Hot on the heels of Maison & Object in Paris comes the Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair which ran from the 8th to the 14th of February. It may not be the biggest design fair on the circuit but with 40,000 visitors from around 60 countries estimated to have attended it's no slouch. In terms of new products Stockholm is always full of exciting work. Scandinavian and Nordic designers have become some of the most sort after in the world (think Note Design Studio, Form Us With Love, Staffan Holm and Daniel Rybakken) at present and a number of small brands from the area are becoming more international in scope. These younger designers and less well known brands join established studios like Claesson Koivisto Rune (CKR) and Front and longstanding brands such as Offecct and Fredericia. The result is a fair that is low on excessive razzle dazzle but big on quality.
2016 was the first year for a new award called the Editors Choice Award, judged by the editors of Stylepark, DAMn magazine and Dezeen. Ferruccio Laviani won the award for best stand for 'At a Glance', a red tunnel installation for Foscarini. Young Bergen-based designers Studiobey (Cecilia Xinyu Zhang and Sigrid Hägg) won the Rising Star Award while the Best Product Award went to German designer Dirk Winkel for his w164 'Alto' floor light for Wastberg.
The Swedish lighting company Wästberg released a number of new designs ranging from a table light called 'Lampyre' by Inga Sempé, a desk lamp 'Marfa' by Claesson Koivisto Rune and a pendant light, 'Dalston' by Sam Hecht and Kim Colon. Sempé also added a multi-functional floor lamp to her existing w103 range for the brand. The light is extendable to work at different height and incorporates a table and a number of shade position options.
Swedish flooring company Bolon commissioned Doshi Levien (Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien) to provide a new look Bolon stand. The company has always pushed the boundaries in this regard with past stands featuring giant collages made from the brand's flooring by the Campana brothers to a gravity defying space created by Jean Nouvel. Doshi Levien used dark hues, texture and reflective surfaces to provide a moody exotic atmosphere.
While the British design duo brought a wonderful richness to the Bolon stand at the Stockholm Fair, their creative direction extends to the brand's whole new look. The images created for marketing use simple architectural elements and a deft control of colour to highlight how Bolon's woven vinyl flooring can become part of an exciting overall concept.
Swedish design studio Färg & Blanche (Fredrik Färg and Emma Marga Blanche) have continued their exploration into the sewing of timber veneers that won them the FORM +1 award at the Stockholm Fair in 2014. Their new product for Gäsnäs 'Julius', a sofa and lounge chair collection uses the technique in what might be described as a regal style. The back and arm components are almost like medieval shields in shape but remain delicate due to their fine profile. Contrast stitching and small metal clips add some unique detailing.
While David Ericsson's 'Hedwig' chair is very much inspired by great Swedish and Danish designers of the past such as Axel Einar Hjorth, Børge Mogensen and Carl-Axel Acking, the chair was created for his wife's particular delight in reading with a cup of tea. The chair is available in a more humble natural linen sling or in leather with an additional seat and back pad for that bit of extra luxury. You can view a Design daily profile on Ericsson by clicking here.
Swedish company Offecct started out as largely a commercial furniture manufacturer but in recent years have released more alternative products with a greater possibility to be used in domestic situations. This year Danish designer Cecilie Manz has created a series of ottomans or poufs and sidetables by the name of 'Souffle'. These soft ovoid seats come in muted tones of dusty pink, pale blue and forest green while the table tops are in timber or stone. Rising up like a lovely bit of pastry, the ottomans are topped off with a contrasting button or two.
In the last couple of years Christophe Pillet has designed many pieces for Offecct for his Ezy collection but this year's offering, the 'Montparnasse' chair is something quite special. Leather and wool are combined in a sling that drapes (in a very controlled manner) from four fine metal posts. The result is pretty close to perfection although this may not be the easiest chair to get out of.
You might be starting to think that the Swedes dominated the Stockholm Fair this year and you would be right, but there were a few Danes and Finns along side quite a number of Norwegians plying their trade. There were new products for Danish companies Lightyears and Erik Jorgensen by Cecilie Manz and Monica Förster respectively (Förster is Swedish but EJ is Danish). Manz developed her hugely successful 'Caravaggio' series even further, launching a reading collection which uses a different style of base and a more flexible head. The new light comes in floor wall ad table variants in black, white and grey painted steel or in opaline glass.
Monica Förster launched a great number of products for a cross section of brands from Erik Jorgensen mentioned above, to two new stacking chairs for Offecct - the 'Sheer' chair (a lightweight metal frame with mesh fabric) and 'Bike', a chair which pays homage to leather bicycle parts (and a little to the 'Les Arc' chair by Charlotte Perriand). Førster was recently announced as the new Creative Director of Swedese and has become one ofSweden's most well-known designers.
