Stockholm Design Week returned on February 6 2023, once again shining a global spotlight on the best in Scandinavian design. From the always-anticipated product launches at the Stockholm Furniture Fair to new exhibitions and installations, innovation and sustainability were at the forefront. Here, we round up 6 highlights to check out before the expo closes this Sunday.
While Scandinavian products are often held up as paragons of circular design, this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair took this reputation one step further, reimagining how best to display these sustainable pieces. A new section dubbed The Nude Edition strips down the usually elaborate stands to bare bones.
In their place, eleven pre-built small-footprint displays made of Recoma (an innovative material made from recycled composite packaging waste) showcase products by circular design experts, from flooring giant Tarkett to 3D-printed furniture manufacturer Reform Design Lab. In true circular fashion, the stands will be returned to the producer after the fair to be recycled into new material.
IDS has Prototype. WantedDesign Manhattan has Launch Pad. At Stockholm Design Week, Greenhouse is the place to discover emerging talents and trends. This year’s exhibitors represent 32 designers and 30 design schools from 18 countries. Among them are local up-and-comer Gustav Winsth, Finland-based Reeta Laine and Korean designer Eugene Shon, whose work draws inspiration from contemporary space research. The exhibition also includes the winners of the annual Ung Svesnk Form competition for young Swedish designers, whose entries span disciplines from furniture to fashion.
Opposite these forward-thinking designs, Mia Cullin and Anki Gneib, in collaboration with Swedish urban furniture brand Nola, have designed a charming bar that serves as a meeting place and networking hub, as well as a stage that will host inspiring lectures and panel discussions.
For the first time this year, Stockholm Furniture Fair selected a Swedish studio as its guest of honour. Founded by Greenhouse-alums Anna Lindgren and Sofia Lagerkvist, Front Design has collaborated with leading brands like Moroso, Moooi, Vitra and Kvadrat on innovative and progressive projects. Connection to nature is the aesthetic throughline that ties these works together, a motif best showcased in the studio’s lounge installation which combines high-tech and traditional techniques like weaving and embroidering.
In its inaugural year, the Scandinavian Design Awards honoured industry standouts in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The Plus, Vestre’s new BIG-designed furniture factory located on the outskirts of Oslo won in both the Architecture and Sustainability categories. Local furniture manufacturer Massproductions also took home two awards: Producer of the Year, as well as the Furniture award for its 4PM chaise longue.
Up-and-comers were recognized alongside these design heavyweights: Crème Atelier’s ice cream-inspired Soft Serve Lamp won the Interior Detail award, while Finnish furniture designer Antrei Hartikainen was crowned this year’s Rising Star. The award-winning designs are shown in a curated exhibition at the Stockholm Furniture Fair.
Stockholm Design Week 2023 is the latest outlet to embrace the world of collectible design. In the historic Älvsjö gård manor, just steps from the furniture fairgrounds, experimental works are displayed across the home’s thirteen rooms. The New Narratives exhibition, curated by Hanna Nova Beatrice, features designers currently working in Sweden (and challenging pre-conceptions about Swedish design), including Scandinavian Design Awards’ Designer of the Year, Folkform.
While much of the work featured hails from the Nordic region, including the Norway-based Kiosken and Pyton Gallery, Älvsjö Gård boasts international appeal: Multi-disciplinary studio Navet works out of Stockholm and Milan, while Slovenian brand Tokio draws from Japanese influences.
Paying homage to international refugees, Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken’s installation, SHELTER, is poignant in its simplicity. The gable-roofed form, supported by steel columns, is lit underneath to cast light onto the cold waters below. The piece was initially installed as part of Nobel Lights Week this past December, a series of light installations that celebrate Nobel Prize winners. Rybakken’s piece honours Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian explorer, scientist and humanitarian who was the first high comissioner of what later became the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). While the rest of the installations have since been taken down, SHELTER will remain for at least one year.
Returning to its usual February slot, the annual furniture fair and expo featured standout debuts — and embraced an eco-conscious ethos.