Highlights from Stockholm Design Week

'80 sheets of metal' by Nendo

Today I'm delighted to introduce and welcome my good friend Alex of Vista Studio to share some of the highlights and colour trends from the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair.

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At Stockholm’s furniture & lighting fair one can very easily become absorbed in a landscape of beautiful and innovative designs. Everywhere you turn there are fantastic pieces to see. The showrooms are all immaculately presented, with typical Scandinavian flair. This year’s show was heightened by the noticeable presence of vivid primary colours and fresh pastel shades. Yellow looks to be this year’s big thing.

The following is a selection of our favourite findings at this year’s fair.

First one has to mention the impressive installation ‘80 sheets of metal’, by guest of honour, Oki Sato, founder of design studio Nendo (top image). Wanting to create a landscape of snow-capped mountains, 80 sheets of 5mm plastic foam boards were stretched to create softly curved partitions.

On the fabric scene Danish giant Kvadrat took center stage, with an impressive array of beautiful fabrics in bang on trend colours and textures, again confirming their excellence in the field.

Fellow Danish manufacturer Fredericia’s iconic Trinidad chair by Nanna Ditzel, with its distinctive fan-shaped design, was displayed in 8 new vibrant shades. 

The Fins are known for timeless design and at Artek there was plenty to see of just that. A selection of playful re-designs by contemporary designers, new additions to the ABC Collection, and of course the introduction of two new colours to Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 to celebrate its 80thanniversary.

Another Finish design outfit Carpenter Collective displayed a range of playful coloured stools, available in a range of woods and sizes.

The impressive show space of lighting company Wastberg had a constant stream of admirers. The center piece of the room displayed a playful arrangement of smaller sized pendants in a range of bright colours. In a collaboration with designer Claesson Koivisto Rune, these sand-cast recycled aluminum pendants will brighten up any space.

Other impressive lighting designs could be found in the Green house area, where talented independent designers got the opportunity to show their work. The ‘In Theory’ pendant lamp by Marianne Andersen, a combination of pine and mold-blown crystal glass, are each unique with a simply stunning gradient effect moving from coloured to clear glass.

The Japanese designer Yoshiyuki Hibino, founder of Beets Inc, showed lamp shades constructed of paper rolled up and looped through uncoated metal. This simplistic and elegant design had a great presence in the room.

Overall the Green house had an impressive selection of young talents destined for great things. The array of products shown, ranged from lighting (as mentioned above) to chairs to invovative storage to coat hangers and on and on. Some of the student projects were of particular note.

Turko University of Applied Sciences' light project displayed a range of cleverly designed bright lights for the people in the polar area. Ella Maattanen’s ‘Outside the box’ is a smaller sized portable bright light where the frame forms a natural handle making it easy to carry and can be placed horizontally or vertically on a table or shelf. 

For the 'Forms Of A Chair' Project the first-year MA students of Aalto University School Of Arts in Finland were tasked to design a simple chair out of solid birch in order to obtain a basic understanding of furniture form, composition and construction.

Norwegian design agency GRIDY presented a playful wall mounted coat rack, with individual wooden knobs in a range of bright pastels shades and natural finishes, which can be arranged on the cross bar allowing endless compositions, creating a characterful object for the wall.

Swedish designer Jenny Ekdahl’s ‘Dear Disaster’ cabinet playfully invites the user to interact with the object leaving their individual pattern. The moveable structure is tactile and encourages exploration leaving the patterns, based on water and waves, in continual evolution.

And last but definitely not least, Stockholm based design studio ‘Form Us With Love’ continued to impress with their talent and flair for design and form through collaborations with local Scandinavian companies and international brands such as Abstracta, Bolon, Cappelini, Design House Stockholm, Muuto and One Nordic Furniture Company, to name a but a few.

Their blanket-type sound absorber ‘Plaid’ for Abstracta can be either suspended or mounted. It comes in a range of vibrant primary colours giving life to any office space.

Metal pendant lamp ‘Level’ for Nordic Furniture Company is made of multiple parts assembled without any tools. The different shades hang from one another, creating an attractive softly shaped pendant.

To add to the exhibition Form Us With Love showcased a selection of their products in a space on Biblioteks Gatan in central Stockholm, under the name Market. The pop-up design store within this space will be open until the end of Febuary.

Read Alex's blog at Vista Studio.