisse and Kajsa Strinning's contribution to the Scandinavian design history. But what sparked the idea to the shelving system String®?

Bonnier's public library realized that the majority of Swedish homes were not furnished with a focus on bookshelves, which made it quite difficult for them to sell books. In 1949 they announced a competition where they asked all contributors to submit a design for a shelf with a few criteria. The shelf needed to be affordable, easy to ship and equally easy to assemble. String® ticked all the boxes and was announced winner that same year. Naturally, String® became a very common furniture in the Swedish homes during the 1950s. The 1950s and 1960s were eventful years for String® who was generously mounted in the offices of the UN Headquarters in New York, gold medal winner at the Milan Triennale, part of the exhibition at H55 which was the start of the design movement Swedish design, and String® System also became the best-selling Scandinavian furniture piece in Germany.

Nisse and Kajsa Strinning                        

For a number of years, the production of String® was non-existing. The years passed by and it was not until 2004 the brand revived. It was during this time String®, as we know the brand today, took form. The assortment was carefully revised and new features for the shelving system were designed and developed. The updated and now modern shelving system was here to stay! Over a night, String® was once again considered an obvious part of the timeless Scandinavian design style.

Nisse Strinning, who was still alive when the shelving system rejuvenated in 2004, was as creative then as in 1949. Nisse designed a brand-new product, which he named String Pocket. A miniature version of the shelving system designed to hold smaller items such as paperback books, smaller plants, and the like. String Pocket immediately became a success and remains one of our best sellers to this day. The pocket shelf is a daily reminder of Nisse and his ingenious design.

String Wall Panel sketch          Nisse and Kajsa Strinning's business card         1955 Helsingborg Exhibition poster

The relaunch of String® was well received by both the public and the judiciary, which in 2009 resulted in the shelving system being classified as Applied Art under the Copyright Act. Which means, as you might have guessed, since 2009 String® is considered a work of art that in addition to its timeless modernistic design, has solutions for most storage needs in homes, public environments, and offices.

In conjunction with the relaunch, working practices and methods were carefully reviewed and resulted in the implementation of a new sustainability strategy throughout the organization. Environment, quality, and social responsibility became central concepts and in many cases crucial in decision-making processes such as sourcing suppliers or materials. Our sustainability strategy is continuously reviewed and taken into account on a daily basis.

Over time, additional product groups have seen the light of day and String® has kindly made room in the product portfolio for Works and Museum. Architect Anna von Schewen and industrial designer Björn Dahlström are the creators behind the Works assortment. The idea behind Works came to life through their desire to design sensible and inspiring workplaces with a high level of functionality for both the home and the office environment. Museum came to life on completely different terms. Architect studio TAF, Gabriella Lenke and Mattias Ståhlbom, was commissioned by the Swedish National Museum to design a console shelf for the museums bust collection as part of the artistic collaboration NM&. String Furniture was commissioned to produce the console shelf and the launch coincided with the reopening of the National Museum in 2018.


Nisse and Kajsa Strinning's contribution to Bonnier's bookshelf competition is selected as the winner among 194 contest entries
String® shelves are ordered to decorate the newly built UN headquarters in NYC
String® Plex is launched
String® is awarded the gold medal at the Milan Triennale
String® is exhibited at the H55 in Helsingborg. The exhibition was the start of the modernistic and functional Swedish design movement
Several plagiarists are sued, The Swedish Supreme Court judges in Strings favour and the design becomes patented
String® becomes part of the Swedish Nationalmuseum's permanent collection
Nisse Strinning is awarded The Classic Prize and receives the award Excellent Swedish Design
String Furniture AB is founded with emphasis on environment, quality and social responsibility. String® system is relaunched.
String® Pocket is launched and first shown at Form and Design Centre in Malmö
String® is classified as Applied Art according to the Copyright Act
The design connoisseur and journalist Rebecka Tarschy is publishing her book ”String Pocket”
The collaboration with Anna von Schewen and Björn Dahlström results in a brand-new concept with office furniture: Works
Works wins the German Design Award
String® shelving system is honoured with a stamp by the Swedish Postal Service
A new assortment with galvanized products, suitable for outdoor use, is launched and is named String® Outdoor
String® turns 70 years and celebrates by letting Mats Theselius design a limited edition of String® Pocket. The shelves are made of glass and the panels are shiny in a green-blue shade to match the edges of the glass shelves. The shelf is produced in 2019 copies.
The Swedish Nationalmuseum opens after several years of renovations. TAF architect studio, Gabriella Lenke and Mattias Ståhlbom, designs a console shelf Museum NM&.045 for the museums bust collection and String Furniture produces it. Museum is born and becomes part of String Furnitures product portfolio.
String Furniture is awarded “Furniture Supplier of the Year”
2020 Winner Long Life Design Award - The Good Design Award is the largest Asian award, founded in 1957, and reflects Japanese design values and principles that aim to enrich lives, industries, and society.