Archive | Eco Aesthetics

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

Märta Måås–Fjetterström

This coming October a major exhibition on Märta Måås-Fjetterström will open at the Royal Palace in Old Town, Stockholm, Sweden. More than 60 rugs by the famous Swedish textile artist Märta Måås–Fjetterström (1873–1941) will be on display. The vintage rugs are collectors items but you can still order a new rug from MMF, the Märta Måås-Fjetterström Studio, located in Båstad in south Sweden. Since the studio opened in 1919, skilled artisan weavers has made each and every rug into a gem.

”Look at the rugs – find me”  – exhibition at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. 13 October, 2019 –19 April, 2020. Don’t miss out!

 

Detalj av mattan ’Mr G’. Mr G var Gustaf V:s pseudonym då han tävlade i tennis. Kungen var ofta i Båstad och passade då på att besöka Märta Måås-Fjetterströms ateljé. Mattan ’Mr G’ komponerades av Märta Måås-Fjetterström 1935 och var hennes egen hyllning till monarken. Kungens eget exemplar visas i utställningen på Kungliga Slottet 13 oktober 2019 – 19 april 2020. Foto: Emma Fredriksson/Kungligaslotten.se

Mr G rug by Märta Måås–Fjetterström 1935. Photo by Emma Fredriksson/Royalpalaces.se. Photo copyright Kungl. Hovstaterna.

 

Akvarell av Märta Måås-Fjetterström skiss för Svarta Trädgårdsmattan, komponerad 1923, kallas ofta Märta Måås Fjetterströms ”Rolls Royce”. Inspirerad av de mycket gamla och höga ekarna i barndomshemmets trädgård har hon komponerat en praktflossa med orientalisk känsla. Mattan ses i utställningen på Kungliga Slottet 13 oktober 2019 – 19 april 2020. Foto: Anette Nilsson/Kungligaslotten.se

Svarta trädgårdsmattan by Märta Måås-Fjetterström in 1923. Watercolour sketch. The pattern was inspired by ancient oaks in the garden of the vicarage in Vadstena, where Märta Måås-Fjetterström spent her childhood. It is a magnificent flossa rug with an oriental feel to it. The rug as well as the sketch will be part of the exhibition at the Royal Palace. Photo: Anette Nilsson /Royalpalaces.se. Photo copyright Kungl. Hovstatena.

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

Swedish design!

Recently I’v worked for the Swedish Insitute, producing design related content for their site .sweden.se, which is Sweden’s official website. As always when digging my head into the history of Swedish design I feel humble. Before all the amazing designers and producers bringing high quality Scandi style into our lives.

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Contemporary Swedish design: BAUX acoustic pulp by Form Us With Love for BAUX (2019) is a sound absorbing panel made of 100 % bio-based pane, in colouring created by using different amounts of natural wheat in the material. Photo: Jonas Lindström/BAUX.

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Award-winning Swedish design: Diversity woven vinyl flooring from Bolon recently won the NYCxDESIGN award 2019, in the category ”Contract Flooring”. Congrats! Styling by Saša Antić. Photo: Pär Olofsson/Bolon. The stylish Dandy sofa comes from Swedish marvels Massproductions.

Architectual moves, Bolon, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Form Us With Love 2019-05-26

A taste of gardening

The days are getting longer and plants start growing in the garden. While awaiting the outdoor season we turn our caring efforts to the indoor plants. In 2019 several Scandi brands launches watering cans; here’s some stylish yet functional news.

 

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Nurture can and Nurture planter from The Nurture Collection by Ilse Crawford for Skultuna (2019). Polished brass, ceramics. Photo copyright Studio Ilse.

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Grab watering can by Stine Aas for Northern (2019) is designed with two functions in one form: it is useful for hanging plants as well as plants on the window sill. Powder coated stainless steel, comes in colours Dark green, Deep plum and Light yellow.  Photo copyright Northern.

 

 

 

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, In the Season 2019-04-11

Paper magic by Örsjö

The annual furniture fair in Milan is up and running and the Scandi brands are well represented. Among the many Swedish Örsjö stands out with the Virvel collection by Ingegerd Råman. The simplistic design, beautiful handcrafted paper from Lessebo and soft functional light make Virvel an instant classic. Paper shades have not been common in Sweden due to the risk of fire, but with LED there’s new possibilites to use paper for lamps. If in Milan you can visit Örsjö at Euroluce, pavilion 13/F15.

