Archive | Book Cradle

Where design and art meet

Recently we’ve seen a strong trend to showcase design in ”art spaces”, and vice versa. If done well design and art may learn from each other and also contribute to a discussion on what, why and how to put design on display.

In September 2017 a small exhibition opened at ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design, located in Stockholm: ”The HI-group. Craftsmanship in the plastic age” was commissioned by ArkDes, curated by Johan Örn and designed by TAF into the best design exhibition in Sweden in 2017. Absolutely fab! If you missed it, you may still enjoy the book/exhibition catalogue written by Johan Örn (curator of the collections at ArkDes) with graphic design by Johannes Molin. It is a splendid examination of the role of crafts in Scandinavian post-war furniture and interior design.


The HI-group was a Swedish collective of craftsmen and designers working across different fields and in different materials. The HI-group are now considered masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960. Photo copyright Kristofer Johnsson & TAF.


A congenial selection of 30 objects, from furniture to photography, that had never been seen together before told a story of the renaissance of craft in an era more associated with modern, standardized materials. From exhibition ”The HI-group” at ArkDes, September – November 2017. Photo copyright Kristofer Johansson & TAF.


The logotype for the HI-group by Melin & Österlin for the exhibition in 1966 (red colour). Previously exhibition logotype colours: Blue (1963) and brown (1964–1965). We recognize the colours as typical for the time, yet they have a distinctive contemporary feel. Photo copyright ArkDes.



Book ”The HI-group and the Return to Craft – Swedish Furniture and Interiors 1960–1966”, by Johan Örn for ArkDes/Carlssons (2017). Graphic design by Johannes Molin.


From Sweden and the 60s archive to Japan where Marimekko plunge into a search for the spirit of print making.

”The Marimekko Spirit – Paavo Halonen / Maija Louekari / Aino-Maija Metsola” exhibition opened at the Ginza Graphic Gallery in November, and focuses on Marimekko’s younger-generation designers and the contemporary art of print making. It’ll be open until 13 January, 2018.

The second exhibition, ”Marimekko Spirit – Elämäntapa (暮らしぶり)”, opened at the Gallery A4 in December and will explore the dialogue between the Finnish and the Japanese lifestyles in the context of Marimekko’s design heritage. It’ll close at February 28, 2018.

For the exhibition ”Marimekko Spirit” at Ginza Graphic Gallery Marimekko-designers Paavo Halonen, Maija Louekari and Aino-Maija Metsola were invited to create one completely new, Japanese-inspired print design each, based on their own impressions of a country none of them had ever visited before. Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

Diverse and stunning prints by the young Marimekko designers exhibited at Ginza Graphic Gallery (2017/2018). Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

A glimpse of the design process: Marimekko designers exhibited at Ginza Graphic Gallery (2017/2018). Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

Skärmavbild 2017-12-20 kl. 11.33.43

…and at Gallery A4 in Tokyo you can experience the colourful world of Marimekko in a set including both sauna and a feel of the Finnish forests…


In Gustavsbergs Konsthall, 30 minutes east of Stockholm, fab Katja Pettersson (ex Front design group) examines ”Climate Anxiety. Guilt” in the exhibition ”Welcome Back”. Open until 28 January, 2018. As usual Katja Pettersson make a strong statement working with breathtaking ideas formulated within a sphere of likewise strong feeling (s), presented in a smart, smooth and visually design-orientated context. Don’t miss out!


Welcome Back poster by Stefan Engblom (2017). Due to the massive interest for the exhibition it has been prolonged until 28 January, 2018.


Overview ”Welcome Back”, exhibition by Katja Pettersson at Gustavsbergs Konsthall. Photo copyright Erik Undéhn.


”Earth: 100 square meters, cut unburned clay. Human footprint, our weight dries the earth.” Detail from ”Welcome Back”, exhibition by Katja Pettersson at Gustavsbergs Konsthall (2017/2018). Photo copyright Erik Undéhn.


Gustavsbergs Konsthall

Gustavsbergs Konsthall is Sweden’s only public gallery specializing in contemporary craft art and a leading venue for Swedish and international crafts. The gallery aims to increase public understanding of contemporary craft art and to promote discussion. The exhibition schedule features crafts in all types of materials, displaying current work by internationally recognized craft artists as well as the avant-garde of the younger generation. The gallery opened in 2007. During summertime you can visit by boat from Stockholm City.

