Archive | Eco Aesthetics

Swing time!

It’s always swing time but the best swing experience comes outdoors, trying to reach the sky! Lillagunga is a Helsinki based design company known for its reinvention of the classic wooden swing, giving this classic toy a contemporary feel. ”Lilla gunga” is Swedish for ”little swing”.

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Flying through the air! Lillagunga Classic swing, oil treated oak/natural rope. Photo copyright Lillagunga.

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In the Nordic countries it is not unusual to come upon a swing in the children’s room. Lillagunga Classic swing can be used indoors or outdoors. Photo copyright Lillagunga.

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Lillagunga Classic swing, oil treated natural oak/pink rope. Photo copyright insta@designtorget

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, In the Season 2018-05-08

And the winners are…

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.

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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.

Claesson Koivisto Rune for Asplund

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.

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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!

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Story telling from John Sterner – Swedish knitology. Photo copyright John Sterner.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Architectual moves, Asplund, Book Cradle, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Kasthall, Kvadrat 2018-04-23

Worth waiting for…

The furniture fair in Milan, Salone del Mobile 2018, is soon over and there’s been lots of interesting new design on display! It’s been especially nice to see small Scandi brands taking a step towards international. From Sweden I acknowledge great furniture from Asplund, rugs by Ilse Crawford for Kasthall, fab knitted eco sweaters from John Sterner, stylish hand woven steel wire baskets from Korbo and playful flowerpots for public spaces from Nola… And many more! It was worth waiting for!

 

Botanisk tulpan

In Italy Spring is almost over but in Stockholm Old Town it has just begun. Some favourites are already in bloom. Botanic tulip…how we’ve been awaiting your beauty!

Asplund, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Kasthall, Korbo, Scandimood 2018-04-19

Nikari at Salone del Mobile 2018

The most important furniture fair 2018, Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy runs between 17th and 22nd of April. The Scandi brands are lining up with fab news and lots of fun! From Finnish Nikari I especially fancy Skandinavia Separat, a room divider by Danish designer Cecilie Manz. In times of compact living a room divider make sense; remember the Swedish Kolonn by young designers Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh and the classic aalto screen….From Nikari one may always expect perfectly handcrafted products in wood. This time in Northern pine or European Ash. The only thing I don’t like is the use of leather for the joints. Leather, naturally tanned or not, are not a material for the future! But the idea of a flexible joint is great. I’d love to see a version with textile or hi-tech material joints.

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Skandinavia Separat room divider by Cecilie Manz for Nikari (2018). Pine wood and leather, hight 130 cm, full length 180 cm. Photo by Studio Chikako Harada/Photo copyright Nikari.

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Kolonn room divider by Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh for Beckmans (2018). Photo copyright Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh. Exhibited in Milan as part of the Swedish Design Moves: ”Hemma – Stories of Home” curated by Joyn Studio and located at Via Eugenio Balzan 4, in Brera. Photo copyright Klara W Hedengren and Lisa Lindh. Read more about Kolonn at post  2018-03-02 below.

 

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The iconic Screen 100 by Alvar Aalto for Artek (1936) is made of massive pinewood stripes. Flexible jointed panels connected with metal wire. This original painted screen was produced in the early 40s by Artek and available some years ago at Jacksons. Photo copyright Jacksons.

 

Alvar Aalto, Architectual moves, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes, Jacksons 2018-04-16

Marble fantastic!

Marble is an amazing material, not only beautiful but also highly functional. Several Scandi brands use the precious stone for furniture, kitchen, bathroom, small objects etc. Republic of Fritz Hansen™ recently relaunched two classic tables by Poul Kjaerholm with marble tops in a sophisticated beige or tone-in-tone anthracite black. It looks fab! And adds a new dimension to the concept of visual sustainability!

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PK61™ coffee table by Poul Kjaerholm (1929–1980) for Republic of Fritz Hansen™ (1956). Top in beige limestone (2018) originating from the south of Italy. Photo copyright Republic of Fritz Hansen™.

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PK54™ dining table by Poul Kjaerholm (1929–1980) for Republic of Fritz Hansen™ (1963). Top in anthracite Petra marble (2018) originating from ancient Persia. Photo copyright Republic of Fritz Hansen™.

Architectual moves, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fritz Hansen 2018-04-03

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

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

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!

 

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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.

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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:

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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.

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.

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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

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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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