New issue – Icon 153: Scandinavian special 01.02.16

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In the lead-up to Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, we indulge in all things Scandi in our latest issue – examining everything from the enduring appeal of the region's furniture to the developers flying the flag for good design

There’s a lot of good one can say about Scandinavian design – the success of Stockholm’s annual, mid-February Furniture & Light Fair is just one testament to that. And there seems to be an endless number of sharp designers coming out of the region, who all have endless energy. But it’s a design scene that often adheres to a strict aesthetic: very pared back, lots of wood, earthy tones. Does it ever challenge or surprise? In this issue, we speak to Anna von Schewen, designer and architect, who says it does.

Likewise, the many classics of 20th-century Scandinavian furniture – particularly those from the mid-century – are deemed “timeless”. All the very best design shops seem to pray at the altar of Scandi – some have even given over their entire identities to the cause. It’s nothing short of a cult. Yet we at Icon wonder how truly timeless “timeless” designs ever are? Tastes wax and wane. (And so do market values: we cover Artcurial’s latest auction of the stuff. Is Scandi soon to be over the hill?

We also take a look at three Swedish developers who believe that good design is the key to good business — why oh why can’t they all? Plus, we head to Shanghai to preview the city’s Design Shanghai fair, which takes places in March: from a pop star-turned-design entrepreneur, to Shanghai’s on-the-rise creative ‘hood.



David Michon


Cover image

Ania Wawrzkowicz



quotes story

All the very best design shops seem to pray at the altar of Scandi





Kit Colourful fashion, spectacular spectacles for the intellectual elite, the ultimate travel trunk and the world’s first smart shoe

Home Issey Miyake designs ceramics for Iittala, sexy stoneware bowls for leftovers, and an innovation in tubular steel that might just be the best thing since the cantilever

Transport A one-wheeled “hoverboard”, intuitive bicycle sat nav and Volkswagen’s latest charm offensive

Destination A feng shui pool in Paris, an urban eatery in Uppsala, a quirky tea bar in Sydney, how to design an attractive, mid-range hotel and Stockholm’s ever-expanding cool hub, SoFo




Swedish developers How good design and progressive architecture became a priority for the Swedish property industry

Residential Aaron Betsky visits a house in Santa Monica by Koning Eizenberg that sits discreetly amid its more ostentatious neighbours

Retail The Line’s New York show apartment, where everything is for sale

Public Emre Arolat’s Sancaklar mosque melts into the Turkish landscape

Office CF Møller designs a lively office cluster for Denmark’s foremost fast-fashion group

Icon West Berlin’s enduring landmark, the Bierpinsel, gets a second lease of life

Q&A Kengo Kuma on the importance of using natural materials and blurring boundaries between architects and designers




Wende Museum A weighty compendium of GDR design reveals surprising diversity on the other side of the wall

Lighting Why Wästberg makes lights for well-being

Kitchen Icon goes pots for pottery

Bathroom Roberto Palomba, the king of the bathroom

Furniture Nordic classics infiltrate design auctions

Furniture Dessuant Bone designs for a local community

Q&A Anna von Schewen on being a Scandinavian designer

Icon The comeback of Stig Lindberg’s colourful crockery

Ideas Our Martian future

Rethink Kurppa Hosk redesigns the DHL brand

Obsession Alarm clocks



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