Dreamy garden

Ulf Nordfjell is a Swedish landscape architect and gardener perhaps best known for winning the gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show three times! That’s an achivement, but Nordfjell is not only a wizzard with flowers, he also make beautiful, stylish, sensible (did I just write sensible!?) objects for the garden. But yes, a pergola or planting pot by Nordfjell is like a rock. There to stay and to integrate with the plants. They make sense. Nordfjell Collection is produced by Nola, Sweden’s leading developer of sustainable design for outdoor environments/public spaces.

Viola planter photo Per Ranung

Viola Planter by Ulf Nordfjell for Nordfjell Collection/Nola. Photo copyright Per Ranung.

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Pergola Arch Steel by Ulf Nordfjell for Nordfjell Collection/Nola. Photo copyright Per Ranung.

 

Architectual moves, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes 2018-07-31

Summer Wibes

The summer of 2018 has been warm and dry. In the north of Sweden wild fires are devastating several huge forests as well as smaller areas. No one goes unaffected by the loss of trees, wildlife and beauty. In the south unhappy farmers see their crop turn into dust and there’s no grass to eat for the cattle. Suddenly we realize that +32 degrees C for three months might be the new normal; climate change is here to take its toll. A positive sign though is that the production and consumtion of design and furniture is rapidly changing in a sustainable and conscious way. The Scandi brands send their holiday greetings but speak about the importance to take care of nature and only make design that can last a lifetime. At the very least.

In Finland and the village of Fiskars, wood design studio and furniture maker Nikari reminds us of their great ”12 designs for Nature” series by world leading designers like Jasper Morrison, Wataru Kumano, Alfredo Häberli, Louise Cambell and Thomas Sandell. Part of the profit from the sale goes to the protection of the global forest biodiversity. There’s, alongside the environmental friendly production, a visual sustainability in this series that appeal to me.

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April tables by Alfredo Häberli and December chair by Jasper Morrison & Wataru Kumano, for Nikari. Photo copyright Nikari.

Nikari also have a line of small products made from their excess wood. Like the fab cutting boards by Mattila & Merz and the simple but functional wooden spatulas by Minja Kolehmainen.

photo Kaapo Kamu

Cutting boards made of workshop left overs in different wood…. The size of each board is determined by the piece of wood that was used. Nice! Photo copyright Kapo Kaamu.

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Wood spatula by Minja Kolehmainen for Nikari. Photo copyright Nikari.

Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, No Plastic 2018-07-30

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

Embraced by Nendo

Nendo and designer Oki Sato have created a new wooden chair for Danish brand Republic of Fritz Hansen. Being the first wooden chair from Fritz Hansen since Arne Jacobsen’s Grand Prix (1957) expectations been high on Nendo. But as ever, Oki Sati show how to combine curiosity of form with a pragmatic approach to comfort. ”The brief was to design a new wooden dining chair that would be comfortable and at the same time meet their aesthetic requirements”, says Oki Sato. Who took it as a challenge to finalise a chair which is contemporary, yet maintains the traditional and historical feel of the brand. No1 has a strong, even bold, form but…form follows function, and in this case the function of feel good : ”Both sides of the seat have a gradual incline, helping realise a comfortable seating experience, as if one’s body is being embraced. In my opinion, this part of the design has this in common with the identity of the flagship chairs of Fritz Hansen, the SwanTM and the EggTM.”
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No1™ armchair by Nendo for Republic of Fritz Hansen™ (2018). Solid oak/oak veneer. Lamp Caravaggio P2 by Cecilie Manz. Photo copyright Republic of Fritz Hansen™.

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In another setting: chair No1™ by Nendo for Republic of Fritz Hansen™ (2018) is developed to function in private as well as public spaces. Here with the interesting Essay table by Cecilie Manz (2009) and Suspense pendant by Gamfratesi for Lightyears (2013). Photo copyright Republic of Fritz Hansen™.

Contemporary Scandi, Fritz Hansen 2018-04-30

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.

Fåra by Ilse Crawford for Kasthall

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.

 

aalto screen 100 original by Jacksons

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

Northern blue

The cool, crispy blue of the north never goes out of style. Swedish designer Carina Seth Andersson worked with Finnish brand Marimekko in 2016, creating patterns for fabric as well as products. The patterns were originally handpainted with ink on paper, then developed by the producer into a print on textile or other products. The design process is often long, but the production process even longer. Its about taking a vision and give it a functional and appropriate application. Thus creating qualitative design products. Now available as products are Siluetti and Orkanen.

 

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Siluetti by Carina Seth Andersson for Marimekko (2018). Heavy weight cotton, printed in Helsinki. Comes as fabric, pillow case and duvet cover in colours beige/blue. Photo copyright @carinasethandersson

Orkanen Hamam Carina Seth Andersson

Orkanen (The Storm) by Carina Seth Andersson for Marimekko (2018) as cotton hamam towel in the colours ecru/blue. The same pattern is also available as kitchen towel (without fringes), cosmetic bag, pouch, fabric, cushion cover and napkins in different qualities and colours beige/blue, beige/black, red/blue, light beige/black. Photo copyright @carinasethandersson

Carina Seth Andersson, Contemporary Scandi, Fab Swedes, Marimekko 2018-04-12

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

When elephants stir part three

Elephants do not belong in the entertainment business. Wildlife SOS in India, is an organization saving and taking care of elephants. Giving them a chance to experience some freedom, after many many years of abuse.

For the benefit of all animals still captured in the entertainment business: say no to the abuse and exploit of animals for entertainment, in factory farming and production of food, clothes, design items and meds…

”The many sounds of elephants”, video copyright Wildlife SOS – saving India’s elephants (2018).

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Scandimood, Videos 2018-03-06