Dezeen teamed up with Swedish brand Stolab on a three-part video series exploring the brand's solid-wood furniture, as well as its heritage, values and approach to sustainability. Watch the three films here.
Called Stolab Stories, the series documents Stolab's story of becoming a homegrown brand with a deep appreciation for nature, craftsmanship and a family atmosphere at its headquarters in Smålandsstenar, Sweden.
The series comprised interviews with representatives across the Stolab brand, ranging from factory workers to those in positions of management. Included in the videos were interviews with long-term collaborators and designers of signature Stolab pieces.
The collaboration came about as Stolab celebrated 80 years of its Lilla Åland chair in 2022, which was designed by Carl Malmsten in 1942.
Watch all three videos below:
The first instalment of the series introduced Stolab's most notable pieces of furniture, including the Lilla Åland chair designed by Malmsten, which is one of the brand's most recognisable chairs and has been a mainstay of its output since it was first produced.
Stolab released a special edition of its Windsor-style Lilla Åland chair to mark its 80th anniversary during Stockholm Design Week 2022, which includes a version finished in smoked oak oil as well as a series of unique editions painted in bright colours.
Other products featured in the video include the Arka armchair designed by Yngve Ekström in 1955, the bent-wood Miss Holly armchair by Swedish architect and designer Jonas Lindvall, and the Prima Vista chair by Marit Stigsdotter, which pairs an upholstered seat with a softly-curved solid wood back, among more.
The second video in the series explored the history of Stolab and focused on its heritage and expertise in creating solid-wood furniture.
The video featured interviews with Stolab members of staff and the brand's owner and CEO Johansson. He talked about the brand's move from individually handcrafting each piece of furniture to turning to contemporary methods of production using modern machinery to increase its output while remaining consistent with its approach to craftsmanship.
"Same setting, same location, but it's a completely different and more modern way to produce the furniture," Johansson said.
The video explored the brand's approach of using locally sourced wood from the forest that surrounds its factory in Sweden, which allows it to closely monitor its environmental impact and prevent unnecessary waste by creating furniture that's "designed to live forever".
The final instalment of the series explored Stolab's approach to waste and expanded on its "reduce, reuse and restore" ethos.
The video featured products that adhere to this philosophy, such as the Lilla Snåland stool, which is made from waste wood produced during manufacturing.
The stool makes use of the waste material created from the production of the Lilla Åland chair by using 14 triangular offcuts of birch heartwood to form the stool.
Before being used for the Lilla Snåland stool, the triangular offcuts would get stuck in machinery and cause manufacturing disruption and were therefore pulverised and thrown away.
Now, the company reuses offcuts or products that become faulty during production or reuses those that have been returned by customers, to form new products.