words Johanna Agerman
top image Family Chairs by Lina NordquistIt was business as usual. Every single exhibition space was rented in the fair halls and there was a long waiting list of companies ready to jump at the chance of a spot if anyone pulled out at the last minute. Before the fair closes on Sunday over 30,000 trade visitors from all over the world are planning to attend.
As might be expected from Scandinavian manufacturers a lot of the new releases seemed to share a minimalist aesthetic and a monochrome palette, but they also had a touch of the unexpected: a hidden function or a surprising combination of materials. Maybe the most positive aspect of the fair was the high number of recent graduates who have developed their products with manufacturers.
Lina Nordqvist is one of them. Her collection of Family chairs for Design House Stockholm was originally a project that she presented at Beckman's College of Design when she graduated a year ago. The series is an adaptation of the traditional stickback chair where she plays with the position of the sticks of the backrest and leg support, to give the chairs more personality. "I started out with a huge range of variations on this chair," says Nordqvist. "Once you start it's difficult to stop, but then I edited it down to these four versions."
image Poem by Katarina HällAnother project that Design House Stockholm has adopted from a recent Beckman's graduate is Katarina Häll's. Her whimsical design is a coffee cup and saucer with a ballpoint pen attached through a line of metal beads, recalling visits to the bank in days long gone. "I think people should write more by hand," explains Häll of the product, which is called Poem.
image Top lamp by Tham & Videgård Hansson ArchitectsTham & Videgård Hansson Architects has made its first foray into mass-produced product design with Top lamp, produced by Zero. It's a sheet of metal folded into a pyramid shape and its bottom is sealed with translucent plastic to diffuse the light. One of the corners can be tilted by the user, making it seem more like a pendant sculpture than a light. The Top light will also expand into a series of small and large tripod floor lamps later on in the year.
image Coat by Fredrik FärgFredrik Färg has a penchant for felt, tailoring and chairs and decided to combine the three for his graduate project from School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg which falls somewhere between fashion and design. Swedish manufacturer Materia surprisingly saw potential for mass manufacture in his highly crafted pieces and put one of Färg's designs into production. Coat is an armchair where the backrest can be folded up when privacy is needed in public areas. It is a plainer version of Färg's other one-off pieces.