If in Stockholm during the Stockholm Design Week 2019 you’re much welcome to visit a production of mine called ”Mellan handen och ögat” (Between the hand and the eye). It’s an exhibition + seminars + open studio programme on sustainability as it present itself when handicraft, craft and design meet and mingle! The ”Mellan handen och ögat” exhibition is a house-story…live…and it takes place at fab Svensk Hemslöjd. App. 60 of Sweden’s best craftspeople and designers participate, with everyday objects and furniture. The organisation Svensk Hemslöjd was founded in 1899 by textile artist Lilli Zickerman and the Swedish Prince Eugen. More information will soon be available at www.svenskhemslojd.com
A retired lounge chair is sitting like a fine piece of art by the large window in my living room… Her name is Pernilla but she´s always been nicknamed ”Bruno” after Bruno Mathsson who designed this masterpiece in 1944. Bruno’s got a sleek, curved frame in laminated beech and original green paper webbing, now faded into a pale lime green. She’s no longer steady on her feet, and is wobbling slightly at touch. After close to 75 years of use this chair is now turned into a nest for cats. And as such she´ll remain.
Pernilla with the now very rare green paper webbing. Photo by Jacksons.
Pernilla with the now very rare red paper webbing. Photo by Jacksons.
Baby knew all along that Bruno actually would make a great cat nest (comfy…but also the perfect match to her emerald eyes…). Hera though is indifferent to the value of design. Food, sleep and some hunting makes her day. Everyday. Photo copyright Cia Wedin.
Several Scandi brands attended Orgatec 2018 – the international fair in Cologne where furniture for the contemporary and future office space were on display. Swedish Wästberg exhibited as partner to Vitra within their ”Work Concept” space. And launched lighting with a high-tech, minimalistic and environmental friendly design. When the traditional office space and interior is under change, the Scandi brands establish a conceptual take on the office: Wästberg use form and function to bring lighting to a level where the lamp is not a fixed structure but a multifunctional nice obejct you may bring with you into different spaces over time.
w182pastille by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin/ Industrial Facility for Wästberg (2018). Bio-polyamide based on 60% biologically and recycable material from the castor plant. Dimmable from a single LED rather than an array, which reduces heat as well as energy use. This is achieved by reaching a state of equilibrium between its single light source, a large reflector and large diffuser. Photo copyright Wästberg.
w182pastille has a construction that allows a variety of ‘surfaces’ to be illuminated. Different to task lamps that illuminate in a focused way; or table and pendant lamps that provide ambient light, the lamp sees environments as surfaces to softly illuminate. The w182 pastille is able to freely articulate between surfaces by rotating up, down and around. Photo copyright Wästberg.
w182pastille by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin for Wästberg (2018). Comes in colours Oxide Red, Olive Green, Soft White and Graphite Black. Photo copyright Wästberg.
Larsson korgmakare in Old Town Stockholm is the last rattan furniture maker in Sweden! Erica Larsson is 4th generation at the company. Larssons make their own fab furniture but also Josef Frank’s beautiful chairs for Svenskt Tenn. Recently Larsson korgmakare made some fab pieces for Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, designed by Matti Klenell and Carina Seth Andersson. If in Stockholm, visit the newly restored Nationalmuseum and admire the handmade furniture from Larsson korgmakare!
Chair by Matti Klenell for Nationalmuseum (2018). Handmade by Larsson korgmakare. Photo copyright Nationalmuseum.
In the making: craftsman Lasse from Larsson korgmakare work on the new chair by Matti Klenell for Nationalmuseum (2018). Photo copyright Anna Kern.
Erica Larsson at Larsson korgmakare working on a Josef Frank chair for Svenskt Tenn. From a piece for Svenska Dagbladet by Cia Wedin. Photo copyright Filippa Tredal.
