Swedish heights
von Daniel von Bernstorff | Feb 26, 2010

Imagine, it's a crisis and no one seems at all bothered. That is more or less how visitors to this year's Stockholm furniture fair must have felt, as it spread such a huge amount of positive energy and a sense of the new that people would have been forgiven rubbing their eyes in amazement. The trade-fair complex was expanded to include 10,000 square meters of new space and evidently there were no problems filling the area with high-quality exhibits. Anyone who registered too late had to make do with a small area on the edge of the main event, and that even applied to established companies.

All the important design companies from the commercial and residential furniture markets are now housed in the huge Hall A; there, the major Scandinavian manufacturers and the international protagonists are all to be found. The fact that a company such as Moroso arrived in Stockholm, and with a specially designed quite spectacular stand, can be read as a clear profession of faith in the venue. In-between you will find young and exciting labels such as Muuto, Wästberg with designs by David Chipperfield and Inga Sempé, Minus Tio with an item by Mats Theselius, and many more besides. And an especially exciting experience is the revival of design classics and companies such as Ilmari Tapiovaara and Avarte.

A dazzling display of novelties, such as "Robo", the dismantable chair by Luca Nichetto for Offecct, the "Dunder Corner Sofa" by Stefan Borselius for Blå Station, the "Avalon Armchair" by Michael Young for Swedese, the "Mobi" mobile work unit by Andrea Ruggiero for Lammhults, or the new luminaire designs by David Chipperfield and Inga Sempé for Wästberg - to mention but a few. They were all a clear indicator of the renewed self-confidence and market optimism of the protagonists. All in all, the mood at the fair was leisurely and upbeat. And its success is boosted by the fact that the large companies fly in groups of architects at their own cost and the trade-fair company has also done a lot to reach out to the right audience.

Downtown, visitors interested in design will also not go away empty-handed. In the district of Södermalm a new design quarter is currently arising, and there, among other things, you'll find showrooms by Fritz Hansen, Luceplan, Montana, Kinnasand, Ann Idstein, Kasthall, Avarte and Artek; and a Jasper Morrison exhibition, organized by the magazine Forum; and there's a great party with over 1,500 guests on the Wednesday evening. Together with the Swedish design think tank Designboost, the Museum of Architecture on the Skepsholmen museum island hosted a two-day workshop with designers, architects, scientists and entrepreneurs; it quite consciously sought to break out of pigeonholed disciplines and formulate a new type of discussion on design. And in the central Hotel Berns, at the invitation of Svensk Form, the renowned Swedish design institute, designers and experts such as Ilkka Suppanen, Giulio Cappellini, Reed Kram and others met to discuss visions and then participate in a Pecha Kucha Night. All over town there were exhibition openings, receptions, parties and discussion events, and at the end of the day, the design community met up to relax at the Nordic Light Hotel. The right mixture of work and fun, now that is Stockholm, too.

Wood by Fredrik Mattson for Zero; © Franziska Holzmann
Lighting by Inga Sempé for Wästberg; © Franziska Holzmann
Klong Interior; © Franziska Holzmann
Stool Audrey by Svensson/Wingard for Minus Tio; © Franziska Holzmann
Booth of Minus Tio; © Franziska Holzmann
Pressu by Yrjö Kukkapuro for Avarte; © Franziska Holzmann
Snowflakes by Mârten Claesson, Eero Koivisto, Ola Rune for OFFECCT; © Franziska Holzmann
Young talent exhibition Greenhouse
PD3 by Barba Corsini for Gubi; © Franziska Holzmann
Pinocchio by Källemo; © Franziska Holzmann
Installation by Paul Smith
Installation von Paul Smith, the guest of honour of the Furniture Fair
Young talent exhibition Greenhouse
Munkegaard school
Booth Moroso
Desirée chair by Yngve Ekström for Swedese
Booth of Nola; © Franziska Holzmann
Ozon Table by Källemo; © Franziska Holzmann
Messestand by Swedese; © Franziska Holzmann
Booth of Ilmari Tapiovaara; © Franziska Holzmann
Dunder by Stefan Borselius for Bla Station; © Franziska Holzmann