Architectual moves, Book Cradle, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes 2017-12-31


Pilaster is one of the most famous Swedish bookshelves ever. It was designed by architect John Kandell in 1989. With its simple but ingenious form it is perfect for those books you want to have at hand. Perhaps in the kitchen, or by your bed? In his later years John Kandell often found solutions for small spaces, the in-between spaces where you pass (like in the stairs) or need something interesting to rest your eyes on…


Pilaster shelf by John Kandell for Källemo (1989). Birch naturel treated with natural soap. Photo copyright Källemo.


Recently added to my ”must read” list is the fine story of John Kandell (1925–1991) and his wife, textile designer Ulla Kandell (born 1926).  Written by Gunilla Lundahl with graphic design by Johannes Molin it is a book to return to many times, for a read, or to browse through while enjoying its visuality. In Swedish only, but wow…what a perfect presentation of the Kandells! In layer upon layer their story unfolds…revealing unexpected things like small messages between the Kandell couple, drawings, interior pics, architect plans, production display and lots of info on their important work.


”Leken och allvaret – John and Ulla Kandell”. Book by Gunilla Lundahl for Carlssons bokförlag (2017). Photo copyright Carlssons.

Architectual moves, Book Cradle, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes 2017-05-09


My new book Mönsterträdgård (Garden of Patterns), on Swedish textile designer Maria Åström (Scandi Edition 2016), is now available at bookstores, designshops and museumshops in Sweden. Online at Konstig art book store.

Maria Åström, born in 1948, is one of Sweden’s most distinguished textile designers. For several years I’v been following Maria Åström in her creative work and it’s been a journey of curiosity, kind and cool. Hope you like it!

Mönsterträdgård is photographed by Anna Kern and the graphic design is by Anna Larsson.


About a month ago MT went to our printer, Göteborgstryckeriet, in Gothenburg and sheets of beauty started to pile up before our astonished eyes.  Roses and tulips, chestnut and oak…Photo copyright @annalarssondesign.


Still some hours to go until all 160 pages of Mönsterträdgård are printed…Photo copyright @annalarssondesign.


Graphic designer Anna Larsson checks out the MT dummy. Good…or fab!? Photo copyright @annalarssondesign.


Lara waited for the real thing: Mönsterträdgård fresh from the bookbinder. Photo copyright @annalarssondesign.



Then MT travelled to Stockholm where our studio boss Baby tried its tactile qualities. Feels good to the paw, Baby says. Photo copyright @scandi_edition.


”Pink chamber”, interior pic from Mönsterträdgård, book by Cia Wedin for Scandi Edition (2016). Photo copyright Scandi Edition/Anna Kern.


Maria Åström in her studio in Skåne. From book Mönsterträdgård by Cia Wedin (Scandi Edition 2016).  Photo copyright Scandi Edition/Anna Kern.




Anna Kern, Book Cradle, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Friends, Maria Åström, Scandimood 2016-11-02

She make voices heard

Belrusian writer Svetlana Aleksijevitj (Alexievich in English) has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. Aleksijevitj has spent more than 30 years interviewing people in post war Soviet about their experiences and memories of war, conflict and disaster. In her writing even the tiniest memory transform into beautiful and moving prose.




Svetlana Aleksijevitj has inspired artists around the world. Irish director Junanita Wilson made a short film based on the book ”Voices from Chernobyl”, nominated for an Oscar in 2010 and now available at YouTube. If you’re not yet acquainted with Aleksijevitj the film may function as an introduction. In Aleksijevitj’s stories the voice of the individual is presented through a dreamy yet clear prose. Slowly, slowly the impact of the words hit you. You get plenty of time to think, feel and react to the story. The combination of clear, beautiful language and the documentary, journalistic approach make Svetlana Aleksijevitj’s work special.

”The Door”, short film by Juanita Wilson (2008) based on Svetlana Aleksijevitj’s book ”Voices from Chernobyl”(1997). Video copyright Juanita Wilson.

Book Cradle, Compassionates, Videos 2015-12-10

One by One

One by One book by designers Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby (2015) is a visual, meditative approach on the design- and production process. Through a selection of projects represented by a singular image or drawing we get a glimpse of the diversity and fresh energy of their work. The two designers work with different approaches but their ”ideas always seem to unite”, as they say. They also stress that their work is a cooperative effort. Technicians, model makers and engineers play an important role from early concept sketch to the launch of the final product. During recent years Barber & Osgerby has collaborated with companies like Vitra, B&B Italia, Knoll and Mutina. In February 2016 Barber & Osgerby visit Sweden as Guests of Honour at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair.

