Archive | Compassionates

Växbo Lin ditches the bleach

Växbo Lin take their already environmental friendly production a step further by ditching bleached warps. In all their linen items! The use of linen yarn for everyday products like towels has a long tradition in Sweden. Flax grow well in the northern part of Europe and linen has the unique property of absorbing moisture better and drying more quickly than any other natural fibre. Natural unbleached linen is beautiful and looks great in a contemporary design context. In 2018 Växbo Lin produce their classic towel Bubbel in five colours on unbleached warp. Lovely!

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Beautiful as it is: The heckled flax is used producing linen items at Växbo Lin, a small manufacturer located in Hälsingland county in the north part of Sweden. Photo copyright Växbo Lin.

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Bubbel towel by Ingela Bengtsson for Växbo Lin (2005 / 2018). 100 % linen woven in a honeycomb pattern, with unbleached warp. Photo copyright Växbo Lin.

 

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…must check that mum and dad delivers! Bruno, Växbo Lin’s dog, is pleased with Bubbel towel by fab Ingela Håkansson for Växbo Lin (2005 and 2018). Photo copyright Växbo Lin.

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A contemporary classic: Dishcloth Olive by Växbo Lin in 100% linen with unbleached warp. Photo copyright Växbo Lin.

Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes 2018-03-15

When elephants stir part three

Elephants do not belong in the entertainment business. Wildlife SOS in India, is an organization saving and taking care of elephants. Giving them a chance to experience some freedom, after many many years of abuse.

For the benefit of all animals still captured in the entertainment business: say no to the abuse and exploit of animals for entertainment, in factory farming and production of food, clothes, design items and meds…

”The many sounds of elephants”, video copyright Wildlife SOS – saving India’s elephants (2018).

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Scandimood, Videos 2018-03-06

Kolonn

One of the most interesting products at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018 was Kolonn – a contemporary stylish room divider by Beckmans students Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh. The idea was to investigate what defines a piece of furniture. And how to create an extra space, ”a room in the room” by using light weight, environmental friendly, basic material. In this case so called wallboard, which is a non toxic cellulose fibre pressed like a corrugated sheet, which makes it very flexible. Kolonn has strong sculptural and aesthetic qualities. But it is also a fine example of how a well designed object may be both beautiful and useful in the everyday. It’s sound absorbent qualities is a plus. And the light weight: less than 4 kg!

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Kolonn room divider by Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh for Beckmans in collaboration with Massproduction (2018). Photo copyright Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh.

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A beautiful sculptural object and a useful everyday piece of furniture. Kolonn room divider by Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh (Beckmans 2018).  Photo copyright Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh.

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The iconic Screen 100 by Alvar Aalto for Artek (1936). Massive pinewood stripes. In production by Artek. Photo copyright Artek.

Architectual moves, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Scandimood 2018-03-02

Flower power

A distinctive trend at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018 was the replacement of grey grey grey by pale natural colours. But even though I am ”Mrs Beige” by heart I could easily have done with some patterns or at least accent colouring to highlight all the sand, cream, pale pink, icy blue and greige…Several brands worked with flowers, moss and branches in their presentations. One display really moved me; the lovely, natural, simplistic beauty of Gunnar Kaj for Iittala. Kaj, ”flower artist” as he likes to call himself, is known for his ability to create a poetic feel by using flowers and branches in unexpected combinations. Often au naturel…and always with respect of the plant. I loved the huge bunch of blueberry twigs in a Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto in the new moss green colour.

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Small spring tulips in red, pink and white standing in their bulbs courting the Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto for Iittala. If you look closer you also see a few Frittillaria meleagris (Sv. Kungsängslilja) among the tulips! Arrangement by Gunnar Kaj for Iittala (2018). Photo copyright Peter Bruselid.

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Preview of Putki, a lamp by Matti Klenell for the restored National Museum of Sweden which is opening in October 2018. The lamp is mouth blown at the Iittala factory. Flower arrangement by Gunnar Kaj for Iittala (2018). Photo copyright Iittala.

Alvar Aalto, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iittala, Scandimood 2018-02-10

Ten Textile Talents

The exhibition ”Ten Textile Talents” runs between 6 Februari – 13 March, 2018 at Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm. Students from five international design schools has been invited to show their interpretations of classic Josef Frank designs. The result is amazing!

The talented designers are Amanda Andersson and Lisa Englund and from Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design (Stockholm, Sweden), Chloe Flint and Sam Wilde from Royal College of Art (London, UK), Haruka Udo and Kotone Utsunomiya from Tama Art University (Tokyo, Japan), Julia Svantesson and Malin Westman from The Swedish School of Textiles (Borås, Sweden) ad Cassie McGettigan and Charlotte Fairless from Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, USA).

Svenskt Tenn have chosen three patterns to be part of their collection:

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Chintz by Lisa Englund for Svenskt Tenn (2018). Cotton. This well drawn pattern comes in black/white or white/black. It is beautiful not only as table cloth or curtain…I’d love to see this pattern as a bed spread or huge cushion! Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

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Chintz by Lisa Englund for Svenskt Tenn (2018). Cotton. The designer was inspired by Joseph Frank’s pattern US Tree (1943–1945) which is based on a straight, continuous stem with the repeat moving only upwards, not sideways. Frank added organic shapes on a linear basis. Lisa Englund combine the form idea of Frank with experiences from a stay in India where she studied India’s chintz tradition and its hand-painted or block-printed fabric which was exported to Europe during the 1600-1700s and become an important part of the Swedish textile heritage. Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

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The Story of Flowers by Kotone Utsunomiya for Svenskt Tenn (2018). Velvet. Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

