THE SWEDISH: NOT ONLY THE POPULATION OF SWEEDEN09/24/2019
Every day we come across a dozen of daily items remaining however unaware of the origin and creators of these simply genius objects. This is the case for the swedes, not the population of Sweden but the swimming goggles instead.
Swedish goggles are notable for the absence of a gasket, their customizable fit and the relative affordability comparing to analogues with gaskets. But how about their origin?
Let us go back to the early ‘70s when a man has already set foot on the Moon, the Beatles have launched their last album, and the world was witnessing activities of a recently formed legendary band – Queen. In order to tell you the story of the self-assembled Swedish goggles, we should head up to the motherland of a flat-pack wardrobe, Sweden.
Right there, a coach Tommy Malmsten came up with an idea to create the swimming googles lacking a gasket, which makes them easy to set up to fit perfectly anyone’s face. But why Tommy Malmsten was the one who created the swedes and for what reason? The answer is as simple as genius.
By that time, Tommy Malmsten was the Swedish Olympic National Team Coach. In that role, he came across Ann-Sofi Roos, a talented swimmer nonetheless suffering from the allergy around her eyes during the training sessions.
Tommy came up with an idea to create the goggles without a gasket thinking that it might be a reason for such a reaction.
The idea to make new goggles unassembled and requiring a complete user assembly has led him to success first in Sweden, then around the world.
Sometimes the origin of some everyday items can be as simple as it is intriguing. Such items of daily use are covering up the stories of ordinary people who were simply trying to make a virtue of necessity. The Swedish goggles are one of those items, which in their simplicity bring together utility and functionality. Whether the idea of their complete self-assembly by the owner fully belongs to Tommy or it was inspired by Ikea, it is not of our business. What we can do is to put them on and do some laps in the pool.