About Åke

About Åke

Åke Axelsson has a long experience in furnituremaking. He was born in 1932 on a small farm in Småland, the lake and forest district in the south Sweden, as one of eight children. At an early age it was clear that he had a talent for craft and was sent to summerclasses in cabinetmaking. In 1951 he graduated from Visby School of Woodwork, and went off as a journeyman to work in Munich.


Back in Sweden he studied furniture and interior design at the University College of Arts and Crafts and Design(Konstfack) and soon sat up his own office. Interior design has been the primary profession of Åke Axelsson, but it is the designing of chairs that has been his great passion.



And as main designer and co-owner of swedishfurniture company Gärsnäs, he is a strongly engaged in preserving industrial knowledge in the country. At the age of eighty however, he felt the need to take one step further:

”In the Sixties I dreamt of making and selling my furniture directly to thecustomers from my own workshop – but I was being too romantic and it didn´t work at that time. Today, with my own webshop and a team of young independent cabinetmakers, this dream is coming true.”


Curriculum Vitae

1932 Born in Urshult, Småland
1947 – 1951 Visby School of woodwork Visby
1951 – 1952 Practical experience in a workshop München
1952 – 1957 University College of Arts, Craft and Design Stockholm
1957 – 1959 Employed by architect Gösta Åberg
1959 – 1961 Employed by architect Professor Peter Celsing
1967 – Own firm of architects and prototype workshop Vaxholm
1988 Founded Galleri Stolen. Design and production of furniture Stockholm
1991 Bought the Chairfactory in Skirö, south of Sweden Skirö
2003 Galleri Stolen becomes the mainowner of Gärsnäs AB, design and production
2006 Skirö chairfactory becomes Åke Axelsson Produktion
2008 Skirö is bought by Gemla Fabriker AB i Diö

Interior design

2013 Café Facile Stockholm
2013 Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, the café
2012 Värmlands Museum, renovation of Cyrillus Johnasson´s building
2011 Sven Harrys Artcentre Stockholm
2010 The Royal Armoury, library and meetingroom, Royal Castle Stockholm
2009 Academy of Royal arts, Stockholm, the 1806 year´s Library Stockholm
2009 Swedish Form, meetingroom and library, together with Jonas Bohlin
2009 Kulturen, directionroom Lund
2008 Allé, Simrishamn Eventroom Svinaberga, Kivik
2008 Church, together with architect Gunnar Mattsson Leksand
2006 Jarla Partilager, Stockholm artcentre Stockholm
2006 Church Leksand
2005 Entrancehall and offices at the Historical Museum Stockholm
2004 The monasterychurch in Vreta Vreta Kloster
2003 the Stockholm Citymuseum, entrancehall and shop Stockholm
2002 Restaurant Mästar Anders Stockholm
2002 Restaurant at the Museum of National Antiquities Stockholm
1997 – 2002 Baltic Art Centre Gateshead, Newcastle, England
1995 – 2001 Carl XVI Gustaf´s Jubilee Room, Royal castle Stockholm
2000 Library at the Academy of arts Stockholm
2000 Restaurant at the Stockholm Citymuseum Stockholm
1998 Norrköping Museum, café, shop Norrköping
1998 Students' House Stockholm
1997 – 1998 Museum for Cookery-book Museum Grythyttan
1996 House for Graphical Arts Mariefred
1996 Library at the Naval Museum Karlskrona
1995 Bistro Ruby Stockholm
1993 – 1994 Library and café at the malmö Art Centre Malmö
1994 Parliament Assembly Hall Stockholm
1991 Karlskrona Reading Society Library Karlskrona
1990 – 1993 Library Karlskrona


2013 Tokyo, PG Gallery and Swedish Grace+Tokyo Style Tokyo
2012 80th Birthday Jubileeexhibition Stockholm
2010 – 2011 Kulturen Lund
2010 “Åt skogen!” Royal Academy of Arts Stockholm
2006 Höganäs Konsthall, "Funktionalism" Höganäs
2002 Swedish Style Tokyo
2002 Hara Museum Tokyo
2001 – 2002 Strictly Swedish NYC, Washington DC
2001 Swedish Style in Tokyo Tokyo
1999 Designmuseum, Design Sense Award London
1997 Centre Culturel Suédois Paris
1996 Malmö Konsthall, Chair Anselm Malmö
1996 Danmarks Designskole, 39 chairs Copenhagen
1995 The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, 39 chairs Stockholm
1993 Gallery Österdahl, jubilee exhibition Stockholm
1992 Form Design Center Malmö
1990 The Rhöss Museum for Applied Art and Design Göteborg
1988 Elegance and simplicity with carpets and chairs, Kalmar Art Museum Kalmar
1988 Faces of Swedish Design, touring exhibition in the USA USA
1988 25 years with Gärsnäs Möbel AB, Form Design Center Malmö

Awards, Competitions

1995 Awarded the title Professor, by the Swedish government
1995 Design Sense Award, nominated, Design Museum London London
1995 Awarded the Bruno Mathsson Prize
1994 Awarded the Prince Eugene Medal
1993 Gärsnäs Jubilee Competition
1993 Excellent Swedish Design
1992 Excellent Swedish Design
1989 Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts
1989 The Swedish magazine, Vi, designer prize
1988 Excellent Swedish Design
1985 Excellent Swedish Design
1978 Nordic Design Competition Copenhagen
1968 The Swedish Furniture Industry Design Association Competition
1967 The Red Beech Prize
1963 The Pro-Beech (beech wood) Competition