Gustaf Axel (or G.A.) Berg started out as a civil engineer after studying at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm. His first employment was at Electrolux as advertising manager and industrial designer, where he designed the first refrigerator with a flat front.
As a furniture designer, Berg always worked towards ”The optimal line” – a curvature that could support the body on anatomically correct points without impeding the freedom of movement. This is most clearly seen in the armchair Torparen (eng. The Crofter) from 1942, made of laminated wood and webbing by Väsby Möbel och Inredningsfabrik. Torparen has got the iconic sloped back armrest that placed the hands in the same level as the hart which, according to Berg’s research, would stimulate blood circulation and fluid balance in the body. Berg called the conclusions from his research to find ergonomically perfection the “chair secret” and held the opinion that he was the only one who truly knew it.
In 1929 he started working with furniture designer and antique dealer Harald Westerberg in central Stockholm, but from 1933 until -44 Berg ran his own furniture store on the same street, where he presented his interior and furniture ideas. Berg’s store was one of the first to introduce Alvar Aalto´s furniture in Sweden. In addition to the store, Berg specialized in office- and ship interiors.
A year after Berg’s store had closed, he designed the Model 40 A, a simple beech wood chair in the Windsor style for Nässjö Stolfabrik. During the 1930’s and 40’s Berg was prolific as a participant in exhibitions such as Vår bostad (eng Our home) in Gothenburg 1943, the World exhibition in Paris 1937 and in New York 1939. At the later he played an instrumental part in launching the term Swedish Modern.
The armchair Status made for Bröderna Andersson in 1964, was to be Berg’s last furniture design and was an evolution of the piece Svanen (eng. The Swan) from 1962. On Status, Berg worked with the sculptor Stig Jonson, and the chair was made with very trendy materials such as polyurethane and polyester, with a reversible seat cushion made of cold foam and a base of polished aluminum.
In late 1970s some of G.A. Berg´s armchairs were re-launched by the manufacturer Bröderna Andersson, but produced just for a short period of time. G.A. Berg died in 1971 at the age of 80.