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Don’t miss these 20 products from Stockholm Design Week

Bolon x STAND STUDIO

As Stockholm Design Week coincided with Stockholm Fashion Week, the premium flooring company invited fashion brand Stand Studio to their brand new VR platform. They showed their new SS21 campaign, featuring Caroline Winberg, together with Bolon’s new flooring collection. A recording from the VR tour, followed by a talk with STAND STUDIO’s founder and Creative Director Nellie Kamras and Modaoperandi’s Lisa Aiken is available here.

Cappelen Dimyr’s eclectic No.07 carpet

Soft, irregular pattern of highs and lows creates a vivid and intriguing feel. Chunky tassels frames the rug, made completely of unbleached New Zeeland wool.

Påfågel

Collective Impressions by Kasthall

The new carpet collection mixes new interpretations of old designs as well as new launches and includes 80s-inspired Square as well as black and white graphic rug Påfågel (Peacock).

26 design brands in unique installation 

Inside Swedish Design gathered world-leading companies and internationally renowned designers as well as the next-generation of talents for the interior landscape of tomorrow. It’s now available as a virtual tour.

Veermakers by Liljencrantz Design

During Stockholm Design Week, Liljencrantz Design and KFK Master Cabinet-Makers presented their new collaboration Veermakers. It’s a design brand focusing on quality and timeless design to create exclusive furniture without compromise on design, production, or material choice.

Spira by Mylhta

Designer Lisa Hilland introduces the new furniture series Spira, including a chair, a lounge chair, a rocking chair, a sofa, and a screen wall. It’s described as a tribute to nature, Swedish craftsmanship, and to wood and wood production.

The eye-catching Big Talk

Adam Goodrum’s lounge chair uses fabric from Febrik/Kvadrat and is taking possession of any space. It’s a geometrically precise solitaire full of colour, but can also bring us together. Side-by-side for a couple, or as a snakelike installation where one can be all alone or starting a conversation with unknown exciting people.

Jasmin by Layla Mehdi Pour for Offecct

Offecct offers a wide range of sound absorbing wall panels, designed by world-leading designers, and the versatile Soundwave collection not only provides a good acoustic environment but also brings character to the interior. The Jasmine acoustic panel is the result of the first collaboration with Italy-based product designer Layla Mehdi Pour.

— When I designed Jasmine, I was inspired by natural elements that may seem irregular in their macro form, but in the details have a wonderful precision and regular structure. In this case, I started foremost from flowers and developed them into a concrete product with a playful character, she says.

Fogia’s boundary-breaking table

Koku is a range of symmetric and harmonic tables, drawing inspiration from the American-Japanese architect, designer, and craftsman George Nakashima, and created in collaboration with Danish architect and design studio Norm Architects. Available in three sizes.

Karin Sköldberg, founder and CEO, Trendgruppen

Trendgruppen Design TV

Due to the restrictions, Stockholm Design Week was mainly digital, and so was leading PR agency Trendgruppen’s presentations. The firm invited industry insiders, designers, representatives from their clients, and other guests to their studio with a set design by Aska Arkitekter, to be interviewed by trend expert Stefan Nilsson. The five episodes are 15 minutes long and available here.

Note Design Studio + Gunilla Allard for Lammhults

Design legend Allard and the iconic Swedish design house Lammhults have turned to Note Design Studio for some fresh creative thinking. The result is Sunny, a versatile, low-slung, and comfortable armchair in an elegantly simple design formed from a sinuous steel piping frame, topped with a mattress-like cushion.

Massproductions lets DJ Axel Boman explore the ”sound” of new BAM! sofa

A creative sound experiment with the Swedish music producer for the pop art culture-inspired launch.

Puffy Lounge Chair wins Born Classic 2021

The award is a collaboration between Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair and the Bukowskis auction house and goes to a new item of furniture or lighting that is judged to be a potential design classic of the future.

2021 year’s winner is the Puffy Lounge Chair, by the experimental and unconventional star of British design Faye Toogood, designed for the Stockholm-based interior design brand Hem.

