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

Closing in on the Design Week!

In a few days the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018 will be up and running. My mailbox is filling up with interesting previews of ideas and possibilities to experience and learn more about design! Here’s some brand and designer news to keep an eye on during the Design Week:

Designtorget in collaboration with students from Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. Morfar wheat warmer by Isabel Wagner and Olivia Tognelli Brontén is a real teaser with its ”grandpa + cat + relaxing + eco feel good” interpretation!

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Wästberg + Dawid”Farewell to the Cave” jubilee celebration (Wästberg ten years), art exhibition by fab photographer Dawid and launch of a new book by Magnus Wästberg. Product launch? None!

Articles = Cube by Carina Seth Andersson and Socialclub by Anna von Schewen. Two exceptionally gifted designers. Two products. A launch and an exhibition.

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Iittala Design Talk – Colours for Living where Jeremiah Tesolin (Creative Director, Iittala), Matti Klenell (Interior designer), Lotta Agaton (Interior designer) and Katri Saarikivi (Researcher of cognitive near science, topic colour and emotion, Helsinki University) take on a discussion on the ”power of colours and how they inspire better living within our home”.

Jessica Signell Knutsson; elegant but bold minimalism by the Swedish furniture designer from her designstudio in Barcelona. Exhibited by Astrid.

Bolon. In situ at several exhibition spaces at the Fair we’ll experience the magic of Bolon flooring; in ”Thammada” – an installation by Paola Navone, Guest of Honor at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018; in the exhibition and café by Nick Ross for the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair Greenhouse area; in ”Panorama” – an exhibition on democratic architecture.

Gärsnäs. New work by David Ericsson, Färg & Blanche and others, displayed in a space designed by TAF architects.

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Architectual moves, Bolon, Book Cradle, Carina Seth Andersson, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iittala, TAF, Wästberg 2018-01-29

A small urbanista!

Some small party of very cute individuals, actually the Blue Tits of Old Town, are regular visitors to the feeding table outside our studio window. They’re especially active when a change of weather is under way. In the Nordic countries we’re are now facing deep winter. It is cold, dark and every other day it snows. Feeding the small birds during this harsh period is a popular activity among Swedes. This weekend we’ll participate in the event ”Vinterfåglar in på knuten”, a yearly counting of small birds initiated in 2006 by Sveriges Ornitologiska Förening and now called BirdLife Sweden.

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During the counting of small birds 2017 app. 500 Blue Tit individuals were spotted in Stockholm City. Making the Blue Tit the most common small bird in Stockholm City. In second place came The Great Tit with 209 individuals. Photo copyright BirdLife Sweden.

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Animal Rights, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Scandimood 2018-01-26

Eva Lange

We´re  heading towards the upcoming ”design race” in Stockholm, where we’ll be swirling through days and nights at the Stockholm Design Week and Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018. As a preparation I spend some time with the beautiful, inspiring work by Swedish sculptor Eva Lange (born 1935). A few years ago I met with the artist in her studio in Stockholm. It resulted in an editorial portrait where Eva Lange speak about her craft and life, and also let us get a glimpse of her beautiful studio. As several readers have asked for the whole editorial I enclose it below.

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If you´ve got an Eva Lange sculpture nearby; go and spend some time with it! To the left: Del av blomma by Eva Lange, plaster, photo copyright Viktoria Spasova Ahlenius/Bukowskis.  To the right, sculpture by Eva Lange, plaster, photo copyright Bukowskis.

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”Sculpture – Eric Grate and Eva Lange”, exhibition at Bukowskis, January 23 – 31, 2018. The bronze to the right is a piece by Eric Grate (1896–1983), a famous Swedish artist who started his career as part of the surrealist movement in Paris and, over the years, developed his very own expression, mainly in bronze. Photo copyright Bukowskis.

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”Mellan handen och ögat” , editorial piece by Cia Wedin for Residence SE. Photo copyright Patric Johansson. Layout copyright Residence. Feature copyright Cia Wedin.

Compassionates, Fab Swedes, Friends 2018-01-22

Where design and art meet

Recently we’ve seen a strong trend to showcase design in ”art spaces”, and vice versa. If done well design and art may learn from each other and also contribute to a discussion on what, why and how to put design on display.

In September 2017 a small exhibition opened at ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design, located in Stockholm: ”The HI-group. Craftsmanship in the plastic age” was commissioned by ArkDes, curated by Johan Örn and designed by TAF into the best design exhibition in Sweden in 2017. Absolutely fab! If you missed it, you may still enjoy the book/exhibition catalogue written by Johan Örn (curator of the collections at ArkDes) with graphic design by Johannes Molin. It is a splendid examination of the role of crafts in Scandinavian post-war furniture and interior design.

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The HI-group was a Swedish collective of craftsmen and designers working across different fields and in different materials. The HI-group are now considered masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960. Photo copyright Kristofer Johnsson & TAF.

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A congenial selection of 30 objects, from furniture to photography, that had never been seen together before told a story of the renaissance of craft in an era more associated with modern, standardized materials. From exhibition ”The HI-group” at ArkDes, September – November 2017. Photo copyright Kristofer Johansson & TAF.

