Torbjørn Afdal


Torbjørn Afdal is among our most gifted and productive furniture designers. After graduating from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1946, he spent his career with the legendary Bruksbo Tegnekontor, who for three decades were one of Norway’s leading design offices for quality furniture. They created models for dozens of furniture manufacturers, and in the mid-1960s a large percentage of Norwegian furniture exports were designed by Bruksbo. Afdal got recognised internationally as a highly skilled designer, he was awarded with a gold medal for the lounge chair Broadway at the Deutsche Handwerksmesse in Munich 1959. Among those who purchased Afdal’s design were First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and the Japanese Emperor, and he later designed the office of Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

His work is characterized primarily by a refined understanding of material and form. Afdal had a combination of art and tradition in his work, with a talent of utilizing the natural possibilities of wood. Around 1955-65, Afdal’s furniture design gained a more crafted feel, the armchair Broadway together with the hunting chair Hunter was his artistic highlights. Many of his products are true classics and deserves to be revived.

Torbjørn Bekken


The Norwegian designer Torbjørn Bekken graduated from the National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1946. Fresh from school he was picked up by the progressive furniture and interior design company Rastad & Relling Tegnekontor, where he worked for most of his career. They were known for spotting design talents and their hands-on understanding of how the marked worked. Together with companies like Bruksbo Designstudio, Rastad & Relling were one of the pioneers in shaping the Norwegian design scene after the Second World War.

Bekken played a significant part in the design trends of the 1950-60s. All Scandinavian countries had a love for wood and it was the obvious choice at the time. Bekken was a person who got his influence from pure function in combination with interior styles. He was also a man that liked technical challenges; machines were never a restriction, but a way to reach the masses. He has a solid production to his name, but is still relatively unknown. It seems like he didn’t seek the spotlight, but rather preferred to work quietly behind the scenes.

Sven Ivar Dysthe

(1931 – )

Sven Ivar Dysthe is a Norwegian industrial designer who is especially known for his furniture. His design career began when he started as an apprentice at one of the most respectable carpenter workshops in Trondheim. Arne Remlov, interior architect and editor of the design magazine Bonytt, persuaded Dysthe to apply for admission to the Royal College of Art in London. In 1952, Dysthe began his studies there at its newly created field of industrial design. The general manager at the school, furniture designer David Pye, played an important role in Dysthe´s development. The highlight as a student was most definitely when he was assigned to make the pincushion box for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. After graduating in 1954, Dysthe started working for the Danish architects and furniture designers Peter Hvidt and Orla Mølgaard Nielsen in Copenhagen. In Denmark, he gained close knowledge and understanding of Scandinavian design. He moved back to Norway the following year and it did not take long for his career to take off.

His furniture is characterized by elegant and modern design, all products are minimal in form and material use. One of his main focuses was to allow for serial production, combining great systematic solutions with the right amount of details. He loved to explore new and modern techniques, an example of that is his dining chair Era. With its black powder coated steel frame and a steam bent T-shaped wooden backrest, together with a light and almost floating veneer seat, this chair is definitely showing his creative talent.

Fredrik A. Kayser


Fredrik A. Kayser is a well-loved furniture designer from the Scandinavian Design period of the mid-twentieth century. He was born in the Norwegian town Bergen, grew up in a musical family, and played both the cello and the mandolin. He found a lot of inspiration in music. His father Trygve Kayser had a furniture agency and a large network in the industry. Fredrik began his carpentry apprenticeship right after the middle school exam. At the age of 15, he had already drawn his first dining room, which was put into production at Viken Møbelfabrikk. Kayser got his diploma at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in Oslo in 1945, the same year he started his career at the Rastad & Relling Tegnekontor.

His furniture is characterized by elegant design and material sensitivity, with a rare sense of proportions and composition. In his most famous design, “Krysset”, the front and back legs are fixed together by four wood nails that in a refined way emphasize the construction. Kayser was inspired by the trends of the time, but always managed to give his creations a unique personal touch, with elegance that made them instant classics.

Sigurd Resell


Sigurd Resell was one of the country’s most formidable furniture designers in the 1950s and 60s. What characterizes his furniture more than anything is an elegant and logical construction. While mostly designing furniture in a moderately traditional style, he later also developed a number of models in a more modern, international design language. He received nine different awards at various competitions and exhibitions at home and abroad.

He graduated from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1947. Resell then began working for Rastad & Relling Tegnekontor, where he stayed until 1968, with a brief intermission from ’53 to ’56, creating some of the era’s most formative furniture.The dining table Øya is a great example of his design talent, an elliptical shaped table in solid wood designed many years before his competitors.

Arne Tjomsland


Arne Tjomsland was Norway’s leading designer of small scaled figures in the 1950s and ‘60s, a self-taught creator originally working with advertisement and toy design. He gave shape to animals from the Nordic fauna, as well as Inuits and Vikings, in wood and whalebone. His first figure was a polar bear made from teak. At first, Tjomsland made all the figures himself, but when demand grew, furniture manufacturer Hiorth & Østlyngen took over some of the production. He got the inspiration for his figures from reading Polar literature as a child and the time spent with his father – preparatory Michael Tjomsland – at the Zoological Museum in Oslo. His artistic style is characterized by simplified organic shapes and soft but defined lines.

In 1954, Tjomsland was invited to attend the exhibition Design in Scandinavia, which was touring the United States and Canada from 1954 to 1957. He received a Gold medal for his creations in the 1957 Deutsche Handwerksmesse in Munich and a Silver medal in the 1960 Triennale di Milano.

In 1957, Arne Tjomsland became the artistic director of Goodwill Produkter, an organization that gave disabled people a chance to work.