These three Scandinavian design collaborations, which include furniture, workspace accessories and flooring, are bringing a Nordic influence to North America.
1 Knoll + Muuto
Knoll recently expanded its impressive portfolio – and global reach – with the acquisition of Muuto, the Scandinavian design brand that works with the likes of Norway’s Anderssen & Voll, Claesson Koivisto Rune of Sweden and Toronto studio MSDS. A significant portion of Knoll’s showroom at the Mart was devoted to showcasing the new partnership, with the modernist Scandinavian pieces washed in a palette of warm earth tones presenting a seamless complement to the aesthetic of the U.S. company that has dominated the design world for 80 years. “To us, it’s about always being true to our vision of bringing new perspectives to the Scandinavian design tradition and showing this across the world,” says Muuto design directer Christian Grosen. Among the offerings was Thomas Bentzen’s Enfold sideboard, which features corrugated-steel sliding doors contrasted by a solid oak surface; the unit comes in an array of soft neutrals.
2 Allsteel + Norm Architects
“Whenever you feel comfortable in your surroundings, it’s easier to find the best possible workflow,” says Frederik Werner, designer and associate partner at Norm Architects, the Copenhagen studio synonymous with carefully devised spaces that exude equal parts refinement, comfort and elegance. Partnering with Allsteel, the furniture manufacturer that emphasizes well-being in its designs, the firm developed Park, a new workspace collection defined by graceful lines, tactile upholstery and surfaces and a soothing tone-on-tone palette. The pieces are meant to be combined intuitively and flexibly rather than in a predetermined way; they include a monitor holder that looks like an artist’s easel, high-back loungers and trough-like planters and storage units.
3 Shaw Contract + Form Us With Love
While many carpet tiles have become artworks in their own right in recent years, the collection presented jointly by Shaw Contract and Stockholm’s Form Us With Love stands out for both its dreamy colour palette and its inventive patterning approach.
The result of a two-year collaboration between the Swedish studio and the Georgia-based flooring manufacturer, Inside Shapes is a cohesive system of 24-by-24-inch tiles that gives designers the freedom to create thousands of expressions using only four shapes: a conventional square, a semi-circle and two sizes of triangle. What really makes the tiles sing is their 12 colourways. “We looked at building materials and finishes in our own region for influence,” says Jonas Pettersson of Form Us With Love. One example: beautiful blues that nod to glass used in the built environment.