The String System is a versatile storage solution suitable for both home and office. Modules of the system can be used to build a bookcase covering the entire living room wall, find a solution for shoe storage in the hallway or assemble a small wall shelf for your most beloved decor items.
SWEDISH ARCHITECT and designer Nils Strinning (1917–2006) designed the first version of the String System shelves in 1949. Together with his wife Kajsa Strinning (1922–2017), he participated in a design competition looking for a new kind of bookshelf that was organized by Bonnier public library. The chosen winner was the modular and lightweight String shelf, which quickly became a favorite piece of furniture in Swedish homes. Since then, broader international acclaim has been accompanied by numerous awards – perhaps the most important one being a gold medal from Milan’s Triennale in 1954.
Nils “Nisse” Strinning (1917–2006) and an older version of the String shelf.
In the following years, the Strinnings continued to expand the system with new modules. The String shelf was modular from the start. The ladder-like side panels and shelf boards were packed flat, facilitating transport.
The original models are now sought after collectibles and one can try to find them at auctions. Strinning also designed other pieces of furniture, but they never became worldwide hits like the String System.
String is also suitable for the home utility room. Metal shelves are available with a low and high front edge.
With open shelves, dishes and cooking utensils are readily available. The unit pictured has shelves measuring 78 cm and 58 cm in width.
The company String Furniture was established in Sweden in 2004 and acquired the manufacturing and sales rights to Strinning’s products. The product and color selection has been further expanded to match the modern lifestyle. A completely white system was launched in 2005, and it is currently the most popular version by far. The daintier String Pocket whose dimensions were optimized for pocket books also became available the same year.
The dainty String Pocket became available in 2005.
A folding table developed in cooperation with Björn Dahlström and Anna von Schewen was introduced in 2013, followed by the String Works collection designed for offices. In 2017, the range was expanded with metal components that withstand heavier use. They make String even better suited for the hallway as well as shoe and clothes storage, for example.
String Pocket shelves can be endlessly combined both vertically and laterally.
The folding table designed by Björn Dahlström and Anna von Schewen was introduced as part of the String collection in 2013.
The shoe chaos in the hallway can be tamed with metal shoe shelves. The colors include black, white and gray. The shoe selves only fit with side panels that are 30 cm deep. Also pictured is a light gray bowl shelf.
The String System, which will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary, is a great example of timeless design. In addition to the fresh design language, the secret to its popularity is probably versatility: the shelving system finds its place in the living room, the kitchen as well as the bathroom and is easy to modify as needs change. However, the basic principle of the String System has stayed the same: practicality combined with minimalistic beauty.
Explore the String System storage solution >
Text: Mikko Vaija Images: String