Archive | Contemporary Scandi

Sustainability as process

An interesting take on sustainability for the every day is Forgo, a new venture from Swedish Design Studio Form Us With Love. The aim of the project is to reconfigure basic personal care products, starting with handwash. As liquid personal care products mostly consists of water, excluding water make a difference when it comes to production and transport. But it also challenges our habits.
”Why ship it around in plastic bags and bottles when it’s possible to do better?” says John Lofgren, Creative Director at Form Us With Love. The pump function is driven by air and air + water is what make the liquid foam. Into a soft formula, easy to apply and with a natural or very discrete scent. Washed off with water it left nothing but comfort. And I was pleased that what goes into the drain makes no harm to nature.

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The outer packaging of Forgo is made from recycled paper and cardboard. When ordering a refill it comes with three sachets, in the scents of your choice. One fragrance is distilled from timber yard scraps (wood actually!) and another from leftover peels and pulp from an organic juicing plant.

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One sachet contains twelve grams of powder which makes a full bottle of foaming hand wash when adding 250 ml water.

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Some handwork before handwash: Add water to the high tech natural soap powder and shake the bottle!

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Forgo handwash by Form Us With Love (2020). Comes as powder in three scents. A reusable glass container with pump function is included with first order. Photo copyright Jonas Lindström Studio/Form Us With Love.

Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Form Us With Love 2020-02-10

Colour me happy!

Stockholm Design Week is up-and-running and during its first day I was delighted to meet with four longtime favourites dressed up in lots and lots and lots of colour! Bolon, ever so fun and stylish! Montana, the very essence of sophisticated Scandi colour schemes. TAF, as orange and conceptual as ever. And Svenskt Tenn, where maximalism rules and you’re welcome to loose yourself in the eclectic world of Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank. It makes me happy to find contemporary interpretations of colour applied with such love and great skill!

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Bolon do not present news this year. Instead they’ve digged into their existing collection and played with it, trying out new ”outfits” and stepping up on an imaginary stage. ”The Art of Performance” (2020) is a magical trip into the curious minds of sisters/third generation owners Annica and Marie Eklund. Inspiration is drawn from fashion, art as well as photography. And the result is an inspiring new take on sustainable flooring. Take a look:

”The Art of Performance” by Bolon (2020). Bolon flooring in new combinations, CO2 neutral production, certified by several environmental standards. Photo and video copyright Bolon.

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At the launch at Montana, CEO Joakim Lassen presented Mini, created in collaboration with his father, the late Peter Lassen. With Mini the fab danes make room not only for personality but for accessability to qualitative design. Montana Mini comes with smaller proportions as the regular modular system, and not as many alternative units and colours. ”Today there’s already so many choices to face in our daily life”, says Joakim Lassen. And explains how Montana deals with new customer habits, like online shopping. ”When you’re buying furniture online it is not suitable with, let’s say, several shades of white to choose between”, says Joakim Lassen. ”To make it easier for our clients we’ve created a system of moduls with fewer parts, fewer colours, fewer choices”. Even so, less is as much Montana as ever and Mini cover most needs for storage in a home.

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Montana Mini, by Peter and Joakim Lassen (2020). Available in 3 versions (open, closed, shelved), in 10 matching colours. The modules snap together with strong magnets securing that the storage i aligned, and maintaining the sleek, clean lines that is the trademark style of Montana. Photo copyright Montana.

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TAF design studio, with founders Gabriella Gustafson and Mattias Ståhlbom, has made a strong interpretation of Svenskt Tenn and the premium segment of handmade furniture from Sweden. The sofa Famna (”Embrace”) is huge and heavy, stands steady on the floor and is a given ”piece of conversation”: Inspired by a generous comfy bed or classic bath-tub, and the feel when you slowly let yourself into the warm and comforting… to relax.

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Famna, sofa by TAF for Svenskt Tenn (2020). Handmade construction and upholstering by O.H Sjögrens Furniture Factory in Tranås, Sweden. Comes in several textiles, from classic Brazil by Josef Frank to a luxurious orange velvet. Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

Architectual moves, Bolon, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Josef Frank, Montana, TAF 2020-02-04

Aalto from archive to future

December is upon us and with only a few hours of daylight good lighting is important. Many Scandi brands use models from their archive alongside creating new design. How nice it is to find my favourite pendant by Alvar Aalto in production again!

