Norwegian furniture brand Eikund launches in the UK

With an ambition to showcase the best in Norwegian furniture design, young company Eikund has launched in the UK.

Founded in 2016 by Morten Hippe, Frode Tingbø and Jørgen Tengesdal, Eikund is a young Norwegian furniture company with a big ambition: to make the world aware of Norwegian design, and increase Norway’s contribution to the design world. In 2015, the founders traversed the length of the country, rummaging through attics and archives to discover the hidden furniture gems of Norway’s past.

The team behind Eikund made it their mission to highlight Norway’s forgotten design history, bringing it alongside the other Scandinavian design styles that are well known throughout the world. The team has painstakingly picked products full of history, and at only three years old, Eikund is already boasting an impressive collection. It now manufacturea designs by famed Norwegian designers including Bent Winge, Sigurd Resell, Torbjørn Bekken and Arne Tjomsland.

“Our ambition was to collect all the best pieces from the golden era of the 1950s and 60s,” explains Eikund’s COO, Morten Hippe. “This was to prevent all ‘masterpieces’ from fading into non-existence, and we felt that the responsibility to save the design heritage was in our hands. We wanted to build the Norwegian design foundation up again and make our identity as strong as it should be."

Hippe mentions that the team’s framework for selecting the design and the designer included making sure the designer was important in both a Norwegian and international context. Eikund also needed to have access to the original product, or at the very least, the work drawings. “It was important to choose products with a simplified elegance and a distinctive character,” Hippe says, “and that the product should stand by itself and at the same time be part of a larger whole.”

Though choosing the furniture designers had its challenges, and included the company's founders searching through both public and private archives, Hippe states that the designers included in the Eikund collection “turned out the be the natural choice. This is based on their influence as a contemporary designer in the mid 20th century and traces they have left behind in the Norwegian design history.”

Much of Eikund’s historic collection is manufactured in a factory in the Norwegian village of Hellvik. Among the long lost pieces that are now being reproduced – including the Krysset chair (Fredrik Kayser, 1955) and the Evja table (Torbjørn Bekken, 1958) – is a rather special find: Isbjørn, a white satin lacquered polar bear collectable. Described as a “physical pictogram of the Eikund brand”, Isbjørn represents the rich Norwegian design history that Eikund is striving to share.

On the 2nd April 2019, Eikund officially launched in the UK with an installation at Domus Clerkenwell. The installation, made up of never-seen-before pieces, celebrates the company’s success in unearthing classic furniture from Norwegian design archives. The highlight of the collection was the Fluffy chair, designed by Fredrik Kayser. The installation included both the original Fluffy, and a bespoke black version, which was commissioned by the new Amerikalinjen hotel for its reception.

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