Skärmavbild 2015-11-28 kl. 11.57.12
One by One, book cover, by Barber & Osgerby (2015), paperback, 60 pages. Photo copyright Barber & Osgerby.

One by One, spread from book by Barber & Osgerby (2015). Photo copyright Barber & Osgerby.

Barber & Osgerby, Book Cradle, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics 2015-11-28

Book treats by Signell Knutsson

In a series of small book related objects Swedish designer Jessica Signell Knutsson has explored how the small detail work in the design process. Her Book Socle and Book End are simplistic but made with great craftsmanship in different materials, from simple mdf board to rare Swedish Kolmård marble.
The Objects for Books are exhibited at Konst-ig Art Bookstore in Stockholm 30 September – 17 October, 2015.

Book Socle by Jessica Signell Knutsson for Signell Knutsson (2015). Swedish Kolmård marble.

The Book Socle by Jessica Signell Knutsson comes in various materials in various editions.

Book End by Jessica Signell Knutsson (2015). Swedish Kolmård marble.
Photo copyright all pics: John Gripenholm.

Book Cradle, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes, Friends, Scandimood 2015-09-29

You Say Light I Think Shadow

What is light? To seek an answer to this simple but complex question, graphic designer Sandra Praun and artist Aleksandra Stratimirovic invited 109 prominent and inspiring creatives to share their thoughts on the phenomenon. All texts are individually designed and when experienced together they form a highly visual and artistic statement.


You Say Light – I Think Shadow, book by Sandra Praun and Aleksandra Stratimirovic (ed.) with graphic design by Sandra Praun. Art and Theory Publishing (2015).

Aleksandra Stratimirovic and Sandra Praun. Photo copyright Elisabeth Toll.

Snöhetta photo copyright Robin Hayes
Among the contributors we find Norwegian architect studio Snöhetta. Photo copyright Robin Hayes.

And the ever so interesting Swedish glass designer Yoko Yamano. Photo copyright Robin Hayes.


Book Cradle, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Fab Swedes 2015-08-19

We Animals

A road to compassion. Stunning photography and well formulated texts. The aim of the project We Animals is to break down the barriers that humans have built which allow us to treat non-human animals as objects and not as beings with moral significance.

We Animals, book by author/photographer Jo-Anne McArthur (2013). Photo copyright Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals.

Animal Rights, Book Cradle, Scandimood 2015-07-31


Karin Berglund knows everything essential about gardening and flowers. She is also a gifted photographer and her portraits of flowers let us experience beauty in a poetic yet realistic way.
Withering Anemone (Sv Vissnande Anemon), photographic gum print by Karin Berglund. Photo copyright Karin Berglund.

Journalist and gardener Karin Berglund.

Books by Karin Berglund, graphic design by Anna Larsson. Photo copyright Anna Larsson.

Book Cradle, Compassionates, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Scandimood 2015-03-24

The day to day masterpiece

The first major exhibition of Scandinavian design opened in April 20, 1954 in New York’s Brooklyn Museum and showcased ceramics, furniture, glassware, metalwork and textiles from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Book cover Design in Scandinavia
Design in Scandinavia: an exhibition of objects for the home. Catalogue cover by Tapio Wirkkala (1954).

Wooden plate by Tapio Wirkkala
Among the featured work were plates in laminated birch by Tapio Wirkkala. At that time intended to be used daily in your home. Now considered masterpieces of great value.

Book Cradle, Eco Aesthetics, Tapio Wirkkala 2015-02-15

Go green with Anna and Fanny

If you´re thinking of going into green food, the new book Det goda enkla by Anna and Fanny Bergenström for Trio is a good start. For a vegetarian it is useful as a how to-guide as Anna and Fanny provides a way of thinking when it comes to cooking which focus on simplicity in the making combined with a never ending curiosity in all kinds of green ingredients.


Trio is a small Swedish indie press. Det goda enkla is at present only available in Swedish. For this book Fanny Bergenström was awarded ”Best food photographer 2014” by Swedish Måltidsakademin.


Book Cradle, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes, Friends, In the Season 2014-11-28