 

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Pendant Light A201 by Alvar Aalto for the library of Säynätsalo Town Hall in central Finland (1952). Standard white with brass details. In production by Artek (2019). Photo copyright Artek.

 

Pendant-Light-A201-Säynätsalo-Town-Hall-Library-2962698A201 by Alvar Aalto in situ at the the library of Säynätsalo Town Hall in Finland. Standard white with brass details. In production by Artek (2019). Photo copyright Artek.

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Relaunching classics is a way to use what you’ve got and bring forth timeless quality. Sustainability in thought and action has always been a trademark of Artek. Pendant Light A201 Red by Alvar Aalto (1952) comes in a limited edition during 2020. Photo copyright Artek.

Alvar Aalto, Architectual moves, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, In the Season 2019-12-06

Montana – a Scandi role model

Danish Montana is world famous for their colourful shelving system designed by Peter J Lassen who founded the company in 1982. From start he declared the intention to work with a combination of contemporary design and sustainability. Montana became one of the first Danish businesses to run, as Lassen formulated it, ”a cradle-to-grave analyses of the environmental consequences of every given product”. No other Scandi furniture brand has achivied such high standard considering sustainable production, design level, working environmental and worksplace safety etc. In 2007 the brand developed their own, water-based, surface lacquer in collaboration with the Danish government. Earlier this Fall Montana was awarded, the official EU Ecolabel.

 

In August 2019 Peter J Lassen, shortly before he passed away at the age of 88, recorded this video where he explains how Montana Furniture came into existence and what constitutes the ”design DNA” of the brand. Take a few moments and enjoy! Video copyright Montana.

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In 2019 Montana launched a new palette developed in collaboration with colour expert Margrethe Odgaard. Photo copyright Montana.

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Montana shelving system palette by Margrethe Odgaard for Montana (2019), certified with EU Ecolabel and the Indoor Climate Label. Here a combination in colours Mushroom and White Oak. The objective of the EU Ecolabel is to reduce the overall environmental impact of the production and consumtion of goods. The label looks at the entire product’s life cycle and the environmental problems that might arise along the way – for the benefit of people, the environment and the earth’s resources. Photo copyright Montana.

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Montana uses exclusively PEFC-certified wood in their production, which takes place in Denmark, on the island of Funen.The production is certified according to ISO 14001 (environmental) and OHSAS 18001 (occupational, health and safety). 160 craftsmen work in the hyper tech factory. Photo copyright Montana.

 

Architectual moves, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Montana 2019-11-20

Lazy Summer Vibes!

This time of the year my mailbox is bursting with pics of lazy summer life. This because the outdoor furniture of 2020 will soon be presented, at the international furniture fairs in Stockholm, London, Paris and Milan…Let’s indulge in summer beauties from Danish brand Skagerak – a family-owned company founded in 1976, working with the combination of contemporary Nordic design and sustainability. Skagerak is a certified B Corp business since 2016, which mean they strive to keep the utmost quality in three aspects: design, production and their relation to people and the planet.

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Gerda table and bench, by Included Middle (Chris L Halstrom and Margrethe Odgaard) for Skagerak (2020). The sleak minimalistic structure in environmental friendly aluminium has got very well drawn details, like the perforated top inspired by the work of Danish weaving pioneer Gerda Henning (1891–1951) who designed textiles for brands like Kaare Klint and Börge Mogensen. Photo copyright Skagerak.

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Gerda table and stool, by Included Middle for Skagerak (2020). Aluminium. Photo copyright Skagerak.

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Lily series of furniture for outdoor and indoor use. Designed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) for Skagerak (2020). FCS-certified teak, stainless steel. Photo copyright Skagerak.

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Over time the untreated wood in the Lily series will patinate into a silver-gray colour. During the summer you use the furniture outdoors, then you bring it into your home or office during the winter. I like the double function! Lily is beautifully manufactured and there’s an air of simple summer life about it. Photo copyright Skagerak.

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Lily bench by BIG for Skagerak (2020). The bench will last, at least, a lifetime of use, but the design also allows it to be used as a sidetable. The Edge Pot by Stilleben (Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Nordentoft) is hand-thrown in terracotta and comes in both an indoor and outdoor version. Photo copyright Skagerak.

 

Architectual moves, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly 2019-11-14

Magic Mittens!