Jury’s statement:

”While the design of this year’s Born Classic winner is firmly rooted in our age, we believe the designer has created a future classic. With both aesthetic and material qualities, we are confident that this piece of furniture is going to be appreciated for a long time to come. This acclaimed armchair has already enjoyed a warm reception and been widely shared on social media, which is even more reason to think that this is a Born Classic.”

Fabien Cappello’s limited plate line made of offcuts

Speaking of Hem, we talk to the French furniture and spatial designer about his new line, celebrating local Mexican craft traditions and the beauty of reusing, here.

Sculptural table Savoa by Sakari Hartikainen for Swedese

The classic Swedish furniture company’s new series of tables is designed in collaboration with Finnish industrial designer Hartikainen. It’s made of solid oak with sculptural shapes, that show the characteristics of the wood, and the design is characterized by playfulness and a light feel. Available in three sizes.

”I’ve discovered the countryside and the joy of making things myself again”

We speak to Tom Dixon on Scandinavian design, lockdown lifestyle changes, and his new CLOUD collection that debuted at Stockholm Design Week here.

Atelier Bar Stool by TAF for Artek

The crafted solid wood stool complements the Atelier Chair, which was designed for the new restaurant of the National Museum in Stockholm in 2018.

Per Söderberg explores the beauty of Calacatta marble in new Bespoke line

”Calacatta is the world’s most sought-after stone, which makes it incredibly exclusive. What’s typical for Calacatta is that it has a very distinct dark grain against a white background. The whiter the background, the more exclusive the marble. Each marble slab is unique and each part of the slab has its own character.” More here.

Daniel Wester expresses the beauty of hand-carved fresh wood

The Swedish wood artist’s design process is slow. ”It takes time for the tree to grow. And it takes time for me to carve the pieces and forms I want to,” he explains here.

DUX x Carl Hansen & Søn

The two players launch a bed based on sketches found in Børge Mogensen’s archives. With a sleek design and compelling choice of materials they describe how the best of two worlds are combined — DUX’s expertise in sleeping comfort, and Carl Hansen & Søn’s tradition for craftsmanship and design. The bed has never been in production before.

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News

Daniel Wester expresses the beauty of hand-carved fresh wood

Wester has spent his entire life abroad working with marketing and photography before moving back to Sweden five years ago. At the moment, as a creator and in his artistry, it’s all about wood.

He creates inspiring, eyecatching objects with one distinctive feature — he mainly uses fresh wood. The organic forms are familiar and, at the same time, unfamiliar. A variety of turned and carved objects — including spoons with long stalk-like stems that never seem to want to stop growing — in birch, shapes colored with calligraphy ink, and details such as zippers in metal and rivets in solid silver.

— I wanted to use a form, that everyone, or almost everyone, knows, he explains. Use it and reshape it. So I started to carve spoons. And I made them taller. More poetic with a thin fragile look to it. I wanted the spoons to grow towards the light. Always towards the light. Then I started to experiment with the forms of a bowl. Inspired by nature and organic forms, shells, pods, sticks, and stones. The things we treasure as children. Or at least, things I treasured as a child. For me, carving is a lot about the process. To work simultaneously with my head and hand. It’s a meditative and slow process. That’s one of the reasons why I just use axes and knives. I want the process to be slow. I don’t want to be more effective or to speed things up. Working with wood contains many different stages. It takes time for the tree to grow. And it takes time for me to carve the pieces and forms I want to. The slow pace is important for me in my work.

At Stockholm Design Week, he was a part of the Obsessive – shapes in motion exhibition at Bukowskis auction house, showing objects from his collection Strävan (Endeavour).

— Some of the pieces have been exhibited in Tokyo and Oslo earlier and some were never shown before. I do also show a few objects from my collection Oreda (Mess), named after a punk rock band I played in as a teenager. The pieces in that collection are a bit as it sounds. Proportions are off. They are rough in a nice way. Polite but not polished, or the other way around. I really enjoy making them. The Oreda collection grows and I’m probably going to do an exhibition with all of them in a couple of years.

