Peter Opsvik, a Norwegian furniture designer and a saxophonist was born on March 25th in the year 1939. Opsvik graduated from Bergen arts school in the year 1963. He studied at the State craft and industrial arts school for a year and continued his studies in Essen. He was then employed as an industrial designer at the Tandberg Radio Factory for five years from 1965 through 1970, where portable radios were designed by him. From the year 1970, he has been a freelance furniture designer.
/>Opsvik is the owner of Peter Opsvik AS, a consultancy service located at the city of Oslo. He runs the consultancy service with seven of his colleagues. In initial stages of the processes, the firm normally works independently with the prototypes of technical solutions and expressions, available in the workshop. This stage lasts until the prototype is ready for receiving a potential license. If the product receives a license, further development is followed by collaboration with the manufacturer's department, in order to expose the product to the market.
As a professional designer, he has been observing the human form and human interaction with the spaces around him. From his observations, he marks that only in the recent years people have practiced to sit in front of the computer monitor for long hours which is the main cause for many back injuries occurring at present. Peter Opsvik is on a mission to bring about a change in the way we sit. He has penned a book named ‘Rethinking sitting’ recently.
The major design works of Opsvik includes the Trip Trap chair, Variable chair, Gravity chair, Actulum, Penguin series and so on. His newest prototype was the Reflex for a Norwegian firm called Naturellement. This is a type of chair between a rocking chair, suspension bridge and a swing, which provides you with at most comfort.
Many of his works don’t appear like chairs at all. He follows “strangeness” concept of designing; which redefines the notion of typical seating postures. Taking some of his works as examples, the Garden, which was designed in the year 1985, was produced for about 20 years. But the work looked more like contemporary art than a type of practical seating solution. The Garden was initially provided at the public spaces and even at meeting points, since the person who is waiting can easily be located in the crowd.
Opsvik has been working on new solutions for several decades. He is an expert, who knows the posture and movements required for different persons of different age groups. According to him “creating awareness of the need and the possibility of improving in several cases, will be the most valuable thing during the process of designing.” Currently Opsvik is engaged in the redesigning of school desks with his innovative concepts. He is constructing such chairs and table together as a single piece of furniture.
He is heading towards an innovative design work, which would enable a person to work full time, even after a period with back injuries.