Lovely Chaos: Beatrix Sofa by Anna Kraitz for Källemo
Not so long ago Joseph Starr wrote about Non Chair and Table, a versatile indoor/outdoor pair (in use at the MOMA no less), which is both practical and simple—and, despite the name, indeed a chair and table. One of the more famous offerings of Källemo, the Swedish anti-Ikea founded in 1965 by the unusual Sven Lundh, Non Chair and Table are deceptively simple: using the iconic form of a table and chair, the design revolutionizes the concept through its use of the “Pur” material, a rubber with increased cellularity.
Beatrix Sofa. Designed by Anna Kraitz for Källemo
Lundh likes artistic furniture, as long as the artistry is paired with quality—something that for him translates as lastingness (it’s a word, I promise): “The most important aspect is the visual quality. Good quality means long-term validity.” To use the epigram from the Källemo website, “It shall stand the wear of the eye.” One of the company’s designers, Anna Kraitz, also likes to pair art and function. With degrees in fine arts, painting, and design, Kraitz has contributed varied designs to the Källemo brand, including 2009’s Beatrix Sofa, a redux of her Beatrix Chair from 2007. Constructed of a compressed molded frame with steel legs in matte chrome, Beatrix Sofa includes a welcoming seat and back of foam. It’s also a piece of furniture that juxtaposes two disparate styles—eras even. The tufted buttons initially make Beatrix Sofa something of a parlor piece, but looking down, soon enough you’ll note the streamlined metal legs, and looking up, you’ll then see the scattered buttons.
Kraitz explains her inspiration: “Fairy tails and fantasy. Small and big thoughts. Rituals and habits. All this crossed with the practical life, with thoughts about shape, material and function. The easy chair Beatrix is named after my daughter, born the same year I designed the chair. It has a hardly noticeable asymmetric form. The buttons in the back are moving from a traditional order to a wonderful and lovely chaos.” The paradoxical “lovely chaos” translates into the Beatrix Sofa as well, particularly noticeable when upholstered in black with varicolored buttons.