Is it right that you don’t sell your pieces?

— Yes, I am very restrictive with opportunities of purchasing them. There are many reasons for that. But I do sell my pieces. On a good day. Most of them end up in the US, Wester tells.

What’s next for you?

— In these strange times, it’s very difficult to make plans. But I will hopefully do a solo exhibition in London, at Pantechnicon, later this year. It’s been postponed a few times already, but hopefully… I’m also doing a collaboration with [Swedish Michelin-starred restaurant] Daniel Berlin.

The exhibition is now available as a virtual tour here

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Opinion

”Trade shows and fashion weeks are media brands — whether they like it or not”

The Nordic fashion and design weeks have come to an end, the first time as full-on digital operations. The summer edition of Stockholm Design Week was cancelled last August, and Copenhagen Fashion Week pulled off a semi-physical hybrid the same month. Now, a year into the pandemic and four months into the second wave, it’s time to analyze how the shift to digital is affecting the traditional show setup. 

What can we learn from the recently completed digital industry gatherings?

Well, the biggest shift is that the trade shows and fashion weeks are now media brands in their own right, whether they like it or not. The organizations that previously had a business model to provide space and schedule for exhibitions and shows are now hosting their own television talks shows. They are distributing films and other content on their websites that ultimately competes for the same attention as any other media platform. 

(The running joke is that we used to go to a fashion or design week to look at products. Now we are in a never-ending panel talk about sustainability.)

I’m not here to review how Stockholm Fashion Week and Stockholm Design Week fared as digital talk shows. If anything, I think they have done a good job pivoting to an online only format compared to many international counterparts. But it is obvious that this shift has put enormous pressure on organizations that aren’t used to creating content, moderating conversations, and maintaining editorial balance and structure. 

Long term, if trade shows and fashion weeks won’t get their physical groove back, arguably their most unique and relevant selling point, they will see competition coming from the media space. 

”The running joke is that we used to go to a fashion or design week to look at products. Now we are in a never-ending panel talk about sustainability.”

The international design platform Dezeen recently launched a digital showroom as a ”ideal launchpad for furniture and lighting companies, designers and retailers”. The streetwear authority Highsnobiety is organizing its own version of Paris fashion week, called Not in Paris, a “bi-annual digital exhibition celebrating creativity in the age of remote interactions”, held during the “time period formerly known as Paris Men’s Fashion Week”. 

If a trade show with a few thousand people on their email list will need to compete with media platforms with millions of followers, it will be a tough fight. 

My hot tip: find innovations in immersive technologies like AR and VR to heighten the digital experience, something we see much to little of. (To learn more, listen to this week’s podcast episode with Emma Ridderstad.)

For Scandinavian MIND, the jump to digital has made us busier than ever. We are currently producing content and moderating talks for both PROJECT Show in New York City and Pitti Uomo in Florence. Expect to see more of this content in our channels in the coming weeks. 

Finally, I just want to thank everyone that listened in on the Scandinavian MIND room on Clubhouse last Friday, where we discussed this very topic. Daniel Lindström, the host of Stockholm Fashion Week, and Sanna Åkerlund Gebeyehu, responsible for Stockholm Design Week, weighed in with frontline insights. 

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on upcoming Clubhouse sessions and digital panel talks. 

Until next time.

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”I’ve discovered the countryside and the joy of making things myself again”

Starting today at 08.00 CET, influential British designer Tom Dixon will host a design tour through the Swedish capital with the intention of launching his brand new CLOUD collection. The part-digital, part-virtual, part-real life tour halts at ten different depots, with features from meteorologist, florists, whiskey manufactures and DJ:s. Mister Dixon himself has evaded the COVID-19 restrictions and travel bans by appearing as a hologram at the different stops. The pieces will be showcased for anyone to see at department store Nordiska Kompaniet’s iconic display windows from today, until 28 February.

