A network for Scandinavian design driven brands  

Network of Design (NOD) brings Scandinavian Design to the world. But, as always, the story started somewhere completely different.

Therese Hillman, CEO of Network of Design

It all started with the idea of increasing the sale of bookshelves. Swedish publishing house Bonnier realized that most Swedish homes were not furnished with a focus on a place to store books, which made it quite difficult for them to sell books in the first place. In 1949 they announced a competition where they asked all contributors to submit a design for a shelf with a few criteria. The shelf needed to be affordable, easy to ship and equally easy to assemble.  

The winner was the String bookshelves. Naturally, String became a very common furniture in the Swedish homes during the 1950s. The 1950s and 1960s were eventful years for String who was generously mounted in the offices of the UN Headquarters in New York, gold medal winner at the Milan Triennale, part of the exhibition at H55 which was the start of the design movement Swedish design, and String System also became the best-selling Scandinavian furniture piece in Germany. 

Quality and craftsmanship by Grythyttan Stålmöbler

Today String is one of a handful of select brands in Network of Design (NOD), Altor’s group of design companies, helping one another in bringing Scandinavian design to every corner of the world. Their early entry into new markets is not typical for the other brands which in most cases weren’t even born when String made their international success. Today, apart from String, NOD consists of seven design-driven brands. Let us walk you through them one by one. 

There are two companies, other than String, focusing on furniture:  

Byarums Bruk has turned the craft of sandcasting into an art using recycled aluminum to create useable objects, like benches, chairs and urns for gardens and parks that will last for generations. 

Then there is Grythyttans Stålmöbler which has been run by the fourth generation of the Lindqvist family and has stayed true to a legacy of making high-quality, long-lasting outdoor furniture that has become a Swedish summer essential. 

When it comes to interior design, there are five companies in the NOD-network: 

Cooee Design creates vases and other objects. The company is a leading, well-recognized brand in home interior and accessories across Scandinavia and abroad. 

Born in 2007, Kid’s Concept has a passion for creating self-designed wooden toys, children’s furniture and interior details in Scandinavian style. The products are put together in concepts easy to combine and are meant to be passed on from siblings and kept in generations to come. 

Photowall was founded in 2006 by the brothers Niklas and Charlie Johansson, who thought that the range of personal wall art was quite limited. With a technical background and a great interest in design, they decided to try something new: to print wallpaper digitally. The growth of their business has been quite spectacular, delivering wallpaper from their digital factory in the outskirts of Stockholm. 

The final two interior design companies are somewhat smaller but exceptionally interesting to follow:  

Wall of Art was founded on the belief that no one should have to decorate their homes with anything less than art they absolutely love. On their website, quality art is made available to the world in a curated collection of premium art prints from exciting contemporary artists. 

Finally, there is Norling Studio, built by three women with an entrepreneurial mindset and a passion for design joined forces to offer a ready-to-order assortment of stunning, high-quality dinnerware as well as the opportunity for restaurants and hotels to create signature sets. 

Born in 2006 with the aim of creating personal wall art by printing wallpaper digitally, Photowall focuses on quality, creative design and tailored products.

Therese Hillman, CEO, Network of Design

“We will bring together a unique set of design brands undergoing rapid growth. We partner with the founders, who continue to be co-owners, and create a design ecosystem where NOD supports in all aspects of their journey.”

Since its founding in 1949, String has created and produced high-quality furniture designed  a Scandinavian design. Most well-known around the world for the iconic String® shelf.

NOD has a seasoned Board representing collective experience ranging from design to e-commerce to support the group on its growth journey. Susanna Campbell, former CEO of Ratos and active board professional with deep E-Commerce experience, will be Chair of the Board. In addition, Mirkku Kullberg, CEO of Glasshouse Helsinki and former CEO of Artek, Paul Fischbein, active e-commerce entrepreneur, former CEO of Qliro Group and founder of tretti.se, and Magnus Dimert, e-commerce advisor and former CEO of Adlibris, will join the board. 

“By establishing NOD we have started our work in forming the leading network for ambitious entrepreneurs in the affordable luxury design space” says Andreas Källström, Partner at Altor. “We have worked closely with NOD on the building of the network, by supporting with capital, expertise and experience both in value creation and acquisitions”. 

Published: Sep 04 2022


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