Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair is almost upon us. Ahead of my visit to one of Europe’s most loved design shows, I’ve put together a short preview of what to expect in the Swedish capital this week. And I won’t mention Ikea once.
After Milan Furniture Fair 2015 I wrote a review for Mix Interiors Magazine noting ‘the Brits are back’. Tom Dixon had his own nightclub, whilst Lee Broom created an art deco-themed department store and ferried guests around in a Black Cab. Great to see Mr Dixon along with fellow British design duo Barber Osgerby – this year’s Guests of Honour – on the top table as the UK continues to make design headlines.
Aside from around 700 (predominantly Scandinavian) furniture, lighting and textile exhibitors, there are numerous design talks and panel discussions throughout the week. The fair generally attracts around 40,000 visitors from over 60 countries. Here are a few highlights to look out for…
Barber Osgerby’s Triptych installation: Guests of Honour
‘Triptych’ will consist of giant felt hanging screens dividing the space into three separate areas. Animal hides and sheepskins are draped over chairs and oak benches and the floor is a typically Scandinavian white wooden finish. This look and feel reflects Barber & Osgerby’s impression of winters in Stockholm. The installation uses felt from Nordifa, renowned for engineered textiles, furniture by Vitra, Knoll and B&B Italia -and the Hotaru lantern collection by Ozeki.
“We have arranged the space into three areas divided by giant felt screens. Each space offers the visitor an environment for relaxation, meeting and working under a canopy of paper lanterns” say Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby.
Design Talk: Life in the age of Cyborgs
Ok so this is unexpected.
Neil Harbisson is a Catalan-raised, British born contemporary artist, living in New York. Did I mention he is a cyborg activist? Well he is. He was born with colour blindness and responded by developing an antenna which he had implanted in his skull. He was officially recognised as a cyborg by the government. If you don’t believe me check Wikipedia. I just hope I’m not behind him at airport security.
The antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours such as infrareds and ultraviolets via sound waves. The antenna’s internet connection allows him to receive colours from space as well as images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head via external devices such as mobile phones or satellites. If you see him talking to himself in the supermarket, you can relax, he’s probably on the phone to his cyborg mates. I just hope he gets PAT tested regularly. Maybe he’ll like last week’s blog on Office 2030 …?
Michael Pawlyn: Designing with Nature
Michael Pawlyn will outline what biomimicry is as a design discipline and then describe a number of projects that illustrate what can be achieved by using biological adaptations as a source of inspiration – design inspired by nature. He will present a new concept for an office building, a radical design for a data centre that uses a fraction of the energy of conventional approaches and the ambitious Sahara Forest Project.
Tom Dixon: Design and how not to do it
The increasingly popular Tom Dixon will be giving a talk discussing his many influences and experiences. He will also discuss his approach to design alongside practised and successful techniques. There will be a Q&A session afterwards and you never know he might even play his guitar…
Greenhouse: Form us with Love
Muuto collaborators and Stockholm residents Form us with Love have created the Greenhouse: a hall for young and unestablished designers. Greenhouse is a springboard for new talent. I always enjoy seeing raw and unpolished designers at exhibitions and look forward to this side of the show. This hall is co-sponsored by IKEA (sorry!) – Well I suppose it had to happen at some point really…
In addition there are a number of leading Manufacturers, Designers and Architects providing lectures on trends, challenges, changes and projects – more details on the website links below.
Stockholm Design Week
Running parallel to the fair is Stockholm Design Week which sees over 70 furniture, lighting, textile, interior, design and architecture studios across the city open their doors to the wider international design community, with events, parties, launches and more. Get involved!
I’m expecting lots of wooden framed furniture, animal hides and sheepskins, alongside copper, brass and black frame finishes. Also marble tops and subtle hints of art-deco design following on from Milan. Let me know if you are heading the fair yourself – if you are, make time to check out the trendy SoFo district (‘South of Folkungagatan’) to see what the cool (bearded and pierced) kids in town are up to.
For more info on the fair and design week events, check out the links: http://www.stockholmfurniturelightfair.se and http://stockholmdesignweek.com – there are free visitor guide Apps also available, although I’m sure any Cyborgs reading this have already downloaded and checked them out.
Vi ses senare!