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Hans Brattrud decided to become a designer at the early age of only 12 years. He gained his first experience in the discipline at a carpentry shop close to his hometown of Dokka before enrolling in the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry, where he apprenticed with such designers as Birger Dahl and Tormod Alnæs. 

From the classroom to international success

It was during his studies in 1957 that Brattrud designed Scandia Junior, the chair he would later be best known for in his career. The chair has a characteristic expression with vertical slats in laminated wood and a steel frame. An entirely new production technology was needed to put it into production. Hove Møbler launched the chair in 1960 and Scandia Junior enjoyed immediate international recognition and success. The collection was quickly expanded to include easy chairs and was produced until 1972, when the factory burnt down.

Thirty years later, the series was relaunched by the newly established furniture manufacturer Fjordfiesta with the permission of Hans Brattrud and has since been produced in Dokka, where Brattrud also lived. The chair is more popular today than ever before.

Bildet viser stolen Scandia Junior med vertikale staver i laminert tre og understell i stål. Stolen er designet av Hans Brattrud i 1957.
The Scandia chair is Brattrud’s most popular product. It was recently nominated as one of Norway’s best designs in the Design in 100 competition. Photo: Fjordfiesta

In the 1960s, Brattrud was considered one of the most promising young Norwegian furniture designers. He had his own drawing office and developed numerous furniture models and carried out challenging design projects. Many of his furniture designs from that time were awarded with prizes at both national and international competitions. In 1967, Scandia Junior won the gold medal at the international trade fair for craft trades in Munich and, that same year, the chair received the Merket for God Design (Award for Design Excellence). The Scandia series has been referred to in most international furniture and interior design magazines and received new distinctions and awards in recent years. In 2006, Scandia Senior received the Interior Innovation Award Cologne 2006 and was nominated for The German Designpreis 2007.

Bildet viser møbeldesigner Hans Brattrud som signerer en bok med bilde av stolen hans, Scandia Junior.
Hans Brattrud was closely involved in the production of the Scandia chairs relaunched by Fjordfiesta in 2002. Photo: Fjordfiesta.

Hans Brattrud is represented in several national and international museums, including the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Norway and The National Gallery of Australia. Hans’ contribution to Norway furniture design was honoured in 2008 with a King's Medal of Merit in gold.

In spite of his resounding success as a furniture designer, Hans Brattrud gradually focused increasingly more on developing architectural projects and industrial patents and was among the first to develop prefabricated houses on a large scale.

Sources:

Fjordfiesta
Store Norske Leksikon

Read more about Hans Brattrud in Mats Linder.