The Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair took place earlier this month, with over 700 exhibitors showing their work over five days. Part of the Stockholm Design Week, which also included the Northern Light Fair, the annual Swedish design festival showcased the best the region had to offer in both comfort and style, as well as the classic simplicity and utility of Scandinavian design.
Design from this region of the world has long been held up as a bastion of thoughtfully crafted, pared-back, and functional products, and following a year in which a global obsession with the Danish concept of hygge resonated with comfort seekers around the world, the fair felt particularly poignant. Notable names such as Danish electronics company Bang & Olufsen, Danish furniture company BoConcept, and—of course—Swedish homewares behemoth IKEA have been leaders in the field since the 1950’s and have been responsible for a minimalist genre that has influenced design at every stage of the process, from university drawing boards to manufacturing plants, and is still as relevant today as when it first started.
The Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair celebrates the best in Scandinavian design, and we have rounded up five of the highlights from the February 2017 festival.
Swedish design firm Note was invited to create the Design Bar, a restaurant and bar within the fair that aims to highlight a particular Nordic designer. In a romantic palette of pinks, blushes, and burgundys, the Design Bar exemplifies the best that Scandinavian design has to offer: class, purpose, and generosity. With the idea of making a warm and inviting zone to contrast the harsh Swedish winter outside, Note created a variety of seating areas, from round tables with plush seating, to linear bars upholstered with woven fabrics, attended to by wood and leather high stools, all immaculately detailed.
Finnish design firm Studio Kaksikko presented their Maissi Bench, an exercise in precision and craftsmanship. The bench is a purist’s dream, with asymmetrical, curved rails and a simple wooden plane for the seat evoking the stair balustrades and industrial pipes on which the bench was modeled.
A slightly unusual, yet highly commendable, set of furniture was debuted at the design festival. Students from Bergen’s faculty of design worked with staff from Norway’s correctional services to create a range of furniture designed to be more hospitable to inmates. A curved daybed aims to promote relaxation, a twin-backed chair offers to ease anxiety post-release by “hugging” the user, and a minimal standing lamp has been created with an easy design that can be replicated in a prison workshop.
British office-furniture designers Kinnarps took away the prize for best stand. Their multi-platform construction was clad in blue, semi-opaque panels and acted as a testament to the brand’s 75 year history. The stand won for what the judges considered its reinforcement of the brand’s core identity, the fundamental purpose of a stand at a trade fair.
Australian-born industrial designer Tom Fereday channeled his outdoor lifestyle to create a collection of sturdy, durable and water-resistant chairs and a table designed for outside use. Created for Australian brand SP01, the furniture adheres to principles of honesty in their design. The chairs are formed by overlapping slender strands of metal wire to form ergonomic shells.