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Dear Josef Frank, by Haruka Udo for Svenskt Tenn (2018). Linen. In a gifted and inspired way Haruka Udo transform the ”spark of life” she experience with Frank’s designs into an organic pattern with a strong graphic feel. Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes, Josef Frank 2018-02-09

Sustainable urban gardening

There’s design and there’s sustainability. And there’s gardening. Gardening, the dream and expectations of the garden season, is part of the discussion on design and its implications on the climate. We know how to make gardening sustainable by using an organic method and eco certified seed and soil. But don’t forget the tools! Fiskars took on the challenge to develop a new range of light weight gardening tools for the small urban garden. The Fiskars Garden Light tools are made of certified, sustainable materials of high quality. The visuality is in line with the trend of a more sophisticated urbanity. What more, the tool is tactile to the hand and designed down to the detail. This is unusual; perhaps it takes a multinational Scandi brand to lead the way. Too often gardening tools are too heavy and lack visual qualities. With Fiskars we go contemporary and straight into the discussion of how to make sustainability happen. Read more at Fiskar’s sustainability report.

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The Fiskars Garden Light series (2018) combine light-weight with function and a fab visuality. Steel, aluminium, certified plastic cover. Photo copyright Fiskars.

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Snowdrop, a favourite! Soon, very soon, we’ll be able to admire its graceful beauty in our small urban garden here in Old Town Stockholm.

Architectual moves, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fiskars, In the Season 2018-02-03

Closing in on the Design Week!

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!

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Wästberg + Dawid”Farewell to the Cave” jubilee celebration (Wästberg ten years), art exhibition by fab photographer Dawid and launch of a new book by Magnus Wästberg. Product launch? None!

Articles = Cube by Carina Seth Andersson and Socialclub by Anna von Schewen. Two exceptionally gifted designers. Two products. A launch and an exhibition.

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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.

Gärsnäs. New work by David Ericsson, Färg & Blanche and others, displayed in a space designed by TAF architects.

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Architectual moves, Bolon, Book Cradle, Carina Seth Andersson, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iittala, TAF, Wästberg 2018-01-29

Eva Lange

We´re  heading towards the upcoming ”design race” in Stockholm, where we’ll be swirling through days and nights at the Stockholm Design Week and Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018. As a preparation I spend some time with the beautiful, inspiring work by Swedish sculptor Eva Lange (born 1935). A few years ago I met with the artist in her studio in Stockholm. It resulted in an editorial portrait where Eva Lange speak about her craft and life, and also let us get a glimpse of her beautiful studio. As several readers have asked for the whole editorial I enclose it below.

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If you´ve got an Eva Lange sculpture nearby; go and spend some time with it! To the left: Del av blomma by Eva Lange, plaster, photo copyright Viktoria Spasova Ahlenius/Bukowskis.  To the right, sculpture by Eva Lange, plaster, photo copyright Bukowskis.

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”Sculpture – Eric Grate and Eva Lange”, exhibition at Bukowskis, January 23 – 31, 2018. The bronze to the right is a piece by Eric Grate (1896–1983), a famous Swedish artist who started his career as part of the surrealist movement in Paris and, over the years, developed his very own expression, mainly in bronze. Photo copyright Bukowskis.

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”Mellan handen och ögat” , editorial piece by Cia Wedin for Residence SE. Photo copyright Patric Johansson. Layout copyright Residence. Feature copyright Cia Wedin.

Compassionates, Fab Swedes, Friends 2018-01-22

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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

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

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…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!

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

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

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”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

What does the fox say?

In the end of 2017 good news came from the north of Sweden. The Arctic Fox project reported 31 litters of Arctic Fox were born during the summer. Compare that to the 6 litters of 2016! The small Fjällräv (Arctic Fox), is ”endangered” which means it is in acute threat of extinction. The total population is only app. 200 individuals. The Arctic Fox was given protected status in Sweden 1928, and Norway 1930, but until then it was hunted large-scale. Since the 1990s efforts have been made to protect the fox and its habitat.

If you’re curious to listen to the fox, you’ll find a charming audioinsta @fjallravsprojektet

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The white colour morph changes from a brown/grey/white summer coat to a completely white winter coat – an adaptation for staying camouflaged both in summer and winter habitats. One research area of The Arctic Fox project examine how camouflage is affected by shorter snow seasons under climate change. Photo copyright Michael Eldborn.

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A 11-month old Swedish female arctic fox in winter coat. Photo copyright Tomas Meijer/The Arctic Fox Project.

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In the Arctic Fox project Sweden and Norway collaborates, with the aim to help this fine little animal survive.

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Scandimood 2017-12-31

Fur Free Friday 2017

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CFD – Cruelty Free Design; never buy design made of or including fur, leather, hides, angora, mohair, feather, non certified wool or any part of an animal. Animals, humans and nature suffer in the industry and animal derived materials have a negative impact on the climate.

 

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”Production” of angora wool and hides. Photo copyright PETA2.

 

”Fur farming” in 2017. Photo copyright ADI (Animal Defenders International).

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Scandimood 2017-11-24

Into the woods

Well, some day’s you’re lucky. Two favourites in one frame: horse and tree. With this glimpse from England and fab Hampson Woods Jonty and his team take their business a step forward introducing ”HW Monthly Drops”. Each month HW will release a unique product made from a unique piece of timber, shaped into a new purpose. If you love wooden utilities in your kitchen…don’t miss out!

Small scale woodland management at Hampson Woods, located in the Lake District of Britain. These clips show horses George and Charly in action together with humans George and Tom from HW. Enjoy!

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Craftsman Kolli at work for team HW (2017). Photo copyright Hampson Woods.

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Porridge spoon (also perfect as spatula) by Hampson Woods (2017), handmade from london plane. To be finished with organic HW Wood Balm. Photo copyright Hampson Woods.

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, In the Season, No Plastic 2017-11-05