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Virvel lamp with paper shade, by Ingegerd Råman for Örsjö (2019). Photo copyright Erik Lefvander/Örsjö.

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Örsjö is known for their collaborations with skilled Swedish designers. The 2019 collection is no exception. From left to right: Skyline by Folkform, white enamel or polished brass, Vinge by Note Design Studio, enamelled frame with dimmer handle in solid brass or enamelled metal, Streck by Joel Karlsson, adjustable shade made of opal blown glass, switch inside shade, textile cord, Libreria by Folkform, powdercoated steel and opal glass, Kvist by Jonas Bohlin, silver welded contruction, hook designed for wrapping cord, and Libreria floor by Folkform, powdercoated steel and opaque glass. Photo copyright Erik Lefvander/Örsjö.

Architectual moves, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes 2019-04-10

Awaiting Summer!

Every other day during April we Stockholmers experience Spring (Wow! Let’s sit outdoors for a Swedish fika with strong black coffee and sweet cinnamon bun! Faces lifted towards the sun!). Or Winter (What! Bring out the thermo gear and knitted mittens again…there’s blasting icy snow on every turn!). But soon, very soon we’ll be rescued by Summer. Meanwhile I enjoy the sight of Lily of the Kings Meadow and Snowdrop in my small urban garden.

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Lily of the Kings Meadow (Fritillaria meleagris) or ”Kungsängslilja” in Swedish, is the official flower of the Swedish province Uppland, located a short distance north of Stockholm, where it grows wild at the meadows in village Kungsängen (the Kings meadow).

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A miracle every year: Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis). Photo copyright Birgitta Bratthall.

Eco Aesthetics, Scandimood 2019-04-10

Heav(enl)y Metal!

Aluminium is everyone’s choice 2019 and Swedish brands knows how to combine fab design with this sustainable metal. The alu trend started some years ago with the ingenious designs by Signe Persson-Melin for Byarums bruk. The designer (born in 1925) was invited by the company (until then a traditional metal industry) to create contemporary objects for the garden. With her knowledge of form and function Signe Persson-Melin revitalized the whole collection. Gråsippa, Pokal and Palissad soon became role models for sustainable form + sustainable production. Byarums bruk use recycled Swedish aluminium. Their planters can be used all year round, as aluminium is resistent to both heat and cold.

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Gråsippa planter by Signe Persson-Melin for Byarums bruk. Recycled raw cast aluminium. Photo copyright Byarums bruk.

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Pokal planter by Signe Persson-Melin for Byarums bruk. Recycled raw cast aluminium. Photo copyright Byarums bruk.

 

Another stylish product in cast aluminium is the Museum display shelf, by TAF for the new interior of Nationalmuseum – the Swedish National Gallery. In production by String Furniture.

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Museum display shelf by TAF for String Furniture (2018). Photo copyright String Furniture.

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Even though the brand works in virgin aluminium, recycled might be an opition in the future, says Victoria Friis from String Furniture. Meanwhile String Furniture collaborate with a chinese manufacturer who’s following the Swedish certification standard ”Möbelfakta” which ensures sustainable quality for metal products, environmental sustainability and social responsibility. The products by String Furniture comes in an paper package made in Sweden, following FTI guidelines and standards FSC, ISO22000, ISO9001 and ISO14001.

String Furniture also produce the classic work by Kajsa and Nisse Strinning. Namely the ”string shelf”, a piece of iconic furniture well-known and loved by Swedes since the 50s. Very few designers have made such an impact on Swedish interior decoration as the Strinning couple. Recently String Furniture launched several developments, in collaboration with some of Sweden’s best industrial designers and stylists.

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String Furniture Beige is an update of the String indoor shelving system, with a new beige coating chosen by interior stylist Lotta Agaton (2019).

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String Outdoor, by Kajsa and Nisse Strinning (panels) and Anna von Schewen/Björn Dahlström (shelves) for String (2019). Aluzinc, steel coated with rust resistant aluminium-zinc (shelves) and hot-dip galvanized metal string (panels). Made in Sweden. Photo copyright String Furniture.

