Here’s why everyone at Stockholm Design Week, literally, wants their seat at the table
Last week’s design week in Stockholm saw more than 60 brands present old favourites and new launches. Afterwards, we were left with one certain product category on our minds.
MEGHA PRAKASH, ERIK SEDIN & JOHAN MAGNUSSON
September 14, 2022
Chairs, chairs, chairs. According to trend expert Stefan Nilsson, there’s a certain reason why we saw the launch of so many new chairs throughout the week.
— To put it simply, chairs are the most commercialized product in the design world. Since one usually needs more than one, for example, six around a dining table or one hundred during a conference, the chairs have become commercial. It’s also a classic in interior and design. You can make an impression with a chair and play around with its format of it. It’s a bit easier to do than with a table and it sells better than, for instance, a cabinet — which takes us back to the fact that it’s a commercialized product, he says.
Here are 7 launches that caught our eyes during the week.
With his interior brand JOY, launched earlier this year, praised designer Fredrik Paulsen wants to go against the stream of contemporary Nordic interior design that he considers stylish, minimalistic, and a bit boring. Instead, he presents a range of chairs and tables in playful and colourful tones, all made in Sweden at a reasonable price.
— Furniture is something we all live with. And like life, I want furniture to be fun and colourful, Paulsen said.
Chris Martin, head of design at Massproductions, has designed a collection of 11 objects called The Little Things, highlighting furniture and smaller objects that we come across every day but might not always notice. The objects presented at an exhibition curated by Paul Vaugoyeau included mirrors in different sizes, a candle holder, a shelf, a door handle, and a small table.
— I wanted to change the scale of what I usually design, just for fun. It turned out to be a similar process but it was worth it. As the saying goes: ’It is the little things that make a big difference’, Martin concluded.
Made by Choice
The leading Finnish design brand presented new furniture designs from Nordic designers Halleroed, Aspekt Office, Bernadotte & Kylberg, and Thomas Sandell, focusing on — you guessed it — chairs. As always, they’re all made in the company’s own factory in Finland, merging skilled craftsmanship with high-quality technology. Sana Chair, designed by Halleroed, was originally designed as a dining chair for the new headquarters of AI company Sana Labs. With modern and light aesthetics, it’s made of oiled oak and leather, and the sides, which are hand-painted with a brush, also provide a sense of privacy.
During Stockholm Design Week, design duo Anna Holmquist and Chandra Alhsell’s studio, Folkform, curated an exhibition, called The Blue Tapestries, using leftover carpet pieces made of jute that was originally intended to be used for the backsides of carpets.
— As the leftover pieces are smaller, we made the carpets into patchwork collages to, for example, hang on the walls, Holmquist and Ahsell explained.
The week also saw the launch of new brand Ingridsdotter, showcasing exclusive pieces by one of Sweden’s foremost designers, Jonas Bohlin. Among many other things, Bohlin is known for his elaborate designs and interiors for some of the country’s best restaurants, the partnership offers the opportunity for anyone to purchase some of his designs.
— I’ve chosen to work with suppliers with the highest expertise in materials and high-quality manufacturing to be found in our country. This [to work with the mentioned suppliers] is an exclusive opportunity that we can feel proud of in Sweden and that people are impressed by internationally, says founder Christine Ingridsdotter.
Another new brand launch last week was Plus1, initiated by leading designer Alexander Lervik. The exhibition Female Traces at The Museum of Furniture Studies (Möbeldesignmuseum) in 2019 was a serious eye-opener for him on how difficult it is for young, female designers to enter the design industry. The goal of Plus1 is to give them an opportunity in the male-dominated business. The first launch is together with Anna Herrmann, presenting The Poodle, a series of chairs inspired by the dog breed’s distinctive characteristics.
Offecct’s Nomole chair
Swedish design company Offecct showcased the Nomole bar stool, which will light up the coming darker winter months with splashes of yellow, red, and peach. The name Nomole is short for ’no more, no less’ and alludes to the minimal use of material and its functionality and made-to-last design.
— I wanted the product to use as little material as possible, without compromising on expression or usability. To me it was a necessity that it’s easily updated, renewed, and repaired to give it a long and circular life, explains designer Ronja Reuber. Reuber actually designed the chair as a part of her 2020 graduation project at Beckman School of Design, before collaborating with Offecct to produce it.
The bar stool’s perfectly flat seat and backrest also make for easy removal and application of the upholstery when it needs washing or repair, and the ergonomic and slightly flexible steel frame means that you will sit comfortably at the office, the bar, or at home.