The bulging vases, plates and bowls are made out of bashed and polished aluminium and are created by artisans in Rajasthan in Northern India. Their shape and demeanour have gathered both name and inspiration from, you guessed it, actual clouds. According to Tom Dixon himself, the fact that the collection was birthed in a covid-state-of-mind was more of a gift rather than a curse.

Has the pandemic affected your designs at all?

— During the lockdown I’ve been fortunate enough to have a greenhouse on the south coast, so I’ve spent most of my lockdown having more space, and more time, and more light, than I’ve had for many years. I’ve discovered the countryside and discovered the joy of making things myself again. There’s been something really nice about getting back to not having a business motive. Before the pandemic, I’ve spent a lot of time like everybody else, just rushing around the world, looking at stuff, trying to sell stuff or make stuff.

— What I think that we will see coming up soon is the output from that time spent not doing things from a commercial perspective again.

Where do you find the most beautiful clouds in the world?

— I’ve still got a lot of time for a British cloud, even last night just before the snow came — there were these clouds, quite heavy with the light coming through, and the sunset was something quite remarkable. But clouds can be quite beautiful all over the world, they can lift you in the most banal places as well because they are so shifting.

”What also interests me about Scandinavia, is that you’ve managed to maintain a singular aesthetic which is purely yours.”

You’ve hired northern-Indian craftsmen for this collection. How did that come about?

— I was doing a project with the Royal College and the British Council in Jaipur which was intended to save craft skills. These are people that specialize mainly in waterpots, those big Indian vessels that they have in villages over there. And I was always fascinated by the hammering of sheet metal. The dimension is interesting because there’s a lot of skills there that has broadly vanished from the west altogether.

Do you ever get inspiration from Scandinavian aesthetics?

— The way design really is intrinsic in history, particularly through Alvar Aalto, was fascinating to me when I first came to Scandivia, decades ago. Government buildings and opera houses were all designed and celebrated as being good designs — hospitals, prisons, and so on. In the UK it’s much more fragmented in that way. I think that our design excellence happened a bit more during the industrial revolution, and there has not been a domestic design culture here at all.

— What also interests me about Scandinavia, is that you’ve managed to maintain a singular aesthetic which is purely yours. I love the fact that there are still national characteristics in food, in design and in furnishing. it’s the reason why you travel, isn’t it? 

Speaking of Scandinavian brands, I know you’re friends with the Teenage Engineering people. Have you ever looked into designing tech pieces in any way?

— Not enough. I’m looking forward to my jump into consumer electronics. There has been quite a lot of discussions with people like that recently. So yeah, I’d love to do more. What’s interesting about Teenage Engineering is that, although they can be seen as a synthesizer company, a music company or an electronics company, they’re actually a design company. What they’re doing is simplifying a super-complex series of possibilities to something that is actually useful, through design.

 Do you feel the most pride as a designer when you see your design in museums, or when you stumble upon them in homes or restaurants?

— I think it’s more inspirational, actually, to drive down a street and see a lamp through somebody’s window where you weren’t really expecting it. I’ve walked into a discotheque in Bali and seen versions of my lamps redone in rattan. I used to hate it and thought “Ugh, there’s so many people copying this stuff” but it’s kind of nice, going into the general-looking field of things and seeing them being adapted. Because I’m always interested in the next thing and not the thing that’s in the museum.

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Inside Swedish Design gathers 26 design brands in unique installation

Initiated by national membership-based organisation Interior Cluster Sweden, Beckmans College of Design, Swedish Wood, Swedish Design Movement, and Stockholms Auktionsverk, project manager Christine Ingridsdotter shares how the idea behind the exhibition is to increase visibility and awareness about the Swedish design industry.

— Both among domestic consumers and journalists and among the industry’s focus markets for export. The aim is to help them to find out more about and better understand how Sweden’s unlimited access to nature and forests, along with our values and sustainable approach, exemplifies and distinguishes Sweden as a unique design nation. During the week, 26 of Sweden’s leading players in the design industry together with young designers who are alumni from Beckmans College of Design showcase selected objects — both design icons and new pieces. World-leading corporations and centuries-old craft traditions will be shown side by side with successful designers and up and coming design stars.

