The biography of Gunilla Allard
Designer of the Month 04: Gunilla Allard
Designer Gunilla Allard is most known for the furniture series Cinema from 1994 but has made several award-winning pieces throughout her career. Although Allards design is distinctly inspired by the Bauhaus-school, it is clearly her own.
Gunilla Allard started her career as a set decorator and designer for the movie The flight of the eagle by Jan Troell in 1982. From 1986 to 1988 Allard studied interior architecture and furniture design at Konstfack University for Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm.
Shortly after her graduation in 1989 Allard and four other young designers began a collaboration with Swedish manufacturer Lammhults within the project Lammhults Workshop. Here Allard was recognized for her sofa Cirkus, launched the same year. For Lammhults, Allard later created the furniture series Cinema (1994), first shown at the Furniture Fair in Milano, but the big international breakthrough for Allard came at the same place three years later. In 1996 Allard was awarded the George Jensen Award, mainly for her work with Cinema.
In 1999 Allard created the chair Cosmos for the new public library in Linköping, a small, stackable and connectable chair that was made in two sizes for different parts of the building. On its release, Cosmos got a lot of attention in both Sweden and on the international market and got rewarded Utmärkt Svensk Form and the English newspaper Blueprints award. One year later it also got the SIR (Swedish Interior Designers) prize Guldstolen (the golden chair). In 2000 Allard was awarded the Bruno Mathsson Prize.
After more than 30 years Allard continues her collaboration with Lammhults. But in the late 1990’s she also began designing carpets for Kasthall and later kitchen interiors for Marbodal and outdoor furniture for the companies Hags and Nola.
Allard’s style is an austere modernism, inspired by the Bauhaus School, with great contrast between the carrying and supporting construction.
MDM Talks #9: We talked with the designer Emma Wikner. In 2022 Emma graduated from Konstfack. For her graduation project, Vita Sannar, she designed a Cabinet made from CNC-milled MDF boards. The uniquely designed piece was inspired by the swirly patterns in the sand created by waves.