The OLLE chair was a modern take on the classic pin-back chair. Designer Nike Karlsson was asked to create a pin-back chair in a modern Scandinavian version. Nike, who is both a designer and a joiner, has a special sense for wood and chairs. What could he do to make OLLE contemporary, yet still keep the essence of a pin-back chair?
It was a challenge. The pin-back chair has been a classic of Swedish furniture production since the late 1800s, and most Swedish homes have one. A typical, traditional pin-back chair has between five and eight pins or ‘spindles’ in the back. Nike settled with four. The chair was also given a cupped seat for comfort. While it was sold in IKEA stores, it came in clear-lacquered birch, in white, red and black.
The chair was named OLLE and was launched in the 2004 IKEA catalogue. At the time it came in white lacquer and birch clear lacquer. The white-lacquered version didn’t sell that well, so in the 2007 catalogue it was replaced with black and the clear-lacquered birch remained. Four years later, in the 2011 catalogue, it also came in clear red lacquer. But that was the OLLE chair’s final year in the IKEA catalogue.