What’s the status for the Swedish furniture and design industry in these days?

— Both difficult and not, depending on the pandemic. We see the new trend with people investing more in their home decor when working from and spending more time at home. The needs have changed which obviously creates new opportunities. If you are an interior design company selling to private consumers, your last year has probably been a good one, or even very good. For contract brands, there have been problems. All the fairs have been closed during the last year, and for an export-depending company — which most of the companies in our industry are — it’s been a tough year. You need to reach your clients, says Ingridsdotter.

— This vulnerability has made, or even forced, companies to change faster, to rethink, and to revalue. And, what we can see in our installation is that they are positive to support each other and their industry. They come together, show their products side by side, without any logos, and without any walls that separate them. This is a unique event. What a statement. I’m proud of our interior design industry.

The exhibition is open, with restrictions, at Stockholms Auktionsverk until Saturday, and also available through a virtual tour online here

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Massproductions lets DJ Axel Boman explore the ”sound” of new BAM! sofa

Towards the end of last year, Massproductions sent a prototype of their new sofa to Axel’s studio. His assignment was to freely interpret the sofa into an audio production.

— All of a sudden there stood a cool, bright green BAM! sofa in the studio, which was anything but conservative and I let that inspire my process. Now we do something fun and new, I thought! I wanted to challenge myself, take a few extra steps in a new direction and I knew I had the confidence to do this, says Boman.

He describes the song BAM! (Massproductions Dub), released today, as a balance between rhythmic and abstract elements.

— The music plays with your expectations and is both beautiful and chaotic. A techno producer trying to make jazz? Live drums meet sequencers and synths with lots of dub effects, a tribute to all the music I love! I have listened a lot to krautrock, reggae, and jazz as well as electronic music all my life, and I think it can be heard in the music? Boman concludes.

In connection with Stockholm Design Week, kicking off today, Massproductions presents the new sofa BAM!, designed by the company’s co-founder and Designer-in-Chief Chris Martin. 

— Are there certain sounds associated with furniture? Our new sofa BAM! has clear pop art references and a kind of instant look with its block-like form, tells Magnus Elebäck, CEO. BAM! is also a loud noise, a sudden effect. In our tradition of inviting exciting Swedish music creators to meet the furniture world during Stockholm Design Week, we have now taken it one step further by asking Axel Boman to create music from an actual piece of furniture. Kind of.

— BAM! is like a blank canvas that welcomes involvement by its user. Axel is a friend and he liked the sofa, it just seemed natural to collaborate and launch it together with a piece of his music. Axel has no trouble producing great music, but he did take the opportunity to bring in a jazz drummer for this piece and I know he is really pleased with the result. We tried to interpret the sofa into a piece of music, which seems like a strange thing to do but since BAM! is a noise and it has a pop-art feel, it does make sense in a way. The result is quite a fast and exciting track that we are pressing in vinyl, I have the honour of providing my spoken voice on the B side, with a calm musing on the nature of design, tells Chris Martin.

The design of the sofa is reduced to its basic geometry with two block-shaped volumes creating a seat and back. Except for the mentioned influences from pop art culture, and as the name suggests, it leaves the spectator with a sudden and distinct first impression.

— BAM! started with the idea to reduce a sofa to two basic forms, a seat and a back, tells Chris Martin. I made them as simple as I could, without any design, only a good layering of frame and materials to make comfortable surfaces which could be covered easily in a variety of fabric options. It made sense visually to keep the legs in the same language. I’ve gone off armrests recently, instead just preferring the freedom of not having them. BAM! is just there to support you and your cushions! The design packs flat with simple assembly by the customer so there are a lot of benefits in that.

Do you have any other launches coming?

— I’ve been trying to perfect a wall hook for about two years now, I think I may have done it. First samples are arriving at the end of March and I’m looking forward to revealing that one this year.