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The logotype for the HI-group by Melin & Österlin for the exhibition in 1966 (red colour). Previously exhibition logotype colours: Blue (1963) and brown (1964–1965). We recognize the colours as typical for the time, yet they have a distinctive contemporary feel. Photo copyright ArkDes.

 

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Book ”The HI-group and the Return to Craft – Swedish Furniture and Interiors 1960–1966”, by Johan Örn for ArkDes/Carlssons (2017). Graphic design by Johannes Molin.

 

From Sweden and the 60s archive to Japan where Marimekko plunge into a search for the spirit of print making.

”The Marimekko Spirit – Paavo Halonen / Maija Louekari / Aino-Maija Metsola” exhibition opened at the Ginza Graphic Gallery in November, and focuses on Marimekko’s younger-generation designers and the contemporary art of print making. It’ll be open until 13 January, 2018.

The second exhibition, ”Marimekko Spirit – Elämäntapa (暮らしぶり)”, opened at the Gallery A4 in December and will explore the dialogue between the Finnish and the Japanese lifestyles in the context of Marimekko’s design heritage. It’ll close at February 28, 2018.

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For the exhibition ”Marimekko Spirit” at Ginza Graphic Gallery Marimekko-designers Paavo Halonen, Maija Louekari and Aino-Maija Metsola were invited to create one completely new, Japanese-inspired print design each, based on their own impressions of a country none of them had ever visited before. Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

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Diverse and stunning prints by the young Marimekko designers exhibited at Ginza Graphic Gallery (2017/2018). Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

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A glimpse of the design process: Marimekko designers exhibited at Ginza Graphic Gallery (2017/2018). Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

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…and at Gallery A4 in Tokyo you can experience the colourful world of Marimekko in a set including both sauna and a feel of the Finnish forests…

 

In Gustavsbergs Konsthall, 30 minutes east of Stockholm, fab Katja Pettersson (ex Front design group) examines ”Climate Anxiety. Guilt” in the exhibition ”Welcome Back”. Open until 28 January, 2018. As usual Katja Pettersson make a strong statement working with breathtaking ideas formulated within a sphere of likewise strong feeling(s), presented in a smart, smooth and visually design-orientated context. Don’t miss out!

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Welcome Back poster by Stefan Engblom (2017). Due to the massive interest for the exhibition it has been prolonged until 28 January, 2018.

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Overview ”Welcome Back”, exhibition by Katja Pettersson at Gustavsbergs Konsthall. Photo copyright Erik Undéhn.

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”Earth: 100 square meters, cut unburned clay. Human footprint, our weight dries the earth.” Detail from ”Welcome Back”, exhibition by Katja Pettersson at Gustavsbergs Konsthall (2017/2018). Photo copyright Erik Undéhn.

 

Gustavsbergs Konsthall

Gustavsbergs Konsthall is Sweden’s only public gallery specializing in contemporary craft art and a leading venue for Swedish and international crafts. The gallery aims to increase public understanding of contemporary craft art and to promote discussion. The exhibition schedule features crafts in all types of materials, displaying current work by internationally recognized craft artists as well as the avant-garde of the younger generation. The gallery opened in 2007. During summertime you can visit by boat from Stockholm City.

Architectual moves, Book Cradle, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes 2017-12-31

What does the fox say?

In the end of 2017 good news came from the north of Sweden. The Arctic Fox project reported 31 litters of Arctic Fox were born during the summer. Compare that to the 6 litters of 2016! The small Fjällräv (Arctic Fox), is ”endangered” which means it is in acute threat of extinction. The total population is only app. 200 individuals. The Arctic Fox was given protected status in Sweden 1928, and Norway 1930, but until then it was hunted large-scale. Since the 1990s efforts have been made to protect the fox and its habitat.

If you’re curious to listen to the fox, you’ll find a charming audioinsta @fjallravsprojektet

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The white colour morph changes from a brown/grey/white summer coat to a completely white winter coat – an adaptation for staying camouflaged both in summer and winter habitats. One research area of The Arctic Fox project examine how camouflage is affected by shorter snow seasons under climate change. Photo copyright Michael Eldborn.

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A 11-month old Swedish female arctic fox in winter coat. Photo copyright Tomas Meijer/The Arctic Fox Project.

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In the Arctic Fox project Sweden and Norway collaborates, with the aim to help this fine little animal survive.

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Scandimood 2017-12-31

Compassion

…is something to aim for. At least in my book! For the receiving part it may mean hope, freedom, love and a better life. Or life itself! Take some minutes and browse through the list to the right; find out how non-profit organizations world wide make a difference. For children, animals and nature; those who cannot defend themselves against cruelty. 2017 was a year of investigations into crime so awful and unthinkable it is almost impossible to watch the pics and stories. Here’s some disturbing pics from the abusing of animals. Of MEN abusing defenseless animals trapped in the industry of food, entertainment, design, fashion etc.