Architectual moves, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Signe Persson Melin, TAF 2019-04-03

Walking the stairs of Scarpa. Revisited.

Whenever I start climbing or descending a staircase designed by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa I automatically slow down… I want to linger in the moment. To touch the materials. To meditate over the perfection of form. How often do you walk up the stairs and immediately feel a need to try it again? You can actually experience the essence of movement when climbing Scarpa stairs!
Sometimes architecture make the everyday magic.

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Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice (1945).

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Exhibition pavillion of Venezuela at the Biennale in Venice, 1954–56.

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Olivetti showroom, Venice (1957–58).

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Castelvecchio Museum, Verona (1956–64).

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Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (1961–63).

 

Architectual moves, Compassionates, Eco Aesthetics 2019-03-08

Perfectly pink

In the beginning of March there’s the special moment when the pink lady arrives. Alma, a massproduced but oh so sassy tulip grown in Stockholm by sustainable producer Alverbäcks. Now is the time for colours, bright pink and stunning yellow, soon to be followed by softer shades, and abruptly ending with the orange Princess Iréne. During this intense period Swede’s buy app. 1 million tulips/day. One MILLION. The statistics of what we buy, why, where and how is amazing reading. And I am glad to learn that more than 90% of the friendly flowers are grown in Sweden, by sustainable producers. Alverbäcks Alma make my day!

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Alma early spring tulip from Alverbäcks. CO2 compensated and certified with Svenskt Sigill. Photo copyright Alverbäcks.

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Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Scandimood 2019-03-07

The Craft Industry

Let’s take a look at three Swedish brands, operating in the field of craft, design and sustainability. During the Stockholm Design Week in February 2019 the owners of Iris Hantverk, Larsson korgmakare and Växbo Lin met at Svensk Hemslöjd and discussed their visions for a sustainable future and obstacles they might have to handle.

Sara Edhäll from Iris Hantverk spoke of their longtime work with visually impaired craftsmen and the importance of introducing contemporary design to the traditional concept of brush binding. Some of the models has been in the loop since 1870 when the company started. But a traditional model may come out of fashion due to lifestyle changes. By collaborating with industrial designers it’s been possible to develop attractive contemporary products within the limits of traditional brush binding. As the brushes and objects are handmade and of high quality natural materials, the production is expensive. ”Our brushes are popular”, Sara Edhäll says, ”but it is difficult to communicate to the customer why the price is higher. The well known traditional dishbrush is an example, it costs ten times more than a massproduced plastic dishbrush but it’ll last several years and you can recycle it, or put it in the compost”. Iris Hantverk also face difficulties finding craftsmen; today 6 craftsmen from different countries work together in the Stockholm factory. When a large order is placed Iris Hantverk collaborate with a similar craft industry in Estonia. Iris Hantverk has got two shops in Stockholm where they sell their own collection of brushes and everyday items as well as selected things for sustainable living.

iris-hantverk-skaggkamStylish product for the contemporary man: Beard comb by Lovisa Wattman. Linseed oiled walnut and stainless Swedish steel (with sandblasted surface). Also suitable for combing mustache. Size 7 x 7 x 1 cm. Photo copyright Iris Hantverk.

Hanna Bruce from Växbo Lin told about the importance of design skills in the making of linen products for contemporary living. ”The young generation is interested in a beautiful table cloth or towel but not one you have to mangle. So we asked textile designer Ingela Berntsson to develop a series of table cloths and towels you can machine wash and just let dry and they’ll still look fab”. A linen towel is for life, it is almost impossible to wear out, absorbs water much better than cotton and is possible to recycle or compost. Växbo Lin recently decided to ditch bleech for all their warps. As a result the whole collection had to be updated. Jacob Bruce added that while Växbo Lin work with a contemporary design they continue to produce the traditional linen products to keep the heritage of patterns alive. ”But today our main concern is to develop sustainable products for the young generation of customers looking for a contemporary function and feel.” During several years there’s been a lack of qualitative, organic flax for sale on the market and Jacob and Hanna Bruce put in a lot of time searching for it. ”We have the mill, we have the knowledge of sustainable linen production and we’ve got functional designs. But we’re dependent on buying our material from abroad. We’d love to see a production of flax in Sweden!”.

