Everything is Connected - Norwegian Contemporary Crafts

Ventura Lambrate is one of Design daily's favourite parts of Milan design week each year. While like any regular event it has some years that are better than others, depending on the talent who show, the weather and the general vibe that is present that year. One exhibition within the huge array of individual exhibitions and installations on display at Ventura Lambrate that has always impressed has been those supported by an organisation called Norwegian Crafts. Like its Danish counterpart, Danish Crafts, a trip to Milan would not be the same without seeing their latest offering.

All photography by Lasse Fløde, styling by Kråkvik & D'Orazio.

 'Matchbox' shelving / storage in folded sheet steel and stained timber by Sara Polmar.

'Matchbox' shelving / storage in folded sheet steel and stained timber by Sara Polmar.

 

For the last couple of years the events put on by Norwegian Crafts, Norwegian Presence in 2015 and Structure in 2016 have been a Ventura Lambrate highlight. This years exhibition, called Everything is Connected is again designed by Kråvik & D'Orazio and promises to be a beautifully styled and curated event with 30 of Norway's best designers and craftspeople taking part. Curated by Katrin Greiling of Studio Greiling, the work is all new and as yet to go into production, with the pieces chosen equally representing the fields of craft and design.

 'Tangent' lamp by Jenkins & Uhnger, on the plinth - 'Norwegian Notes' by Kaja Dahl and 'Make' by Barmen & Brekke.

'Tangent' lamp by Jenkins & Uhnger, on the plinth - 'Norwegian Notes' by Kaja Dahl and 'Make' by Barmen & Brekke.

Behind the scenes one of the key elements in creating a successful series of annual exhibitions of this kind is a good network of supporting entities - in this instance the Norwegian designers union, Klubben, Norwegian paint manufacturer Jotun and DOGA Design and Architecture Norway. Klubben supports a stable of designers all year round and so are able to bring a fantastic group of designers together - all with brand new products developed for the exhibition.

 The 'Chanterelle' floor lamp by Falke Svatun

The 'Chanterelle' floor lamp by Falke Svatun

Jotun has been responsible for supplying the signature look of past shows, Norwegian Presence and Structure and this will continue with Everything is Connected. The brand's soft muted colours allow exhibition designers Kråvik & D'Orazio to create a rich landscape constructed from painted boxes and flats that link the wide variety of objects on display in a cohesive way.

 'Peak' glass vessel by Kari Mølstad. The vessels is cold worked after blowing to create a matt chiselled surface. The usual glossy quality of glass is replaced with a stone-like appearance.

'Peak' glass vessel by Kari Mølstad. The vessels is cold worked after blowing to create a matt chiselled surface. The usual glossy quality of glass is replaced with a stone-like appearance.

This year the designers have also introduced fabric curtains with a combination of sharp pleats and S-curves to further enhance the clever manipulation of space using the simple (and highly transportable) elements of colour and shape, light and shadow.

 The 'Tjøme' chair by Jonas Stokke. The chair was made by boat builders from Risør Trebåtbyggeri using a Norwegian timber and will ultimately feature an upholstered leather seat.

The 'Tjøme' chair by Jonas Stokke. The chair was made by boat builders from Risør Trebåtbyggeri using a Norwegian timber and will ultimately feature an upholstered leather seat.

Responding to the exhibitions theme of connection, Kråvik & D'Orazio have also introduced mirrors as a visual conduit. "In a subtle way", says curator Katrin Greiling, "the exhibition design reflects on the theme, using mirrors connecting the showcased works with each other. Looking at one piece, you’ll always see other parts of the exhibition too, including the visitors". 

 'Core Combination' by Andrea Muribø and 'Fam', a glazed porcelain vessel by Ann Kristin Einarsen.

'Core Combination' by Andrea Muribø and 'Fam', a glazed porcelain vessel by Ann Kristin Einarsen.

Everything is Connected will not only be beautiful to look at but represents a major opportunity for many of the younger designers and craftspeople involved. Jonas Stokke for example, only started his own design practice in the summer of 2016 after having founded Oslo design studio StokkeAustad in 2008. This exhibition will be his first exhibiting as an individual designer.

 The 'Lampalu' table lamp by Falke Svatun finds expression through the perfection of proportion.

The 'Lampalu' table lamp by Falke Svatun finds expression through the perfection of proportion.

One of the other key outcomes for the exhibition is the way in which design and craft come together. This is a surprisingly rare phenomena but one which should be more widely embraced as the variation in scale and texture creates some very exciting possibilities.

 'Aase' is a table top mirror by Andreas Bergsaker. One side is standard mirror while the other has 10x magnification.

'Aase' is a table top mirror by Andreas Bergsaker. One side is standard mirror while the other has 10x magnification.

Everything is Connected runs from April 4th - 9th as part of Ventura Lambrate and Milan Design Week. The exhibition will be situated at 6 Via Ventura, Lambrate, Milan. For more information go to the Norwegian Crafts website here.

The exhibition is supported by Klubben, Jotun, DOGA Design and Architecture Norway.