Archive | Contemporary Scandi

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!

Vaxbo LIn

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.

bubbel hand

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


bubbel bruno

…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.

Vaxbo Lin

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


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.


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.


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.


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

Cube and Social Club and a cat named Simon

Swedish brand Articles has launched their 2018 collection. And it is spot on the contemporary with interesting but laid-back form, sophisticated colouring, a hint of industrial and a touch of ornament. The statement piece Social Club by architect Anna von Schewen is a comfortable chair functioning as a small privat space or, with one or both sides folded down, as a welcoming, socially inviting seating. The glass vase Cube by Carina Seth Andersson has got a strong, almost grim, geometric form, but as part of the moulding process an ornamental pattern show on the side. Beautiful!



I agree with Simon, the handsome 4-year old Siberian cat, that his mom Anna knows how to design fab, comfortable furniture! Social Club by Anna von Schewen for Articles (2018) is a lounge chair that comes with an interesting double function; create your own private space with both sides up. Or fold one or both sides down and there’ll be an inviting openness to the chair. Social Club is available in high and low versions, with textile clothing. Photo copyright Articles.



Cube by Carina Seth Andersson for Articles (2018). Clear or black glass. Handmade by the gifted craftsmen at Skruf in Sweden. Photo copyright Articles.

Architectual moves, Carina Seth Andersson, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes 2018-02-09

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:


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.

Chintz by Lisa Englund 2018
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.


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


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.


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


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

Shapes and shades

Winter is beginning to fade away and while awaiting the sweet spring flowers I enjoy my vintage Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto, filled to the brim with crispy tulips. Its organic wide form is perfect for tulips. But it is also beautiful as a decorative design object, admired at the windowsill all year round. Form as function is common in the Scandi classics. But the ornament is never far away! By adding a small form element or a hint of colour, just like Aalto did with this everyday glass work, the designer lends decorative qualities to the object that goes far beyond function. In 2018 you’ll see this everywhere; a lot of shapes and shades. I am looking forward to experience soft colours and sophisticated ornamental details in the contemporary.


Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto for Karhula (1936). Beautiful as it is, with or without flowers. Photo copyright Jacksons.


Savoy series by Alvar Aalto for Iittala comes in a range of well chosen colours as well as clear glass. Photo copyright Iittala.

urna marimekko

Urna by Carina Seth Andersson for Marimekko, mouth blown glass vase, updated in a lovely olive shade (2017). Photo copyright Marimekko.


Cylinder, a mouth-blown cylindrical vase by Kristina Stark (2018), has a number of three-dimensional rings at the base, to support solitary stems or entire bouquets. Photo copyright Kristina Stark.


Cylinder by Kristina Stark (2018). The rings at the bottom of the vase are not only functional. When water is added the ornament creates a subtle reflection on the surface in a similar way as when you throw a stone into still water. Photo copyright Kristina Stark.

Alvar Aalto, Architectual moves, Carina Seth Andersson, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Marimekko 2018-01-31

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!



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.



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.



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

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.

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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!


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

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


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.


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


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

The small size Scandi gift 2017

Looking for a Contemporary Scandi design gift size small? Here’s some of my favourites:



Reflector by Svenskt Tenn

Reflector by Erika Pekkari for Svenskt Tenn, brass, 24,5 cm. A fine little object to bring as a gift to someone who love flowers and perhaps has grown an amaryllis for Christmas. Put the reflector in the flowerpot and it’ll reflect light into the room. Or, use it as a bookmark! Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.


Coaster by Pia Wallén

Coaster in felted eco wool by Pia Wallén. When you arrive at a friends house with a bottle of glögg (Swedish for mulled wine) why not add some coasters – for designs sake! Photo copyright Pia Wallén.


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Nail brush Lovisa is handmade by visually impaired craftsmen at Iris Hantverk brush binding manufacturing in Stockholm. Oil treated oak and tampico fibre, 10 x 4 x 3 cm. Perfect in the bathroom, kitchen or in the garden! Photo copyright Iris Hantverk.


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…and the new vegan chocolate truffle, handmade by Åre Chokladfabrik in Jämtland county, in the north of Sweden. Photo copyright Åre Chokladfabrik.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Iris Hantverk, Pia Wallén 2017-12-21

From wood to textile

Do you know what small fashion brand Allvar has in common with gigantic furniture maker IKEA and iconic textile producer Marimekko? They´re all investing in the developing of new kinds of cellulose based textiles. With an aim to find a sustainable alternative to cotton etc.


Allvar Hipster by Stefan Söderberg (founder of fashion brand Hope) for Allvar (2017), made from pine and spruce trees from FSC certified forests in the Ångermanland province in Sweden. Timber from these forests are sent to the biorefinery Domsjö Fabriker by the forest company Holmen. Most of the trees selected are those too weak to be used as construction timber. In the biorefinery, the wood is separated into its different parts: ethanol, resin, lignin and cellulose. Allvar underwear are made from the cellulose. Photo copyright Allvar.


Allvar is the first brand of textile products with a certain origin in the Swedish forests. The minimalistic style of both product and packaging lends Allvar a chance to be recognized at the international fashion scene. Photo copyright Allvar.


Allu dress by Marimekko (2014) was the first Marimekko product to be made of Ioncell fabric. Photo copyright Marimekko.

Since some years Marimekko has been part of a research project led by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki developing the Ioncell-F method, by which birch cellulose can be used to manufacture a biodegradable textile fibre. Marimekko now takes the step to make a market entry of wood-based textiles made of pulp-based fibre spun with Spinnova technology. Finnish fibre technology company Spinnova is currently the only company in the world able to convert pulp directly into textile fibre without chemical solvents.

Swedish forest

Ikea in partnership with H&M and the Swedish green-tech company Tree to Textile has embarked on a project to develop techniques for the making of cellulose based textiles. When and how is yet to be presented.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes 2017-12-05