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Furniture designer and founder of one of the most successful furniture manufacturers in the United States, Folke Ohlsson is well known for having popularized Scandinavian design in America with his clean, streamlined approach to creating high-quality goods. Through his company, Ohlsson imported some of Scandinavia's best designs, paving the way for other international furniture designers of the time.
Born and raised in Sweden, Ohlsson’s ventured into the American furniture market when he moved to the United States in 1953. Shortly after, he established his company DUX Incorporated in San Francisco only to move to Burlingame, California a few years later. During the 1950s and 1960s, Ohlsson’s creations gained popularity for their deep comfort and use of quality materials. Under Ohlsson’s direction, Dux Inc. collaborated with some of the most relevant furniture designers of that time; Edward J Wormley and Bruno Mathsson among them.
Ohlsson is often credited for having introduced “knock down” furniture to the American market. Knockdown furniture could be flattened for easy packing and assembled at the final destination, significantly lowering shipping costs. The idea was pattened by Ohlsson in 1949. His influence is still seen today in contemporary furniture manufacturer, Ikea. His furniture designs won over thirty awards including the Good Design Show of the Museum of Modern art in New York, the Triennale Exhibit in Milan along with Sweden’s Royal Order of Vasa decoration by King Gustav VI Adolf in 1964.
Ohlsson’s timeless furniture blended traditional elements with modern while still maintaining quality. Some features in his designs include sculptural armrests, angled legs, adjustable seating, and expandable tables. Today, his designs are highly sought after and continue to be collected amongst mid-century modern enthusiasts.