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From Stockholm with love (and lots of design)

Stockholm Furniture Fair and Stockholm Design Week 2024 put on an extravanganza of design for four days in February.

From Stockholm with love (and lots of design)

Spanning February 6 to 10, this year’s furniture fair and design week was led by guest of honour, Formafantasma. The Italian studio, highly regarded for their innovative and exceptional work, created an exhibition instillation for the main entrance hall. Framed by soft pink curtains (Maharam) both inside and out, Formafantasma’s Reading room – signalled in white neon over the pink and bars of light with (Flos) – is as calmly womblike as it sounds. Using all Artek ‘Wild Birch’ furniture, stools and tables, arranged in class room style, there is a grace and simplicity to the installation that exemplifies Alvar Aalto’s iconic Stool 60.

Stockholm Furniture Fair

Ostensibly reinvigorating the classic Artek range within a sustainable frame, the ‘Wild Birch’ range was developed by Artek with Formafantasma around the ideal of the Finnish forest. In a collaboration that began in 2020, Artek’s strict selection criteria for wood was relaxed into a more encompassing acceptance of natural marks, which ultimately allows more of each tree to be used. It means highlighting the impact of climate change and industrialisation on forests, by embracing the honest beauty and variety of the forest, including knots, insect trails and natural colour fluctuation.

As a functional space, the tables allow visitors respite from the fair in a space that is visually calming and serene. “If we talk about wood, we need to talk about the forests… The major challenge for the furniture industry today is to rethink how we produce products, and I think designers can help this process. In a way, the work that we will display in the installation is related to this. It’s a recent collaboration with Artek, an example of a way of working that is not only product oriented but also about establishing a conversation about sourcing and production. I think this is the future of design,” says Formafantasma, who gave one of the keynote addresses.

Stockholm Furniture Fair

Patricia Urquiola gave her keynote address on Visionary Creativity, while Faye Toogood gave hers on Design as Excavation as a means to explore her mercurial shifts between fashion, furniture and art.  Focused discussions with design luminaries including Bethan Laura Wood, Joseph Grima, and Industrial Facility were rounded out by panel discussions and well controlled question and answer sessions.

A key highlight of the fair was the large-scale, 300-square-metre exhibition FARMING ARCHITECTS by Jordens Arkitekter – a manifesto for future living showcasing the links between sustainable architecture and regenerative agriculture. Effectively showcasing its architectural philosophy, the exhibition featured a testbed of diverse building materials and integrated projects that incorporate farming elements.

Related: Plus Architecture comments on housing in Scandinavia

Presented as an immersive experience to better instigate a dialogue on sustainable building practices and the synergy between architecture, ecology and the origins of materials: “Architecture isn’t about the structure but the lives it shapes. Our architecture caters to the longing for something different, be it in the woods, mountains, countryside, or suburbs, bridging the urban and rural. It’s not about convenience, but creating spaces for wonder and quality living.”

Forestry continues as a driving concern with Swedish studio Folkform presenting The Museum of Masonite, where guests are invited to a glass of wine and daily readings from The Production Novellas, the group’s collective learnings, thoughts, and documentation of its craft-based design practice of the past ten years. 

Stockholm Furniture Fair

New products and furniture were plentiful with Rubn presenting the Niclas Hoflin & glass artist Meghan Sims designed Erie Floor Lamp. Hannah Hillerova’s lamps were sensationally impressive with their large molten forms that glow when lit and perform sculpturally when not. The Furniture of the Year Award went to a floating double ring of timber set over red steel legs – Bench Ypsilon by Daniel Rybakken for Vestre. Rising Star of the Year went to Didi NG Wing Yin, whose delicate timber furniture and collectables are extraordinary. Cecile Manz took out Designer of the Year for what is a remarkable portfolio of furniture and object design.

Architecture was strongly contested with Atelier Oslo and KIMA Arkiektur receiving Architecture of the Year for Press House. Halleroed picked up Interior Designer of the Year – no surprise there from this outstanding practice.

The 2025 festival will be 4-8 February

Stockholm Furniture Fair is Scandinavia’s premier event for furniture, lighting design, and architecture. Held annually in Stockholm, Sweden, it draws architects, designers, buyers, and enthusiasts worldwide. Our focus is on promoting sustainable, innovative, and inclusive design, with diverse exhibitors offering products for a broad audience. The fair features inspiring exhibitions and a rich program of events, including seminars and workshops, fostering industry connections and knowledge sharing. Additionally, we support new and emerging designers and brands, providing a platform for exposure and growth in the industry.

Stockholm Furniture Fair

Stockholm Furniture Fair
Stockholm Furniture Fair
Stockholm Furniture Fair
Stockholm Furniture Fair

More on materiality: Studio Edwards’ zero-waste workplace.

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