Stockholm Design Week 2013 0

Alida Ivanov from Stockholm

During Stockholm Design Week, February 4 – 10, numerous design events will be held around the city. These are mostly connected to the fair: Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. It is seen as an opportunity for the design companies to meet each other and to connect with costumers. The satellite events are a natural extension of the fair-phenomena. The Design Week combines the will of promoting new design with the love of stuff.

The Furniture & Light Fair, which opened on February 5, is held at the venue Stockholmsmässan, in suburban Stockholm. This fair is enormous and it is split into two sections, the other one being the Northern Light Fair. This is a bit confusing because the two fairs are held simultaneously and share the same spaces. To call this fair schizophrenic is mildly put, because you can find anything here. The different spaces has different “themes”: Hall A holds the larger companies, Hall B exhibits mostly light companies, Hall C displays the more home oriented companies and the “Greenhouse” where you will find the art and design schools. Altogether the space displays 730 exhibitors. Around this, you also find seminars, installations, and talks.

The guest of honor this year was Oki Sato, the founder of the design company Nendo. For this fair he has designed an installation by the entrance.

The exhibition Architects view on: Future Scandinavian Colour and Material Trends is a collaboration between the Material Library (based at Stockholmsmässan) and the color and trend forecaster Richard Prime from Oversight Trends. Like the name reveals, this is a show that foretells future color trends  (and will be valid until 2015). One could say that this is almost like color astrology, but it is developed to help companies target costumer taste in a more efficient way. The new thing that is presented in this exhibition: Richard Prime has compiled the colors into a PDF document, instead of a book, which is the usual and more expensive way of presenting the trends.

The “Greenhouse” is probably the more exciting part of the fair: young minds creating the future, so to speak. The inspiration behind the name is taken from baroque gardens with their parterres, spaciousness and is described as the fair’s oasis, where everything can grow in form and thought. This is also the strangest part of the fair. Although most of the exhibitors are here to sell, most of the participants at the “Greenhouse” only want to show their products.

The Art Academy of Latvia was showing a solo-project called Meet Me! by Ligita Brege. It consists of a modular system with endless combinations and should be seen as an environmental improvement for inhabitants in city districts. This system invites people to interact with the object in itself and with each other. With its large 3D wallpaper of a block building and with the modules in the middle, which shows both the use of it and meaning of the project, the booth was quite interesting.

My favorite booth was Beckman’s College of Design. The glitter was eye-catching and the furniture well made. The name of the stall was Is this it?, a highly philosophical question and the work followed the theme. In the cupboard Lenticular Cabinet, Amanda Karsberg has alluded to the process of alchemy and taken materials that are reminiscent of cheap toys, transforming them into something more refined. Andreas Frienholt’s stool titled (stu:l) plays on how sound can affect the shape of an object. It consists of two stools, one regular and one wobbly and a video illustrating the sound.

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design had probably one of the more ambitious booths. In Metamorphosis we are met by textile furniture inspired by butterfly’s transformation. This process is applied to the designer’s practice. Astrid Tolnov Larsen shows a bench called ÆDT, which has taken its inspiration from worms and guts. It also tells a story of how nature can take back something that is man-made. In his chair Mads Sætter-Lassen has focused an idea of how one can work with material as something else; in this case working on wood as a textile.

Interior Architecture and Furniture Design at Konstfack, this year shared their booth with the Textile course. The wooden structure of the stall creates a strange room. The objects resonate to the space that they are in. In his work Johan Andrén lets gravity take its part; the lamps hang with their weight on the stretched cord.

Around the city you will find events during the whole week, including auctions, workshops, showrooms, and parties.

Woodstockholm invites you to a workshop at Arkitekturmuseet, where they will present new objects by Lars Stensö and Uglycute and showcase student work from University College of Arts, Crafts and Design and Beckman’s College of Design. They are also hosting evenings at the bar Babylon in Southern Stockholm.

The auction Örnsbergsauktionen, an initiative from Konstfack, however, will auction new design, which also discusses what kind of market new design has. The auction will be held on February 8, in the Stockholm suburb Örnsberg.