Special exhibition highlights Norway’s ”most important current voices of design” in Milan
The annual Matter by Norwegian Presence focuses on sustainability, circular economy, and the country’s natural resources.
8 Jun 2022

Since its inception in 2015, Norwegian Presence has brought Norwegian designers and established manufacturers together during Milan Design Week. Hosted by Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA) — a government-funded foundation aiming to increase the export of Norwegian manufacturing and design — the exhibition is now internationally recognized.

— I’d say that it’s characterized by high quality, exciting design, forward-thinking manufacturers, and interesting collaborations, wrapped in an aesthetically pleasing form. And not least: The project has a strong focus on sustainability and circular economy, Norwegian natural resources and — the internationally sought-after — Norwegian values. In this year’s exhibition, we present ten designers and their prototypes, and eight manufacturers, says exhibition director Cecilie Molvær Jørgensen.

According to curators and exhibition designers Jannicke Kråkvik and Alessandro D’Orazio, the focus is on Norway’s abundant natural resources and access to clean energy like hydropower.

— The idea of a product or a design often originates with the chosen material and how it is treated. The experience of a design often relates to how it looks and, most importantly, what it feels like; the surface and tactility of hand-carved wood, polished stone or soft wool. With this year’s Norwegian Presence, we wanted to study Norway’s natural resources and the possibility of a more environmentally friendly future. Profound knowledge of our natural resources paves the way for a forward-thinking industry and new possibilities, the duo say, adding,

— The exhibition highlights Norway’s most important current voices of design, production, and industry. We’re showing objects by ten strong designers and artists who are challenging natural materials in their work. We’re exhibiting four of our most important Norwegian brands — Fjordfiesta, Minus, Nedre Foss, and Vestre — who are heading up our green future by choosing their materials wisely. Last but not least, we’re showcasing four experts on raw materials — Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik, Hydro, Jotun, and Lundhs — who are all well known globally for their quality and innovation.

Cecilie Molvær Jørgensen, can you point out any highlights?

— Personally, I’m really excited about the launch of Fjordfiesta’s never before seen Sverre Fehn collection. I also love the work of Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng and Poppy Lawman, two female voices who are defining new Norwegian design, she says, adding,

— New manufacturer Minus has set itself a very ambitious goal: To change the furniture industry. That is no simple feat, but through extensive research and collaborations with leading university NTNU they have come up with a formula to do so.

Matter by Norwegian Presence is open at Galleria Milano, Via Filippo Turati 14 in Brera, Milan until this Sunday.