Photos and Story by Arthur Hitchock.
Prepare for some serious Scandinavian talent. This year's showing at Stockholm Design Week was full of minimal yet seemingly impossible lines, loads of hand-sanded beech, and of course, wildly imaginative lifestyle-minded work from scores of Scandinavia's best designers. Returning for its 13th year, Stockholm Design Week, in combination with the Stockholm Furniture and Northern Light Fair, was in full swing. The fair is known to (and did) bring in millions of visitors from Scandinavia and beyond. The week is structured to allow for visitors to peruse the massive multi-city block Furniture and Light Fair during the day, and then casually transition into “exclusive” design parties throughout the city every evening. This allows for complete design immersion that seemed to have Stockholm buzzing in all the right ways.
This year, like many before it, was not in short supply of simple (and beautiful) solutions to complex issues. Primarily focusing on issues in the home and daily life, designers were apt to show off their personal take on contemporary Scandinavian design. This year's trends included multi-use objects, sustainable materials, and insane experimentation with a wide array of traditional and modern building techniques.
Some of the most stunning work could be found in the Greenhouse, the section of Stockholmassen's massive convention center that housed independent and student designers. Most exhibitors displayed furniture and objects that were fairly abstract in their concept. Some of the best student work included a knock-down, flat packable “Story Time” sofa that was designed to create a save haven for reading and creativity, and my personal favorite, a resilient building material (Gelifoam) made from candy!
Overall, Stockholm Design Week and the fair continues to showcase work that pushes the boundaries of contemporary design. These designers are not afraid to be experimental, innocent and playful. This week's offering of forward-thinking, risky, and attractive solutions are being offered up and shown to a world that is in need of that kind of perspective.