Inside Brera’s Galleria Milano, 10 leading design talents and projects will show their nature-inspired pieces that define Norwegian design today
From left: Room divider, Collective Division by Nebil Zaman. Aluminium by Hydro. Stool, Shift by Hallgeir Homstvedt. The Sverre Fehn Chair by Fjordfiesta. Plate, Etage, and Vase, Monoblokk by Nedre Foss. Chair, Minus by Minus
Words by Jessica-Christin Hametner
When Norwegian Presence, an exhibition that shines a spotlight on the creativity, innovation and material understanding defining modern Norwegian design, first presented their concerted collection at Milan Design Week back in 2015, it was an instant hit.
Now in its eighth edition, Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA) returns this year for Milan Design Week from 7-12 June to present Matter by Norwegian Presence which spans emerging talent, experimentation and curation in an annual showcase at Brera’s spectacular Galleria Milano.
Pictured: Aluminium by Hydro, powdered coated by Jotun. Sculpture, Body by Julia K. Persson. Stone, Larvikite by Lundhs. Chair, Offcut by Pettersen & Hein
Under the leadership of exhibition director, and former Editor in Chief of Bo Bedre Norge, Cecilie Molvær Jørgensen, Matter by Norwegian Presence celebrates the material honesty, sustainable practices and nature-inspired pieces that define Norwegian design.
The exhibition exudes understated elegance and is suffused with a quiet beauty that makes the world less complicated and more beautiful. By pairing environmentally responsible design with timeless Scandinavian aesthetics, the result is forward-thinking design that isn’t afraid to break conventional boundaries.
Photography by Sverre Chr. Jarild featuring Cecilie Molvær Jørgensen
‘A brand-new generation–and with it, a new set of ideas–has entered the Norwegian design scene in the past few years. Norwegian design today is a lot more playful and carefree than it used to be’, shares Cecilie Molvær Jørgensen.
‘We have witnessed a break from tradition and industrial design. Norway’s design scene has completely evolved in recent years—designers are moving away from paying homage to the past and instead are being more experimental and open to using new materials.’
Pictured: Aluminium by Hydro. Stone, Larvikite, by Lundhs. Glass jug, Vannfall byNedreFoss. Table, Brent by Poppy Lawman. Hooks, Polyp 1-14 by Henrik Ødegaard
Matter by Norwegian Presence is curated and designed by Oslo-based creative studio Kråkvik/D’Orazio, run by Norway-native Jannicke Kråkvik and Italian-born Alessandro D’Orazio, whose most recent collaborations have seen the duo team up with the likes of Jotun, Fjordfiesta and Fogia.
After a three-year hiatus from curating, the pair are returning to the exhibition to explore how Norway’s natural resources have shaped the country’s design identity. Thus, as the exhibition threads its way around the gallery, visitors are invited to explore a Material Lab, which chronicles the transition from raw material to finished product.
Pictured: Material samples by Hydro, Gudbrandsdalen Uldvarefabrik and Lundhs and colour by Jotun
Providing rustic juxtapositions with the contemporary design on display, the lab demonstrates how a material’s inherent natural visual and textural characteristics are expressed in the final design. But it also highlights Norway’s abundance of natural resources and how these have played an instrumental role in the country’s culture of making.
From Oslo-based product designer Anna Maria Øfstedal challenging the boundary between art and functional products to newcomer Poppy Lawman’s sculptural pieces making use of fallen trees as a solution to environmental waste—Matter celebrates the possibilities of using natural and reclaimed materials by working with nature rather than against it.
Pictured: Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng, Vride bench is a new addition to Øfstedal Eng’s organic furniture series Vride
While the beauty of nature has always been an inspiration for humankind, Norway’s natural landscape has also given its designers and manufacturers a deep appreciation for materials. From its picturesque inland hills and coastal fjords to its trickling waterfalls, the exhibition reimagines Norway’s breath-taking shapes and forms.
Offering makers and creatives unparalleled opportunity to experiment, Matter by Norwegian Presence pairs some of Norway’s finest creative talents and rising stars with the country’s most esteemed manufacturers to display their vision of designing for a regenerative future. Planting hope for the next generation of designers, Matter shows that this creative collective is driven to be the change it hopes to see in the world.
Matter by Norwegian Presence is on view at Galleria Milano, via Turati 14, Brera, Milan, from 7-12 June
Photography by Sara Angelica Spilling / Curating & Exhibition Design by Kråkvik/D’Orazio
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