Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg is one of Sweden’s most renowned textile and carpet designers.
Volvo Cars invited her to serve as guest designer and create her own upholstery for YCC, Your Concept Car.
The result is a contemporary seat pad made of textile with a rustic texture and a unique sheen and feel.
Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg has designed carpets, fabrics and wallpapers for internationally renowned companies such as Kasthall, Kinnasands/Sanden textiles, Svenskt Tenn and Chang & Biörck.
Gunilla’s foremost source of inspiration is travel and nature. For Volvo’s YCC, she used her Tiao Wang fabric from Chang & Biörck, featuring silvery stylised flowers on soft silk and linen.
“I was inspired by traditional Chinese materials and married this to graphic Scandinavian designs,” she explains.
Uniting traditional Scandinavian design with input from other countries and continents forges interesting blends of form and colour.
“There has to be a lot of poetry in what one does,” explains Gunilla. “When I feel a sense of identity in the unexpected, that’s when I know I’ve got it right.”
Scandinavian design has traditionally enjoyed a good international reputation, and Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg’s work has aroused considerable interest the world over. She has received the Excellent Swedish Design on several occasions; one is for her Kasthall carpets. Her Tiao Wang fabric won the 2003 Formidable prize at the Design Fair in Stockholm.
The Volvo YCC is a concept car that among its many unique features includes exchangeable seat pad. This gives car designers better scope for bringing new colours, materials and patterns into car interiors. Today’s colour scheme consists mainly of a variety of greys with some surprising highlights in black or beige.
Exchangeability allows customer to easily exchange the main elements of the interior – the seat cushions and the carpets. With this concept, the materials used can be of the same quality as those found in furniture fabrics.
This gives the customer new freedom to quickly and easily smarten up a car, choosing cool linen in the summer, trendy woollen bouclé for the winter or even red for Christmas. It’s really down to the individual’s taste.
For colour and trim designers, the concept opens up a world of new possibilities. In the Swedish Style show in connection with the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Volvo Cars presents a number of seat pads, some designed in-house, some by guest designers.