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Bubbel towel by Ingela Berntsson for Växbo Lin. 100 % linen made in Sweden. Photo copyright Växbo Lin.

Erica Larsson from Larsson korgmakare is the only maker of rattan furniture in Sweden. Well known as the maker of Josef Frank’s models for Svensk Tenn and the designs by Matti Klenell and Carina Seth Andersson for the restored National Museum. Larsson korgmakare also make their own collection of chairs, stools and tables in designs from 1930s to 1960s. An important part of todays business is the restoring of old furniture, from antique cane and rattan pieces to classic Scandi furniture. ”There’s a lot of beautiful handmade furniture put away in attics and secondhand shops because they’re slightly broken or a bit old fashioned. But with a growing awareness of climate change and how secondhand might be a sustainable option, people, especially the younger generation, bring them to us to be renovated”, says Erica Larsson.”It is often easy to make a chair useful again, with a new weaved seating or change of week parts. An old piece of furniture often have a patina and charm you don’t get with the new”. For this small craft industry the lack of material is an never ending challenge: ”We always look for certified rattan, grown with the rubber plant in controlled farming. This to help prevent deforesting in the countries where it grows”.

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Badhusstolen 230 by John Larsson for Larsson korgmakare (1940). Blanket by Pia Wallén. From an editorial piece by Cia Wedin. Photo copyright Johan Sellén.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iris Hantverk, Larsson korgmakare 2019-03-06

Falling

…through days and nights as the Stockholm Design Week has been up and running. Good thing is the Scandi design world definitely aim on sustainability. Not as a trend, but as a real concern about climate change. Several brands did slow down and did not exhibit, others did but added ideas and discussions on sustainability to the concept. Some chose to work with developments in existing collections instead of presenting news.

The work to create sustainability in the design world has barely started and it’s gonna take some time before we touch firm ground. Where we’ll end up is hard to tell but one thing is clear: the industry must reconsider its position as ”designer of the future”, and speed up the way to produce, sell, use and recycle design in a sustainable way. Talking is good but action is needed.

Here’s some highlights from the Stockholm Design Week and Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2019:

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w102 chipperfield (the extended family) by David Chipperfield for Wästberg (2019). Solid brass, dimmable, energy class A+. Photo copyright Wästberg.

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w102 chipperfield (the extended family) for Wästberg (2019), sketch by designer/architect David Chipperfield. Photo copyright David Chipperfield.

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Bespoke and locally produced by gifted craftsmen: here a modern kitchen (2019) in a historical building. Cabinets in dark stained oak, top in Kinnekulle limestone and an asymmetric shelf. Photo copyright Nordiska kök.

 

fileSuspence pendant by GamFratesi for Fritz Hansen .The new colour Pale Pearl lends a soft egg-shell quality to the minimalistic classic. Photo copyright Fritz Hansen.

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Iittala. Jasper Morrison. Raami. A fine exhibition about finding joy in the simplistic but qualitative every day. Photo copyright Iittala.

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Baux Pulp Acoustic Panel by Form Us With Love for Baux (2019). The patterns are inspired by origami and the 100% bio based product comes in colouring created by using different amounts of natural wheat in the material. The panel is the first in the world to uncompromisingly combine high-performance properties of sound absorption, safety, and durability with modern aesthetics and sustainability. Cradle-to-cradle at its best! Photo copyright Baux.

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Asplund curated a small, intimate exhibition in their shop at Sibyllegatan in Stockholm and told the story of their cabinet Snow, designed by Jonas Bohlin and Thomas Sandell in 1994. The cabinet celebrates 25 years and the producer has made several important developments to turn it into a Scandi sustainability icon. For the anniversary Snow comes in the colour pale pink. Photo copyright Asplund.

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Avavick stool by Katja Pettersson for the recently restored Nationalmuseum in  Stockholm. Produced by Swedese. Avavick has its name from a dialect from Storuman in the north of Sweden, and it means ”top heavy”. The expression with a weighty seat and delicate legs is fab! Photo copyright Nationalmuseum.

Architectual moves, Asplund, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Form Us With Love, Iittala, Louise Campbell, Wästberg 2019-02-14