Nirvan Richter studied architecture at the Royal Institute of Art and cabinetmaking at LiU Malmstens in Stockholm. After graduation Richter became more interested in furniture design and interior architecture, to create good home environments. Richter’s breakthrough came in 1988 when he was the architect for the Carl Malmsten – 100 years exhibition at Nordiska Museet in Stockholm.
In 1991, Richter founded the interior design company Norrgavel in Lund and was presented at the fair Bo93 in Karlskrona 1993, where Richter showed several pieces of furniture that today are regarded as Norrgavel’s classics. As a furniture designer, Richter was inspired by Japanese architecture, the furniture of the Shaker movement, Danish 1950s design, and Swedish folklore.
One of Richter's most well-known pieces is a beech wood armchair from 1993, that has become a symbol of Norrgavel. The chair was supplemented with a footstool in 1998. Two years later Norrgavel was looking to expand their line with a more simple and cheaper chairs. The result was the chair Bas made of birch wood. Bas was shown at the "Stolen av idag" (eng. Today’s chair) exhibition at ArkDes – Sweden’s National Centre for Architecture and Design in 2001.
Since the start in the 1990s, the Norrgavel family business has developed into a successful chain of stores with its own clear identity based on Richter's designs and his visions of interior culture, authenticity, and sustainability.