When I first discovered Joker, the sweet, knock-together series of children's play furniture by the Swedish designers Borge Lindau and Bo Lindekrantz, in the exhibition catalogue for Vitra's kidgear show, Kid Size, I was intrigued.
When I tried to track any other information about Joker or Lindau & Lindekrantz's other work, though, I was annoyed. Maybe it's those crazy Swedish letters with their dots and slashes, but my searches turned up nothing.
Now a photo of Jokers at play has turned up in Form Magazine's archive, Issue 41, Spring 1968, to be precise. And yet there's still precious little useful, trackable info. [And by posting what we know so far, I'm sure I'm only guaranteeing myself future headaches; nothing makes you question Google's credibility like having your own, cobbled together blog post returned to you as a top search result.]
That said, here goes: Kid Size says Lindau and Lindekrantz created Joker in 1965 for "a day nursery in the Drottninghod district of Helsingborg" [when it was manufactured by Karl Ruthers AB], and then it went into schools. And lots of Joker went into the city library in Norrkoping in 1969, though that presumably did not include the Joker crib.
By the time Form takes note of the "fresh-colored" designs licensed from abroad--Joker came in solid red, green, navy, or white--the manufacturer was listed as a German company, Frankenmobel, which was in the Bavarian town of Dinkelsbuhl. And the trail goes dead once again.
Anyone ever see this stuff, preferably still in the wrapper at a Swedish government surplus sale?
Form Archive, Issue 41, 1968 [form.de, note: the direct page links are working now, thanks to martin at form.de!]