words Johanna AgermanIt was business as usual at Stockholm Design Week. Every single exhibition space was rented at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 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. Over 30,000 visitors from all over the world attended the event that sprawled across the Swedish capital.
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 week was the high number of recent graduates who have developed their products with manufacturers.
top image 01 Folkform
Old flats and torn wallpaper were the inspiration for Folkform's new collection Hidden Layers, which was shown in a tile-covered showroom. The collection consists of a lopsided white wardrobe and a black sideboard, both of which have a pattern screenprinted onto their surface. "The base is a standard version that can be found in most Swedish flats built in the sixties," says Anna Holmquist, one of the two members of Folkform.
02 Tham & Videgård Hansson, Zero
Tham & Videgård Hansson Architects has made its first foray into mass-produced product design with Top, a 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 studio's next product for Zero will be a tripod version of the light.
03 Fredrik Färg, Materia
Fredrik Färg's felt chairs fall between fashion and design. Swedish manufacturer Materia surprisingly saw potential for mass production in these highly crafted pieces. Coat is an armchair with a backrest that can be folded up like a coat collar when more privacy is needed.
04 Homin Design
This inventive space partition and clothes rack by Hung-Ming Chen of Homin Design resembles an oversized necklace. It's very sweet in its clumsy appearance.
05 Michael Young, Wästberg
The launch of Wästberg was one of last year's highlights during Stockholm Furniture Fair and this year the lighting company expanded its collection with four new lamps. The LED table lamp by Michael Young is inspired by production techniques he has found during his years in the Far East. The star-shaped stem is influenced by bicycle manufacturing and can be adjusted into six different positions around a 360-degree axis, so its seemingly stiff shape is anything but static.
06 Lina Nordqvist, Designhouse Stockholm
Lina Nordqvist's collection of Family chairs for Design House Stockholm started life as a project for Beckmans College of Design, which she graduated from a year ago. The series is an adaptation of the traditional stick-back 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."
07 Veronica Eklund
Veronica Eklund adores rough pine planks and her Switch pieces are an ode to standardisation. In these pieces she takes the familiar plank and combines it with a tailored metal top that creates either a sidetable or a stool, depending on what length of plank you combine it with.
08 Monica Förster, Officeline
It might seem like marketing hype to launch an office chair that is engineered around women's bodies, but most office chairs are designed around the dimensions and weight of blokes. Officeline employed Monica Förster to work with its engineers to research the design and feel of a chair that is made exclusively for women. Unfortunately it looks like it has grown chicken wings, but at least it's comfortable.