Stockholm Furniture Fair 2012
A vast, all-pervading blanket of white may have covered the city last week but inside the halls of the Stockholm Furniture Fair it was quite a different story. Colour was easily this year's biggest trend among the Nordic interiors manufacturers who offered up an uplifting array of bright and vibrant collections.
Some, such as Stolab, NC Möbler and Nola, opted for a mix of strong primaries, while others, like Bruno Mathsson, Wästberg and Maze, opted for slightly more muted tones. Trust the oh-so-tasteful Asplund though, to get its hues absolutely spot on with a fashionable palette of pinky pastels, light greys and forest greens.
Elsewhere, the no-frills, high-quality, white- and wood-based designs we've come to expect from the fair was still in evidence - although this year, a smattering of brass and copper gave many of the pieces, especially lighting, a modern twist. Take the 'Great White' wall lights by CKR at Orsjö Belysning, the 'Shelf Lamp' by Andreas Engesvik at the relaunched David Design, and the pendant lamps by Jonas Lindvall at Wästberg.
Equally impressive was the effort that had gone into some of the stand designs. Ire put on a beautiful display, as did Bolon, who together with French architect Jean Nouvel created an installation that defied gravity and put a smile on our face.
The Greenhouse area, made up of schools and recent graduates, was also beautiful to look at, thanks to a display created by Jens Fager, but was disappointing in terms of throwing up new talent, with only a couple of individuals - namely Kristine Five Melvaer and Thomas Jenkins - catching our attention. That said, standards of craftsmanship at the colleges remained high, especially at Konstfack and Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies.
Back in the city, the focus was on quality, not quantity. Svenskt Tenn, which had no doubt had its hands full renovating its stunning new flagship store last year, had only a handful of new pieces by Eric Ericsson, Inge Sempé and Signe Persson-Melin, on show. Nordiska Galleriet had a similar story with a trio of pieces from Monica Förster, Anki Gneib and Cornelia Waldersten Arfors.
Stockholm Design Week's pop-up shows were also down in number, but perhaps up in depth. Work In Progress, an exhibition by Jonas Wagell that told the stories behind 15 designers' work at MOOD Stockholm, was fun and enlightening. Meanwhile top marks go to Form Us With Love, whose show Form Us With Friends at the Swedish Museum of Architecture proves what an enterprising and energetic design team it is, entirely worthy of the attention it seems to be getting.