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
The Book Cradle by Bruno Mathsson from 1941 is one of the best small, mobile bookshelves ever. Made in solid beech it is still in production by Bruno Mathsson International. As a vintage piece the Book Cradle is rare, and often very expensive. Try Jacksons or Modernity, two of Stockholms best shops for Scandinavian vintage classics. Photo copyright Henrik Sandin.
In Milan at the Furniture Fair, Swedish Scandi brands went international with qualitative, sustainable design. Asplund and Claesson Koivisto Rune teamed up with Kvadrat in the interesting project ”Circular by design” where seven top notch designers demonstrate how to use end-of life textiles in furniture and interior design. Textile waste is a massive global problem and last year Kvadrat collaborated with young Danish company Really in the development of Really Solid Textile Board: a hard-density material made from end-of-life cotton and wool from the fashion and textile industries, as well as households. The manufacturing does not involve use of dyes, water or toxic chemicals and generates only recyclable waste. The board can be re-granulated and formed into new boards.
Bibliothèque by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Asplund (2018). The freestanding shelving system is contracted using slender rigid sheets of Really Solid Textile Board creating a sharp geometric look. Photo copyright Claesson Koivisto Rune.
The subtle offsets between vertical and horizontal elements reflect the intricacy of architectural curtain-wall design, and give Bibliothèque an unusual complexity. Like a skyscraper seen in the context of the city! Photo copyright Really/Kvadrat.
Kasthall presented a fine special collection by Ilse Crawford: ”Grönska” (Greenery) comes in five patterns (Åker/Field, Äng/Meadow, Glänta/Clearing, Fåra/Furrow and Täppa/Plot). Woven or hand tufted wool and/or linen.
Fåra by Ilse Crawford for Kasthall (2018). Woven in 100% wool bouclé yarn. Photo copyright insta@kasthall
John Sterner. Who but founder Alexander Stutterheim (Stutterheim raincoats) could mangage to conceptualize locally hand knitted thick eco sweaters and launch their wintry feel on a hot spring day, just as… The combination of exquisite handicraft, perfect design and a knack for story telling make John Sterner an immediate favourite for everyone interested in design. And yes…there is a thin tee as well!
Story telling from John Sterner – Swedish knitology. Photo copyright John Sterner.
The Antidote Turtle Neck sweater by John Sterner (2018). Hand knitted in Öland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea, 100% eco wool. Photo copyright John Sterner.
Alvaret Tee knit in Eco Merino, by John Sterner (2018). Photo copyright insta@johnsterner_swedishknitology
Korbo handwoven wire baskets are made in Shanghai and transported by boat to app. 300 retailers in 21 countries world wide. Well done with ”one product”! Photo copyright Korbo.
In Milan Korbo participated in the ”Hemma” exhibition and as you can see, in Italy a wire basket might be used to storage Swedish bread! Photo copyright Korbo.
Korbo bin basket in the home office. Photo copyright Korbo.
Nola is always interesting and up-to-date with international trends and life’s necessities. Mainly producing furniture and objects for public spaces Nola make use of their skilled designers to let well produced sustainability shine in our everyday. New for 2018 is Cacti indoor planter available in three different sizes with trellises made in three different heights.
Cacti planter by Anki Gneib for Nola (2018). Powder coated steel, RAL/Sablé. Height 173 cm, depth 31–51 cm and length 101–231 cm. Photo copyright Nola.
In a few days the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018 will be up and running. My mailbox is filling up with interesting previews of ideas and possibilities to experience and learn more about design! Here’s some brand and designer news to keep an eye on during the Design Week:
Designtorget in collaboration with students from Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. Morfar wheat warmer by Isabel Wagner and Olivia Tognelli Brontén is a real teaser with its ”grandpa + cat + relaxing + eco feel good” interpretation!
Iittala Design Talk – Colours for Living where Jeremiah Tesolin (Creative Director, Iittala), Matti Klenell (Interior designer), Lotta Agaton (Interior designer) and Katri Saarikivi (Researcher of cognitive near science, topic colour and emotion, Helsinki University) take on a discussion on the ”power of colours and how they inspire better living within our home”.
Jessica Signell Knutsson; elegant but bold minimalism by the Swedish furniture designer from her designstudio in Barcelona. Exhibited by Astrid.
Bolon. In situ at several exhibition spaces at the Fair we’ll experience the magic of Bolon flooring; in ”Thammada” – an installation by Paola Navone, Guest of Honor at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018; in the exhibition and café by Nick Ross for the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair Greenhouse area; in ”Panorama” – an exhibition on democratic architecture.
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.
…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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.