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Animal Rights, Environmental friendly 2017-12-24

The small size Scandi gift 2017

Looking for a Contemporary Scandi design gift size small? Here’s some of my favourites:

 

 

Reflector by Svenskt Tenn

Reflector by Erika Pekkari for Svenskt Tenn, brass, 24,5 cm. A fine little object to bring as a gift to someone who love flowers and perhaps has grown an amaryllis for Christmas. Put the reflector in the flowerpot and it’ll reflect light into the room. Or, use it as a bookmark! Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

 

Coaster by Pia Wallén

Coaster in felted eco wool by Pia Wallén. When you arrive at a friends house with a bottle of glögg (Swedish for mulled wine) why not add some coasters – for designs sake! Photo copyright Pia Wallén.

 

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Nail brush Lovisa is handmade by visually impaired craftsmen at Iris Hantverk brush binding manufacturing in Stockholm. Oil treated oak and tampico fibre, 10 x 4 x 3 cm. Perfect in the bathroom, kitchen or in the garden! Photo copyright Iris Hantverk.

 

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…and the new vegan chocolate truffle, handmade by Åre Chokladfabrik in Jämtland county, in the north of Sweden. Photo copyright Åre Chokladfabrik.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Iris Hantverk, Pia Wallén 2017-12-21

From wood to textile

Do you know what small fashion brand Allvar has in common with gigantic furniture maker IKEA and iconic textile producer Marimekko? They´re all investing in the developing of new kinds of cellulose based textiles. With an aim to find a sustainable alternative to cotton etc.

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Allvar Hipster by Stefan Söderberg (founder of fashion brand Hope) for Allvar (2017), made from pine and spruce trees from FSC certified forests in the Ångermanland province in Sweden. Timber from these forests are sent to the biorefinery Domsjö Fabriker by the forest company Holmen. Most of the trees selected are those too weak to be used as construction timber. In the biorefinery, the wood is separated into its different parts: ethanol, resin, lignin and cellulose. Allvar underwear are made from the cellulose. Photo copyright Allvar.

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Allvar is the first brand of textile products with a certain origin in the Swedish forests. The minimalistic style of both product and packaging lends Allvar a chance to be recognized at the international fashion scene. Photo copyright Allvar.

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Allu dress by Marimekko (2014) was the first Marimekko product to be made of Ioncell fabric. Photo copyright Marimekko.

Since some years Marimekko has been part of a research project led by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki developing the Ioncell-F method, by which birch cellulose can be used to manufacture a biodegradable textile fibre. Marimekko now takes the step to make a market entry of wood-based textiles made of pulp-based fibre spun with Spinnova technology. Finnish fibre technology company Spinnova is currently the only company in the world able to convert pulp directly into textile fibre without chemical solvents.

Swedish forest

Ikea in partnership with H&M and the Swedish green-tech company Tree to Textile has embarked on a project to develop techniques for the making of cellulose based textiles. When and how is yet to be presented.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes 2017-12-05

08.22 traditions

December 3rd in Stockholm Old Town and at sunrise 08.22 we lit a candle and have some tea and gingerbread while enjoying the scent of hyacinths. Six hours later the sun sets but by then you´ll see paperstar lighting in every other window, and outdoors garden torches are burning.
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The essence of a stylish Stockholm winter afternoon: Bamboo Chair by Viggo Boesen (1936), table Utö by Axel Einar Hjorth (1930s) and candle stick Holocene no 3, by Jasper Morrison for Wästberg (2017). Photo copyright Wästberg.

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Hyacinths are everywhere! Glass by Ulla Forsell. From a piece by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration. Photo copyright Titti Erksell-Barker.

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Paper star Stella from Watt & Veke, handmade in environmental friendly produced paper. Size 80 cm. Photo copyright Watt & Veke.

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…and garden torch Marfa light, by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Smaller Objects. Galvanized, powder coated steel, 12x12x65 cm. Photo copyright Smaller Objects.

Claesson Koivisto Rune, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Scandimood, Wästberg 2017-12-03

Fur Free Friday 2017

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CFD – Cruelty Free Design; never buy design made of or including fur, leather, hides, angora, mohair, feather, non certified wool or any part of an animal. Animals, humans and nature suffer in the industry and animal derived materials have a negative impact on the climate.

 

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”Production” of angora wool and hides. Photo copyright PETA2.

 

”Fur farming” in 2017. Photo copyright ADI (Animal Defenders International).

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Scandimood 2017-11-24

Into the woods

Well, some day’s you’re lucky. Two favourites in one frame: horse and tree. With this glimpse from England and fab Hampson Woods Jonty and his team take their business a step forward introducing ”HW Monthly Drops”. Each month HW will release a unique product made from a unique piece of timber, shaped into a new purpose. If you love wooden utilities in your kitchen…don’t miss out!

Small scale woodland management at Hampson Woods, located in the Lake District of Britain. These clips show horses George and Charly in action together with humans George and Tom from HW. Enjoy!

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Craftsman Kolli at work for team HW (2017). Photo copyright Hampson Woods.

Spatulas by HW

Porridge spoon (also perfect as spatula) by Hampson Woods (2017), handmade from london plane. To be finished with organic HW Wood Balm. Photo copyright Hampson Woods.

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, In the Season, No Plastic 2017-11-05