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Photo: Lennart Durehed

Photo: Lennart Durehed

The HI-group
Craftmanship in the plastic age

Until 19 November

Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

Visit the exhibition

Free admission.

This is the first exhibition ever devoted to the work of the HI-Group, a seminal chapter in the history of Swedish design and interiors. The HI-group was a collective of craftsmen and designers working across different fields and in different materials.

This exhibition displays around 30 objects, from furniture to photography, that have never been seen together before and tell a story of the renaissance of craft in an era more associated with modern, standardised materials. Period photography shows how the city of Stockholm formed a strong context for HI-group’s work. The exhibition has been elegantly designed by TAF Arkitektkontor.

At the start of the 1960s, Swedish cities were developing at an astounding rate, as hundreds of thousands of homes were constructed using standardised modern materials. Perhaps surprisingly, that moment also saw a renaissance in high quality craft. The HI-group attempted to renew the Swedish art of furniture and once more put craft back at the centre of the design process. They also aimed to help Sweden compete with Denmark at a time when the Danes dominated the world of crafted furniture.

The purpose behind forming this group was to allow interior architects, furniture designers and craftsmen to experiment together without having to worry about the requirements of industrial production.

Interior architect Stig Lönngren founded the HI-group, which, at its peak, had sixteen members: interior architects Åke Axelsson, Hans Johansson, John Kandell, Erik Karlström, Hans Kempe, Thea Leonhard, Lars-Erik Ljunglöf, Stig Lönngren and Stig Åke Nordell. Master carpenters Anders Berglund, Lars Larsson, Erik Lindgren and David Sjölinder, along with master upholsterers Gösta Engström and Åke Nilsson. Holger Johansson was the sheet metal master in the group.

Curator: Johan Örn
Project manager: Lena Landerberg
Exhibition designer: TAF Arkitektkontor
Graphic design: Johannes Molin

Images from the exhibition


Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Chairs from the HI Group. Photo: Sune Sundahl / ArkDes collections

Chairs from the HI Group. Photo: Sune Sundahl / ArkDes collections

Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Chairs from the HI Group. Photo: Sune Sundahl / ArkDes collections

Chairs from the HI Group. Photo: Sune Sundahl / ArkDes collections

Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

More images

Exhibition activities


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Event

Guided tour


Tuesday

26 September


The HI Group and the return to craft

18:00


About the forgotten story of some designers and craftsmen who chose to go against the stream. Book presentation and panel discussion between author and architecture historian Johan Örn and Annica Kvint, editor of the magazine Arkitektur. 

The HI Group was an association of craftspeople and interior designers who sought to bring back the art of Swedish furniture design and put craftsmanship back in focus during the first half of the 1960s. In an exhibition and a book, ArkDes is now telling the forgotten story of a number of designers and craftspeople who chose to go against the prevailing norm of series-manufactured furniture.

The HI Group aimed to bring together interior designers and craftsmen at an early stage in the creative process. This was intended to provide opportunities to experiment without needing to take into account the requirements of industrial processes. But it was also a space for developing prototypes for industrialised manufacture.

The group included interior designers John Kandell, Stig Lönngren, Thea Leonhard and Åke Axelsson, master carpenter David Sjölinder and master upholsterer Gösta Engström.

Johan Örn, author and curator of the collections at ArkDes and Annica Kvint, editor of the magazine Arkitektur talk about a unique venture in the history of Swedish furniture.

This panel conversation is part of the programme for the HI Group exhibition running at ArkDes from 13 September – 19 November 2017.

In Swedish.


Thursday

28 September


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Thursday

5 October


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Thursday

12 October


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Thursday

19 October


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Thursday

26 October


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Thursday

2 November


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Thursday

9 November


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Thursday

16 November


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.

See more

Read more about the exhibition

This is the first exhibition ever devoted to the work of the HI-Group, a seminal chapter in the history of Swedish design and interiors. The HI-group was a collective of craftsmen and designers working across different fields and in different materials.

This exhibition displays around 30 objects, from furniture to photography, that have never been seen together before and tell a story of the renaissance of craft in an era more associated with modern, standardised materials. Period photography shows how the city of Stockholm formed a strong context for HI-group’s work. The exhibition has been elegantly designed by TAF Arkitektkontor.

At the start of the 1960s, Swedish cities were developing at an astounding rate, as hundreds of thousands of homes were constructed using standardised modern materials. Perhaps surprisingly, that moment also saw a renaissance in high quality craft. The HI-group attempted to renew the Swedish art of furniture and once more put craft back at the centre of the design process. They also aimed to help Sweden compete with Denmark at a time when the Danes dominated the world of crafted furniture.

The purpose behind forming this group was to allow interior architects, furniture designers and craftsmen to experiment together without having to worry about the requirements of industrial production.

Interior architect Stig Lönngren founded the HI-group, which, at its peak, had sixteen members: interior architects Åke Axelsson, Hans Johansson, John Kandell, Erik Karlström, Hans Kempe, Thea Leonhard, Lars-Erik Ljunglöf, Stig Lönngren and Stig Åke Nordell. Master carpenters Anders Berglund, Lars Larsson, Erik Lindgren and David Sjölinder, along with master upholsterers Gösta Engström and Åke Nilsson. Holger Johansson was the sheet metal master in the group.

Curator: Johan Örn
Project manager: Lena Landerberg
Exhibition designer: TAF Arkitektkontor
Graphic design: Johannes Molin