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Stockholm Design Week 2013

Stockholm Design Week 2013 and the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair offered an inspiring look at what’s happening in Scandinavian design. Mandi Keighran reports from Sweden

Stockholm Design Week 2013

Visitors were welcomed to Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2013 at Stockholmsmässan by a striking installation from Nendo, whose founder Oki Sato was this year’s Guest of Honour. The installation, titled ’80 Sheets of Mountains’, comprised the silhouetted forms of snow-capped mountains made from laser cut foam core. It was, says Sato, a sculptural representation of the creative process.

Stockholm Design Week

Oki Sato, Nendo’s Founder

This first glimpse of the Nendo at the fair was a sign of things to come, with five new projects launched by the prolific Japanese studio. They continued their ongoing investigations into creating 3-dimensional forms using wire with the ‘Small Black Vases’ project for David Design and their range of ‘Curve’ seating for Berga Form.

Stockholm Design Week

Ski Coat Rack by Nendo

Stockholm Design Week

Cape by Nendo

For Swedese they created a coat rack inspired by ski equipment (and perhaps the icy Scandinavian weather); they launched the ‘Cape’ chair with OFFECCT; and for Swedish lighting company Wästberg they created W132, a modular set of lighting parts. These lights were used to create a dramatic installation for Wästberg in Hotel Skeppsholmen’s skating pavilion in Stockholm. Thirty configurations demonstrated the versatility of the W132 range.

Stockholm Design Week

W131 by CKR

Wästberg also debuted W131, a new range of colourful pendants crafted from recycled aluminium, designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune (CKR). The Swedish design studio was, like Nendo, launching a huge number of new products during the week. Notable launches included a handcrafted tea set for Mjölk, a sunbed for Berga Form, and ‘Chromatic’ a collection of upholstery fabric with a two-colour gradient pattern for Väveriet.

 Stockholm Design Week

Ceremony by Nendo

Despite the recent IMM Cologne and Maison et Objet in Paris, there were a host of launches from Scandinavian brands throughout the week. OFFECCT launched not only the ‘Cape’ chair with Nendo but also ‘Linea’, a modular seating solution for the contract market by Luca Nichetto.

Stockholm Design Week

Linea by Luca Nichetto

The Swedish company also showcased ‘Airberg’, an innovative project by Jean-Marie Massaud in collaboration with the OFFECCT Lab. The structural case gives the impression of being filled with a void, but is in fact filled with a flexible padding material.

Stockholm Design Week

Airberg  by Jean Marie Massaud

Blå Station debuted the distinctive ‘Dent’ stacking chair by o4i. The chair comes from an investigation into moulding regular veneer in two directions, the wrinkles and folds in the material being a by-product of the process.

Stockholm Design Week

Dent by o4i

Swedish lighting brand Zero launched a number of new products at the fair. The ‘Daikanyama’ range by Thomas Bernstrand was inspired by the Tokyo district of the same name and offers the ability to create lighting configurations hanging on wires running between two points. ‘Silo’, a minimal pendant by Note Design Studio, was another notable launch from Zero.

Stockholm Design Week

Daikanyama by Thomas Bernstrand

Johanson Design launched ‘Lucy’ – an innovative table crafted from metal and timber – as an antidote to uninspiring folding tables.

Stockholm Design Week
Lucy by Johanson Design

Online retailer, One Nordic, launched a number of new products with a focus on easy shipping. ‘Hai’, by Luca Niccheto, is an upholstered armchair with a flexible backrest designed to fold when packed; and ‘Lift’ is a collapsible shelving unit by Staffan Holm.

Stockholm Design Week

Hai Chair by Luca Nichetto

The gap between craft and design was also approached by a number of designers in products and exhibitions. The most successful of these was ‘The Woods’, a sculptural reflection on Scandinavian seasons that is the result of a collaboration between Norwegian designers StokkeAustad and Andreas Engesvik.

Stockholm Design Week

The Woods by  StokkeAustad and Andreas Engesvik

The success of the week lay not only in the products being launched but in the willingness of the organisers and exhibitors to engage with visitors through a variety of creative installations and discussions.

Stockholm Design Week

‘Hello!’ Installation by Gert Wingårdh

At Stockholmsmässan, discussion panels took place beneath a paper installation created by Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh and Dutch illustrator Kustaa Saksi. Titled ‘Hello! Anatomy of Communication’, the installation comprised 11,000 sheets of A3 paper spanning 200m2. The underside of the suspended sheets was illustrated by Saksi and reflected in a number of mirrored tables.

Stockholm Design Week

Kvadrat Stand

Kvadrat’s colourful stand was designed by Raw Edges, while their showroom in Stockholm housed a Bauhaus-inspired installation titled ‘Wool Parade’ by Doshi Levian.

Stockholm Design Week

Wool Parade by Doshi Levien

Falling somewhere between design, craftsmanship, and performance was the Glass Elephants installation, on show in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities’ Skeppsholmen Caverns. The installation, designed by TAF Arkitekter, involved a steel robot dusting, wobbling, and lighting a number of hand-blown glass vessels by some of Sweden’s foremost designers. It aimed to highlight the interplay between advanced technology and handcrafted process in contemporary design.

Stockholm Design Week

Glass Elephants by TAF Arkitekter

Emerging design was showcased at the Fair at Greenhouse – tagged by the organisers as ‘the display window for new and independent designers. The space was designed by Note Design Studio around the theme ‘a garden of new ideas’.


The Greenhouse at Stockholm Design Week

With over 40,000 visitors, 750 exhibitors and an atmosphere of inspiring creativity, Stockholm Design Week 2013 was an outstanding success, and a good example of where the trade fair format needs to head to survive.

Stockholm Design Week


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