Spinneybeck Introduces The Softwood Collection
A Contemporary Take on Molded Ply
The Softwood Collection by Lars Beller Fjetland stretches and bends wood to an almost impossible form. Pleat, Quilt, and Twist haven’t forgotten their mid-century roots but an innovative new process enables forms inspired by the subtle folds of textiles and drapery. Available in four wood veneers, the panels softly undulate across the wall with minimal hardware and boost sound softening with an optional felt-covered acoustic substrate behind.
The practice of bending plywood dates back to the 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution, a time when design was deeply rooted in technology and innovation. Constructed from layers of wood veneer and adhesive, plywood is a composite material whose strength comes from the binding and cross-graining of layers. The grain of each sheet runs perpendicular to the layer above and below, resulting in unmatched strength and resilience. The layering, adhering, and alternating grain allow plywood to perform and hold up to modern manufacturing processes in ways solid wood simply cannot.
During the mid-1900s, plywood’s popularity among architects and furniture designers surged. Charles and Ray Eames and others among the era’s most iconic designers found unbelievable promise in this remarkable material. Moreover, the interest in and demand for plywood grew as designers were seeking to bring natural materials into everyday life on a larger, mass-produced scale. There’s a reason that plywood has stood the test of time in the interior and furniture design worlds. Simplicity and versatility combined with the material’s natural warmth have given plywood an enduring appeal.
“Plywood, unlike synthetic plastics, is a modern material with a past.” It’s a material that continues to captivate designers today, and Norwegian designer and Spinneybeck collaborator Lars Beller Fjetland is no exception.
“The main inspiration behind the Softwood Collection stems from my recent fascination with the soft and calming characteristics of draped, folded, and suspended fabrics—an aesthetic that offers something warm, gentle, safe, and comforting.”– Lars Beller Fjetland, designer of Softwood Collection
Inspired by the work of the mid-century design giants combined with elements of his Nordic upbringing, Lars developed a series of designs that combine two unique and strikingly different perspectives while honoring the longevity and inherent beauty of molded plywood. While these products take inspiration from the past’s innovative manufacturing process, they are made using a twenty-first century proprietary forming technique that’s the biggest technological innovation to molded plywood since the 1960s. This new process requires no liquid glue, produces less waste, and allows a faster manufacturing process that can achieve true mass production at lower cost.
Design and technology come together in a collection of formed wood wall systems that combine the natural material’s warmth and strength, all with a mid-century-inspired twist. Core to Lars’ work is the philosophy that products should be designed in ways that achieve a sense of both timelessness and longevity through an immediate, honest functionalism in form and aesthetic, and Pleat, Quilt, and Twist do just that.
Product: Pleat, Quilt, Twist
Designer: Lars Beller Fjetland
Composition: Wood Veneer + Baltic Birch Plywood
Woods: White Pine, Douglas Fir, White Oak, Walnut
About Lars Beller Fjetland
Emboldened by elements of his Nordic upbringing, Lars Beller Fjetland has fostered a deep appreciation and discernment for the natural world and its contribution to design. He believes it is a designer’s mission to create objects that are enduring and will appeal to generations to come. Both curious and pragmatic, he strives to underscore the inherent qualities of natural materials – functional, sustainable, and innately beautiful. The multi-award winning designer focuses on developing long term collaborations with international brands such as L.Ercolani, HEM, HAY, Spinneybeck, Architectmade, and Bottega Ghianda.
Spinneybeck was founded in 1962 and is recognized as a leading provider of high-quality natural materials to architects and interior designers. Over the decades, the company has evolved from a supplier of full grain, aniline dyed Italian leather for upholstery and aircraft interiors to a manufacturer of innovative architectural products that showcase the beauty and durability of natural materials. Collaborations with industry design leaders in the fields of sculpture, architecture, interior design, and textiles have generated inventive leathers, color work, patterned wall tiles, drawer pulls, and sculpted wall systems celebrating natural materials. Regardless of the application, Spinneybeck has consistently held the same high standards for quality, originative products, environmental practices, and customer service.