Brittish design duo Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby in collaboration with Flos 2017 resulted in Bellhop, a series of handsome wall, floor and pendant lighting. Recently Flos launched a portable and rechargeable version of Bellhop, for indoor or outdoor (porch) use. You charge it by micro-USB-c and it’ll spread a clear light for app. 24 hours. I like the design and understand why using polycarbonate for the shell. PC is a durable plastic and when handled and used properly the risk of leaking toxines is small. But I wonder how this little sweetie is to be recycled, that day in the future when the LED function is worn out?
Bellhop by Barber & Osgerby for Flos (2018). Photo copyright Flos.
Bellhop portable by Barber & Osgerby for Flos (2018). Base and dome in coloured PC, diffuser in opaline injection moulded photo-engraved PC, 4-step dimmer function. Comes in colours chocholate, orange, gray and white. Photo copyright Barber & Osgerby.
Winter has arrived in the north of Sweden and mountains and woods are covered in snow. In Stockholm Old Town we’re yet in a kind of Indian summer euphoria but wise urbanistas do prepare and update their stock of candles, tea, blankets and Swedish fika. The famous Swedish cinnamon bun was actually celebrated nationwide a few days ago, and we Swedes ate more than 7 million buns! In a few hours…Designers eat buns too, but they also are busy making our everyday beautiful. Here’s some top notch news on the subject of cosiness!
Tunes candle holder by Monica Förster for Georg Jensen (2018). Mirror polished stainless steel. As usual Monica Förster add a small, almost invisible twist to her design; I love the dubble function of the candle stick foot/tray. Photo copyright Georg Jensen.
The Mega Cross Blanket by Pia Wallén (2018). Organic cotton (from certified farms in Peru), woven in Sweden, size 150 x 250 cm. Here the designer has made a playful exaggeration in scale and abstraction of the cross pattern from the original Crux Blanket which Pia Wallén designed in 1991. Photo copyright Pia Wallén.
The Tea Advent Calendar 2018 by NABO design. Contains 24 organic teas including rooibos, black, green, white, red and herbal, for a new tea experience every day from 1st of December until Christmas Eve! Comes with Swedish or English text. Photo coyright NABO.
Ralph Erskines ”Lådan” (The Box) from 1941–1942 is one famous Swedish building! It is also a famous home. With only 20 squaremetres for himself, his wife Ruth and their two small children, Erskine had to invent space-saving furniture; the bed hung in ropes from the cealing, and doubled as a sofa, the working table folded into the bookshelf and so on. Lådan become known for its aesthetics and clever solutions and since long this small house stand as an architectual role model in the collective mind of Swedes longing for a simple (summer) dwelling.
Saturday 6th of October 2018 Lådan is open to the public. If in Stockholm, take the chance to experience an iconic house! An arrangement by ArkDes, The Swedish Center for Architecture and Design. Free entrance. For information on how to get to Lovön, see ArkDes.
Lådan was originally built in Lissma, south of Stockholm, as a permanent home. It had no electricity, no running water and no wc. The Erskine family lived 4 years in Lådan, before moving closer to town. Lådan was well-built, but the materials did not survive over time and gradually it subsided into nature. In 1989, under supervision by Erskine, Lådan was rebuilt in Lovön, Stockholm. Photos (above and below) of Lådan exterior copyright ArkDes.
Lådan interiors. Photo copyright Åke E:son Lindman.
Black and white images of Ralph Erskine and Lådan. Photo copyright ArkDes Collections.
The classic Scandi wood chair with its sleek and minimalistic look seem to reinvent itself every other year. In 2018 one interesting chair is the Linea Akademia chair by Wesley Walters & Salla Luhtasela for Nikari. It was part of Wesley Walters’ Master’s Thesis at Aalto University, a research of ”The American Shaker style and its characteristics, brought to life anew in a Nordic context”. Handsome!
Linea Akademia chair by Wesley Walters & Salla Luhtasela (aka Kaksikko) for Nikari (2018). Massive oak treated with wood oil mixture. Photo copyright Chikako Harada.