Winter… and it is time to start using the traditional Swedish mittens again. My colleague Jenny Berge runs the fab handicraft shop Svensk Hemslöjd in Stockholm. To celebrate their 120 year anniversary this November, Jenny Berge has produced DIY-sets of mittens (”stickkitt” in Swedish) in three slightly updated traditional patterns. If you have thought about giving knitting a try…this is your opportunity to make your very own handsome handwear! The material is the best quality certified wool from New Zealand, produced by Klippan. Don’t miss out!

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Swedish Mittens – DIY knitting set by Jenny Berge for Svensk Hemslöjd (2019). Comes in a set with 100 g natural white wool and 10 g wool in chosen accent colours. Pattern and instruction included (in Swedish). Photo copyright Svensk Hemslöjd.

Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, In the Season 2019-11-12

Mega Crux by Pia Wallén

It is snowing in Old Town and what could be more ”in season” than an iconic Scandi blanket in an updated contemporary colour scheme! Mega Crux is a playful exaggeration in scale and abstraction of the Crux Blanket, designed by Pia Wallén in 1991. As with all design by Pia Wallén there’s an interesting story behind the designprocess, but as for now let’s enjoy the high quality, including sustainable visuality, sustainable production and sustainable materials. The blanket is wowen and mended by gifted craftsmen in Scottland. Scandinavian contemporary design is a magic world of sophisticated colours. It might look simple, but it is a simplicity bringing about a beautiful aesthetic of reduction, which also has become the signum of Pia Wallén. Love it!

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Mega Crux Blanket by Pia Wallén (2019). Certified lambswool and cashmere wool. Size 135 x 210 cm. Comes in colours Sand/Offwhite, Yellow/Beige and Brown/Grey. Photo copyright Pia Wallén.

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Mega Crux Blanket by Pia Wallén (2019). Photo copyright Pia Wallén.

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Mega Crux Blanket by Pia Wallén (2019). Photo copyright Pia Wallén.

Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Pia Wallén 2019-11-11

Traceability

Wool is the loveliest of materials but often comes with a dark back-ground of abuse. Hidden away abuse…of animals, humans and nature. Therefore, make sure to ask for traceability before purchasing a wool product: Where is it made, by whom and from what? Ask for certifications that guarantee that animals, workers and nature have been treated well. And take a minute to consider the concept of quality and how it is implemented in the development, manufacturing and distribution of the product. The Scandi brands have a long history of working with traceability, as it is part of the traditional focus on transparency not only for the final product but also in production itself. Today traceability is a world wide movement.

 

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Criss-Cross blankets by Faye Toogood for Teixidors. This amazing Spanish brand is located in Barcelona. Since their founding in 1983 they’ve worked to achieve social integration, and economic independence of people with learning difficulties. This is carried out through extraordinarily creative work on manual looms. Teixidors collaborate with small, eco-farms for the production of  their wool. Photo copyright Teixidors.

”Tracing 200 kg of Merino Wool”, copyright Teixidors at Vimeo.

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A wool blanket of high quality, made in organic wool by skilled craftsmen for a transparent brand is something to cherish during many years. From the Criss-Cross collection by Faye Toogood for Teixidors. Photo copyright Teixidors.

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, In the Season 2019-10-26

Iris Hantverk: Craftsmanship, Design, Sustainability

I recently produced a booklet for Swedish crafts industry Iris Hantverk. At their brush binding facility in Stockholm visually impaired craftsmen make functional and handsome brushes using traditional techniques. All in Scandinavian design and with sustainable materials.

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Iris Hantverk: Craftsmanship, Design, Sustainability. Booklet by Cia Wedin for Iris Hantverk (2019). Graphics by Sofia Ekvall, illustrations by Mats Johansson and photographs by Anna Kern. Proofreading by Rikard Lagerberg. Printed and bound in Sweden by Göteborgstryckeriet according to ISO 14001 on FSC certified paper Munken Lynx Rough 120 g by Arctic Paper. With cover in PCF paper Kraftpak 259 g by Papyrus. Photo copyright Cia Wedin.

Iris Hantverk also produces everyday products for the contemporary home, like the natural, non-plastic scouring pad. Made from 100% biodegradable organic loofah it will last at least 4–6 months before going into the compost. The pad is nominated to the design award ”Formex Formidable 2019”.
iris-hantverk-scouring-padScouring Pad by Iris Hantverk (2019). Made from 100% biodegradable, organically cultivated loofah. Grown and manufactured in Spain by using natural rain and recycled thermal water. No chemicals are used throughout growing and manufacturing. Photo copyright Iris Hantverk.

