Design

Inspired by craftsmanship

Fredrik Ireklint is a carpenter and part of Swedese’s production team. Every time a new product is under development, Fredrik and his colleagues build bridges between the designer’s idea and production in Swedese’s factory.

This is precision work that demands both knowledge of materials and a feeling for detail. For Fredrik, who aside from his work at Swedese, builds kitchens, furniture and prototypes in his own workshop, the job fits like a glove.

Fredrik lives on a farm close to Swedese’s factory in Vaggeryd together with his family. When he moved here, he could finally realise a dream of having his own carpentry workshop. Since then, Fredrik has divided his time between Swedese and his own business.

-The most common projects I undertake are individually designed kitchens, inbuilt furniture units for halls and wardrobes for older houses and apartments. I’m very interested in interior design and think it’s great to work with wood to create custom made solutions.

His fascination for detail also serves Fredrik well in his work at Swedese’s prototype studio. The product development group, which Fredrik is a part of, comprises five people with different areas of expertise. Together they transform the designer’s drawings into products that can be created in Swedese’s factories.

“By investing time we achieve a result with high levels of handicraft.”

-The designers we collaborate with have different ways of working. Some come to us with digital drawings or sketches whereas some might even have developed their own prototypes. Our job is to find a rational way to develop each product so it can be produced in large volumes. At the same time, we want to use elements of handicraft and manual work in our production in order to retain the hand-crafted feel in our furniture.

Early in the product’s development, Fredrik and his colleagues have a close dialogue with the designer as the first prototype takes shape.

-Our goal is to understand the idea behind the piece of furniture and we always try to remain as close to the original design as possible. It takes time to find the right way so you could describe our role as that of an experimental workshop.

Fredrik is the fifth generation of his family to work with wood and furniture and he knew already in his school woodwork classes that he was interested in continuing the family tradition.

-There’s always something new to learn about wood, which makes it endlessly exciting to work with. There are so many defining parameters to consider and at Swedese, every piece of furniture demands unique solutions. As a material, wood just keeps on throwing up surprises and that’s fun. Every project starts as a kind of guessing game which eventually leads to a great result.

“Our goal is to understand the idea behind the piece of furniture and we always try to remain as close to the original design as possible.”

Fredrik thinks that the most enjoyable projects are those that seem almost impossible at the start. Swedese’s newest addition, the Savoa table by designer Sakari Hartikainen, is a great example of this. With this, high demands were placed on those charged with carrying out the final manual processes.

  • I really appreciate that we can allow certain products to be this demanding. By investing time we achieve a result with high levels of handicraft. This has allowed us to produce Savoa exactly the way Sakari envisaged from the start.