82 % of the Swedes stands up for democracy and will not tolerate rasism in any form. That was made clear after last weeks elections in Sweden. Let’s inspire the 18 % who did flirt with rasist parties to take a look at the Scandinavian design community. Contemporary Scandi brands stands firm in their openminded, curious and compassionate collaborations with designers from all over the world.
Next Guest of Honor at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair (2019) is studio Neri & Hu from Shanghai, China. This fab duo work with an interdiciplinary take on design; you can see the inspiration from architecture and global trends, often formulated in a poetic style. Among the Scandi Brands representing Neri & Hu are Swedish Bolon and Danish Kvadrat and Fritz Hansen.
Yanzi Light by Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu for Artemide. Brushed brass, white, black/blown glass, size 40×75,4 cm, height 192 cm, diameter base 40 cm. Diffused LED source. Photo copyright Neri & Hu.
Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu, aka Neri & Hu design studio. Photo copyright Neri & Hu.
Neri & Hu have established a retail platform in Shanghai, to offer Chinese consumers products by global designers. Photo copyright Dezeen.
Danish Kvadrat is a fab Scandi brand, known and respected for their environmental friendly production and handsome collection of contemporary fabrics. Kvadrat collaborates with designers and artists like Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Olafur Eliasson, Akira Minagawa, Doshi Levien and Patricia Urquiola. New 2018 is a collection of rugs by Hella Jongerius in felted interpretations of art and nature.
Sienna rug by Hella Jongerius for Kvadrat (2018) is inspired by abstract expressionist paintings, such as those of Mark Rothko. 100 % wool, available in standard rug sizes. Photo copyright Kvadrat.
With its soft, saturated hues and delicate composition Sienna brings to life Hella Jongerius’s exceptional sense for colour through an array of delicate tonal gradations. Photo copyright Kvadrat.
Sienna in production in the handicraft studio in Nepal. To achieve the rug’s captivating watercolour-like expression, dyed flocks of wool are pulled by hand until they are almost transparent. Like paint, they overlap when placed on a dark or light base, gently flowing and diffusing into each other. Photo copyright Studio Hella Jongerius.
Sooner or later all Scandi design items gets a little bit scruffy around the edges. But design of high quality will grew old with charm and dignity. That’s why vintage Scandinavian is still in the loop! Your design pieces definitely’s got a second life and it’ll take a lifetime or more before such a piece is worn out.
The classic garden chair in powder coated steel make a perfect companion over years. In this Swedish house a few simple chairs with worn paint adds a laidback feel to the designer table, strict greenery and minimalistic architecture. From a piece by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration. Photo copyright Anna Kern.
The classic Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto for Artek was designed in 1933. Some years ago Artek started ”2nd cycle” – a business which take back old furniture, restore them and sell them again. Some of the original stools are left with the original paint, now worn but lovely. Photo copyright Artek.
Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto for Artek. Solid birch made in Finland. Photo copyright Artek.
It’s late August and time to take care of and bring the garden furniture and planters into storage. It’s also time for thinking about next ”season”: What to grow and in what…and perhaps look for additional furniture and garden tools. The Scandi brands knows how to produce environmental friendly garden beauties. Look out for brands like Byarums bruk and Blå Station!
Early morning at Rosendals trädgård in Stockholm. Garden furniture Kaffe Chair 011 and Kaffe Sofa 012, both by Thomas Bernstrand for Blå Station (2014). Steel. The Kaffe family comprises chair, easy chair, sofa and table. And is as useful indoors as in the garden. Palissad planter by Signe Persson-Melin for Byarums bruk. Recycled raw aluminium. Snäcka bird bath by Byarums bruk. Recycled raw aluminium. Wool blanket Crux by Pia Wallén (1991). 90% organic lambswool, 10% organic cashemere. From a piece by Cia Wedin for Lantliv, photo copyright Anna Kern.