Anna Kern, Book Cradle, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iris Hantverk 2019-09-07

Safety can be beautiful!

Finnish brand Jalo Helsinki challenge my views of what a fire extinction product may look like… By collaborating with gifted industrial designers they transform safety products into functional yet interesting interior details.

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Kitchen Fire Extinguisher Oiva, by Oiva Toikka for Jalo Helsinki. Biodegradable extinguishant. The empty container is possible to recycle. Photo copyright Jalo Helsinki.

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Lento 10 smoke alarm, by Paola Suhonen for Jalo Helsinki. This sweet night fly comes in colours Black, Light Green, Rosa, Silver Grey and White. Photo copyright Jalo Helsinki.

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Are you in for Moomin or Tom of Finland!? The fire blankets comes with artwork by Erik Bruun, Harri Koskinen, Oiva Toikka, Erja Hirvi, Tove Jansson and Tom of Finland. Here, The Hero by Tom of Finland for Jalo Helsinki. Size 120×180 cm. Photo copyright Jalo Helsinki.

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Kupu 10 smoke alarm, by Harri Koskinen for Jalo. Comes in five fabric covers in the colours Dark Grey, Light Brown, Turquoise, White and Yellow. Also available in a sassy chrome version. Photo copyright Jalo Helsinki.

Contemporary Scandi, Environmental friendly 2019-06-26

The sustainable rug

This Summer we see lots of Scandi rugs aiming on sustainability. Wool, linen and cotton are still dominating materials but recycled waste turned into yarn is on the rise. Traditional handicraft techniques blend with high-tech knowledge and the result is comtemporary yet classic.

Ogeborg is known for their environmental friendly public space flooring. For 2019 the brand collaborate with gifted designers in ODC – Ogeborg Design Collection, bringing sustainable rugs into the private home. The Twine collection by Alexander Lervik is an example of a sucessful collaboration between a gifted designer and an experienced producer. With inspiration from hair braid techiques Lervik developed a new pattern out of traditional weaving methods and with a close eye to detail. The contemporary pattern in combination with a double knitted classic fringe is a really nice touch!

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Twine Aqua, by Alexander Lervik for Ogeborg (2019). Handwoven, loop pile, in 100% wool with latex/polyester backing. Twine comes in colours Aqua, Nature, Ochre, Petrol Green and Rose. Photo copyright Ogeborg.

 

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Another interesting player on the Scandinavian design field is Designtorget. Their rPET collection is a contemporary interpretation of the Swedish rag rug. Pet yarn looks and feel like wool yarn. It is interesting as it make use of waste plastic, turning PET bottles into new household products. A rug made from rPET can be wiped with a damp cloth and mild detergent but is not to be washed in a washing machine; if so the yarn’ll get slack and the rug looses its shape. No products made from plastic shall ever go into the washing machine: that’s to set micro plastic loose into the sea.

The production by Designtorget follow standards BSCI and SA8000 and the rugs are cerrtified by GRS – the Global Recycled Standard. That’s impressing from a sustainability point of view, but even so, it is not possible to recycle rPET products in Sweden. Hopefully in a close future, as I’d like to be able to recycle the recycled.

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Loop rug by Formgatan for Designtorget (2019). Made in rPet yarn (recycled PET). Photo copyright Designtorget.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes 2019-05-29

Sustainable glass by Iittala

Remember the Raami collection by Jasper Morrison for Iittala? Released earlier this year, this well-drawn, functional and handsome table wear instantly became very popular. Perhaps because the design is nothing but perfect for a young contemporary household. Now Iittala take the step to recycle waste glass from the production of their Aalto vases, bowls and coloured tumblers. What’s interesting is that the waste from the production at Iittala = virgin raw glass material. And hence useful in new high-quality products, like the special edition of Raami tumbler (2019). The special green colour is like a soft rain in the summer. Very pretty!

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Raami tumbler by Jasper Morrison for Iittala (2019). 100% recycled (waste) glass, made in Finland. Available online only. During 2019 Iittala changes their packaging from boxes in bleeched (white) paper with printed photographs, to boxes in recycled craft paper with illustrations.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Iittala 2019-05-27