Archive | Fab Swedes

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

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

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

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

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

Solidarity now!

In our small urban garden the lilacs are blooming, in Old Town the rain is pouring and we´re going to VOTE and bring 20 Swedish representatives to the EU parliament. Today we’ve the chance to say yes to solidarity with humans, animals and nature. Let’s focus on democracy and kindness, and challenge the right wing extreme movement popping up its populistic head all around Europe.
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Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Fab Swedes, Scandimood 2019-05-26

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

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

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”.

Larsson korgmakare Photo Johan Sellén Styling Cia Wedin

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