Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Stockholm Design Week 2013 - Furniture and Lighting Fair

 Entrance Installation by Oki Sato of Nendo

The entrance installation of the Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair was a special touch that was certainly unnecessary but definitely appreciated and it showed that the organizers are serious about design.

The installation's simple design is made up of stark white bars that are bent in rows which give the feeling of a mountain range.  Within the mountains' valleys is where one can find a chair here and there.  As light shines down from the ceiling it creates a lattice pattern on the base which gives the airy structure the illusion of depth.

Once within the structure, the chaotic atmosphere of the front entrance is successfully obstructed enough to offer the visitor a tranquil retreat.

The underpopulated state of this piece only adds to its charm and effectiveness.  While the installation clearly succeeds in the form and function criteria by which all design is evaluated, it also blurs the perceived boundaries of art.  For centuries artists have played with the viewers' perception of art and challenged the viewers' relationship to a given work, and its accessibility.  I think that is certainly true of this piece.  Beautiful in its simplicity, the structure looks very much like a sculpture you would usually be told not to touch.  But the chairs within invite the passerby to participate and by doing so make this piece "work".  A more timid guest might feel intimidated by this play on perception but for me that's what makes it so much fun!


 Kinnarps Beehive

 The move to more organic spaces was a constant theme throughout the show this year.  Some were more obvious about it than others.  Kinnarps was one of the more impressive of the show and you could tell they had fun with their display.  This was a trade show.  No one thing was for sale, but it was the smart company who marketed an idea rather than try to push a particular product.  Kinnarps did just that.  Hexagonal pods lined the floor and were built up into a type of seating area.  They call to mind the sense of community and harmony of a busy beehive.  At the top of the stairs was a cafe and meeting area.  The impression one went away with after a display like Kinnarps is that of harmony and relaxation but also productivity.  The standard (boring) office chairs were hanging from the ceiling and what a great place for them.  

Götessons Acoustic Clouds

The people at Götessons take the move to organic shapes quite literally with these office clouds.  Designed to aid in sound quality in either large general work spaces or in meeting rooms, these clouds do more for the overall atmosphere of a space.  They are fun.  They are not meant to be taken too seriously.  These clouds create a space where people want to be, rather than have to be.  I think that is the ultimate change in office design, people have to enjoy the space they are in otherwise productivity decreases.  Designers have always known this but it takes the corporate heads to jump on board too.  Clearly there is now a marketplace for happy offices spaces.

Bene Paper Wall

Bene's paper wall was a lovely backdrop for their display.  It was my favorite part of the Bene contribution but upon further investigation, this does not seem to be a product that they actually sell.  They must have commissioned it or it was a one-off for the show.  They do not credit it on their website.  Here it is anyway.  I am a sucker for paper applications and I did get a little excited about the idea of being able to access this type of look for an office space.


BuzziSpace Booths and Panels

The booth designs by BuzziSpace are a great addition to either an office or a restaurant/hotel space.  They create a warm atmosphere while eliminating noise pollution.  

The acoustic walls tiles were arranged in a patchwork formation, which effectively displayed their versatility.  The use of fabrics such as this plaid take away the sterile feel often associated with office interiors and achieve a homey look.

Ogeborg Scale Collection

Once again we see the use of the hexagonal form.  Ogeborg takes it one step further by subdividing the hexagons to create six segments, which can then be treated separately to achieve the patchwork effect so popular this year.  The final look is up to the client to decide.  The segments are available in various colours and textures.   Ogeborg displayed the versatility of the Scale collection by carrying it up to the wall space creating an acoustic panel from the same materials.  I love how they left many of the segments empty allowing the imagination to take over.

Green Furniture Sweden T-Shirt Chair

I think this was my absolute favorite of the show.  Green Furniture Sweden is a company that scouts new design talent and eco-innovations through a global competition and the winning design is featured and distributed through the company.  The T-Shirt chair by, Maria Westerberg, can be used for either commercial or residential spaces and the final look is completely decided by the client.  First a frame is selected from a variety of basic metal grid designs (the above example was used in an airport waiting area).  Next the fabric strips, made from recycled materials, are chosen.  The strips are then woven into the grid frame with each row housing a single strip.  As the strips get dirty or worn-out, they are washed or replaced individually, saving in energy costs and total waste.  In commercial applications this chair gives a cozy and comfortable feel and in a residential space they are chic and fabulous.


  1. The displays obviously convey a spiritual (small s) depth. Not just physical depth.
    There clearly continues to be an identifiable 4wedish "style". Spare, simple. I hope you'll be showing 4wedish designers too who don't fall into the consensus. Alternative design.
    Great Job.

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