Torbjørn Afdal

(1917-1999)

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.

Broadway lounge chair

With its turned siderails pointing upwards as horns the lounge chair Broadway makes a strong statement. This is a chair that won Torbjørn Afdal a gold medal at the craftsmanship fair “So Wohnt Europa” in Munich in 1959. Afdal graduated from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1946 and worked his whole career for the legendary Tegnekontoret Bruksbo. He designed the chair with extreme attention to detail; the shape and transition between legs and armrest is beyond words.

Designed in 1958

Hunter lounge chair

The way that the saddle leather is stretched around the wooden frame with adjustable belts, makes this a perfect example of the category “hunting chairs”. These lounge chairs were immensely popular in the 1950s-60s and have now defined themselves as modern-day classics. Afdal graduated from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1946 and worked his whole career for the legendary Tegnekontoret Bruksbo. Afdal designed the frame with a minimalistic aesthetic focusing on a fluid and organic form in contrast to other hunting chairs. “Simplexity” is a good description of the Hunter composition. This can be seen in the double layered leather with its matching edge stitching, together with its solid cast brass buckles. The Hunter lounge chair is a highly detailed piece with craftsmanship to last for generations.

Designed in 1960

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