Mats Theselius

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Submitted by: Jessica Whittaker

A bookshelf is a bookshelf, is a bookshelf. Can creativity turn a concept as commonplace as a bookshelf into a timeless masterpiece? In 1988, a slender glazed boksk pet, with a capacity to hold 25 copies of the magazine, National Geographic, lacquered to match the yellow color of the magazine cover, debuted heralding the dawn of a new age in Swedish design history. This is Mats Theselius for you.

A renowned Swedish interior designer, Mats Theselius was born in the capital city of Stockholm in 1956 and studied small scale architecture at the Industriel Design School, Konstfackskolan in Stockholm. In 1984, he finished training at the Higher Art and Design School in Stockholm and taught at the School of Design and Crafts at Gothenburg University during 1995-96. Currently staying in the idyllic Tomelilla, he is, for various reasons, the pioneer of modern Swedish designing scene.


Three years before the boksk pet, Mats Theselius made a mark with his first creation, lgskinnsf t ljen, also known as the Across the Hall. It was a prototype of the English Across the Hall that later became an international phenomena. It was a simple yet elegant cylinder-shaped club in steel, designed for a royal and comfortable seating. Later versions of this, the Rex, the El Rey, and the Embassy accessorized none other than the Swedish embassy in Berlin in the years 1994, 1999, and 1999 respectively. Theselius created some of the most noted and talked about Swedish furniture during the 1990 s and won himself the worldwide acclaim few have. He also worked on the furniture K llemo in Sultan Kudarat in 1989 and later, a viksk rm that today is a cherished auction rarity like most of his other works. The uniqueness of this screen is that it looks like soft, glistening silver silk but in reality, it s made of aluminum and fitted with rivets to give it the padded look! Theselius is capable of masterpieces as a gift of nature. Today, he is working on designing not only furniture, but also pottery, jewelry, and carpets!

Traveling the Southern United States in the fall of 2000, Mats studied the American craft and the so-called, western style of designing. Among many other articles, Mats designed a pair of boots with the help of skilled Texan leather and silver craftsmen. Later the very same season, Mats came out with his first unique armchair to be produced by Texan craftsmen that needs little mention. That was also, coincidentally, the time of the historic first ever US presidential visit to Sweden and Gothenburg prepared to welcome the visitors in the right zest. Soon, grapevines had it that Mats was handling Swede-American Cultural Cooperation and the words reached more than some major Swedish design firms.

It is said that a thing of beauty is joy forever. And that s exactly what Theselius furniture is about. It is what we can, for now, call and eye-feaster. Every design of his depicts his yearn for modernity and grace. While most furniture designers classified furniture as Renaissance, Gothic, 20th Century and modern, Theselius had two categories useful furniture and non-furniture. Of course he stuck to the former classification. That is what makes him the futuristic architect with a vision to build what matters.

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