After that brief interlude its back to the Swedes and Note Design Studio who are one of the biggest names in furniture design at the moment. Fogia is a 30 year old Swedish company who, up until very recently, was little known outside of the Nordic countries but In the last couple of years has totally modernised its image with design input from Andreas Engesvik, Note Design Studio and Stefan Borselius. At Stockholm the Fair this year Note Design Studio presented four new designs for the brand, from four different typologies: bookshelf, side table, sofa and rug.
Another interesting new name to have emerged from the region in recent years is Friends & Founders. Both studio and brand, Friends & Founders was founded by Rasmus & Ida Linea Hildebrand in 2013 and is based in Copenhagen. The aesthetic is minimal but with a rich use of materials. The images below are by stylist Amanda Rodriguez and photographer Pär Olofsson, and show the brand's quiet, moody approach.
To date the design work has all been done by co-founder, Ida Linea Hildebrand and this probably explains why the brand has such a united aesthetic. Materials are used sparingly with immense control.
The Malmö-based Australian designer Glen Baghurst made a splash at last year's Greenhouse at the Stockholm Fair and he has done it again in 2016 with 3 new pieces, two of which were developed from prototypes from his earlier collection. The 'Untitled' armchair is nothing short of spectacular if you appreciate fine leather work and originality of form. A much more luxurious looking chair than his previous armchair design which was all natural leather, turned timber spindles and white painted metal, the new chair continues to show the influence of Baghurst's two years of working alongside Mats Theselius, one of Sweden's most important designers whose career spans the best part of thirty years.
Kristine Five Melvaer's 'Pop' outdoor furniture pieces was the opening image of this post but it will probably be the Oslo-based designer's 'Vava' stool that gains the most attention. Its hard to create a unique stool these days - the number of elements that can be added or taken away are few and huge numbers of great designs already exist but the 'Vava' stool manages to surprise. Shown at the Aurora (Nordic Architecture & Design) exhibition within the fair, its graphic qualities are undeniable. Working within the areas of textile, furniture and lighting design Melvaer's interest in graphic design comes through as the contrasting angular and curved elements sit harmoniously together and give the stool real character.
The seat of the 'Vava' stool seems to just be resting on the steam bent trio of legs - adding to the overall lightness of the design. Singularly it is striking but in a group it becomes playful.
Much loved Finnish brand Iittala has collaborated with Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake and released 30 small products as the Iittala x Issey Miyake collection. Consisting of table top and accessories in ceramic glass and textile, the range includes tote bags , napkins, vases and tableware. Many feature pleating as you would expect, but not all. The colour palette and shapes show a fashion designers eye for bringing different items and themes into a cohesive collection.
Italian designer Luca Nichetto brought his love of layered vessels to a new product for Venetian glass specialist Nason Moretti. His 'Halo' oil burning candle holders feature layers of glass that create a romantic shimmering light through rippled and smooth glass cones while the translucent glass of the top is contrasted by the glossy opaque glass of the base / oil reservoir.
Young Danish brand New Works was back with a vengeance, releasing a stack of new products ranging from hand held mirrors to display shelving, candle holders and cushions. One of the most intriguing designs was the 'Aura' mirror by Norwegian designer Bjørn van den Berg. Essentially a half sphere of highly polished metal, the object comes in brass, copper or stainless steel and in two diameters: 95 and 125mm. It is also available wall mounted.
The brand also released a beautiful height adjustable mirror called 'Rise & Shine' by London-based Norwegian designers Hunting and Narud ( Amy Hunting and Oscar Narud). The designers claim that the mirror was designed not only to make it possible for two people of different heights to share the same mirror but as a playful way to capture new light and reflections. Hunting and Narud divide their time between designing production pieces and limited edition items for galleries such as London's Libby Sellers. They seem to have a particular fascination with mirrors and bring out the most beautiful properties of the medium. Read more about New Works in a previous Design daily post by clicking here.
Dutch designer David Derksen's explorations into moire jewellery have culminated in the 'Moire' wall light for New Works. By moving a small lever around the circumference, different types of moire patterns emerge from hexagons to rings and squares.
David design is a Swedish label that has been around since the late eighties when it was founded by then pop singer and DJ, David Carlson. While the length of time they have been in business now makes them part of the Swedish design establishment, the brand has constantly brought in new design talent from all around the world to create interesting new directions within David design range. In the past this has included Luca Nichetto, Inga Sempé and American designer Patty Johnson among a great many others. That said, David design has a special and ongoing relationship with Claesson Koivisto Rune who have designed a large number of pieces for the brand over many years and contributed two new designs to this year's collection - the 'Marfa Mezzanine' table and the 'Zander' side tables.
