Fri, Feb 12, 2010
By Nia Kajastie | Photo: Courtesy of G.A.D.
Swedish furniture and design is a worldwide phenomenon, recognised mainly for providing the best in value for money solutions. However, Swedish artisanship is also strongly represented by designers and furniture manufacturers who firmly believe in solid materials, traditional carpentry and custom-made, fully-finished pieces that stand the test of time. A business that goes the extra mile and embodies these aspects is G.A.D., a Swedish company situated on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
By 1997, founder and leading designer of G.A.D. Kristian Eriksson had found himself ready to throw in the towel and leave his job at IBM to pursue a personally more rewarding and creative line of work. “I wanted something else in life,” says Eriksson. “And design has always been in my genes.” And he means this literally: both his parents and grandparents were designers by profession. So, equipped with a technological education and a passion for design and art, he established G.A.D. and set out to make sustainable furniture without any compromises in design, quality, materials, workmanship or price. For the manufacturing process this meant no cutting corners and no cheating. In 1999, the company made a big splash at a Swedish design fair, received a Swedish design award and the rest is pretty much history. Today G.A.D. is in high demand amongst design lovers with its 35 outlets and showrooms spread across Sweden and a few more located in Britain and the US.
Scandinavian art & design
G.A.D. easily epitomises classic Scandinavian style and design, while simultaneously holding a tight grasp on modern aesthetics. Eriksson identifies the style as “classic contemporary” and “Scandinavian with straight lines and simple designs”. Moreover, the furniture speaks volumes about the Scandinavian disposition, as the solid materials demand respect, whereas the clean and streamlined simplicity of the designs soothes the eye: the result is something very honest and genuine. Eriksson takes a lot of pride in the excellent quality of their products and what G.A.D. stands for in terms of style and traditional workmanship: “I think the designs speak for themselves.” His confidence is the clear result of years of striving to be the best at what they do and, of course, the skilful application of the best materials that Sweden can offer.
“The key point is to use solid materials and sand them into the right places using traditional carpentry. Each piece of furniture is made by us all the way from the raw materials to the finished product,” says Eriksson. Accordingly, the materials used include solid Nordic wood of the highest classification (mainly birch and oak), limestone and sheepskin from Gotland, stainless steel on all handles and black granite on surface tops. All of the work is carried out in Gotland with the help of local craftsmen in order to make the manufacturing process more unified and interlaced with the work of the designers. In addition, G.A.D. strives for perfect customer satisfaction by including serial numbers on their furniture for tracking purposes and future check-ups. Naturally, all of this takes a lot longer than just popping by your nearest furniture retailer. It might take weeks, if not months to finish one piece, as everything is made to order, and there are no stockrooms in sight. The price is also set in accordance with the amount of work and passion poured into these products. However, at G.A.D. quality comes first, and in today’s throwaway society, something that truly withstands the wear and tear of time should be regarded as more essential and precious than ever.
For more information visit: www.gad.se