This years offering also includes a lounge height version of last year's highly successful 'Hammock' chair by Axel Bjurström, a minimalist wall clock simply named 'O'clock' by Louis Hederström and 'Giro', a wall mounted bike rack by Mattias Stenberg. An amazing nine new products were launched by Stenberg at the fair for Swedish brands Asplund, Ire, Offecct, Kosta Boda and Zero Lighting.
The 'Plane' pendant light by Swedish duo Front use a minimal ring of LED and a fine metal cage to create a lamp that resembles a delicate crown. In a continuation of Front's interest in things being not as they seem, the light appears like an empty cage when off as the disc-shaped glass diffuser is clear when not illuminated, turning white when switched on and hit by light. This simple difference highlights the pendant's flat light source - hence the name. The design also comes as a floor lamp with the cage inverted and supported by an open structure of fine metal rods. 'Plane' is manufactured by Swedish company Zero Lighting.
Celebrating their thirtieth anniversary, Swedish brand Blå Station have released the 'Ahus' armchair by young design studio Outofstock (Wendy Chua, Gabriel Tan, Gustavo Maggio and Sebastian Alberdi). The tubular steel frame and heavy upholstery is reminiscent of some American designs from the 1940's but is modernised in outofstock's unique way. Outofstock are a design collective based in three cities: Singapore, Barcelona and Buenos Aires. The studio first came to world attention in 2009 at Salone Satellite where they showed the 'Naked' chair, a clever tool free flat pack design.
Swedish designer Markus Johansson released a collection of lighting products for iconic Danish brand Le Klint based on his 'Caronnade' design which was originally proto-typed as a table lamp in 2014. Shown below is the reading version of the light but a taller more typical floor lamp, a pendant light and the original table lamp design were also launched as part of the collection. All the lamps feature finely engineered brass and American walnut components. You can see more on the work of Markus Johansson in an earlier Design daily post by clicking here.
Russian born designer Lera Moiseeva received a career changing boost when she was given a job working for Luca Nichetto managing a showroom design for Casamania in New York. She still lives there and after a period of collaboration with Nichetto on the tea and coffee sets 'Aureola' and 'Sucabaruca' is working on her own projects. Her latest design is the 'Ray' chair, a highly graphic piece with a multitude of radiating pipes as legs and a fluid line that forms a round seat and back rest. The design was inspired by the way the roots of plants grow in proportion to the height of the plant. In the same way the five legs of the 'Ray' chair appear to grow into the floor.
For a profile on the work of Lera Moiseeva, check out an earlier Design daily post by clicking here.
Markus Johansson also launched a new side table design 'Mopsy' for highly regarded Swedish brand, Karl Andersson & Söner. The hybrid round and rectangular tables come in two sizes that overlay one another perfectly to create a variety of table landscapes. The design is shown below painted with MDF tops but is also available in solid natural oak or in black stained ash.
British design Jasper Morrison has designed his first products for the well-known Danish brand Fredericia.
Dating back to the early twentieth century, Fredericia went through a amazing period from the 50's through the 70's largely due to the involvement of Børge Mogensen. Morrison understands the qualities of solid wood that were so elegantly expressed in this period by designers such as Wegner, Juhl and Mogensen more than most and brings this to bear on two of his three new products for the brand - the 'Pon' side tables and 'Taro' dining table. The third piece designed by Morrison is the 'Kire' sofa, a low streamlined sofa devoid of any overt details.
Another manufacturer who embraces the natural beauty of wood is the Finnish brand Nikari. Despite being in business for nearly 50 years, Nikari was barely known outside of Finland until they showed the 'December' chair by Jasper Morrison in Milan in 2014. Since then Nikari has ramped up its exposure and now shows at many international design fairs and is distributed across the globe. This year they produced the 'Marfa' stool designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune for the inde / jacobs gallery In Marfa, Texas. The deceptively simple design features an intriguing base of three angled planes and visible through joints. The stool is made from ash which comes either oiled or stained black.
While the Scandinavian and Nordic territories are known for their love of forests and high quality products in wood it is less well known that they have a fine history of wrought iron furniture. Swedish outdoor furniture company Nola, released a particularly fine garden bench at this year's Stockholm Fair that sums up this heritage beautifully in a great shade of ox blood red. The seat uses specially treated Accoya wood that resists rot and warping when exposed to the elements.
With such a huge range of new products on offer at Cologne, Maison et Objet and now Stockholm, it's hard to believe that Milan and another host of new designs is only a little over 6 weeks away. For the next few posts Dd can take a breather and save up its energy for this design onslaught in early April.