Design duo GamFratesi welcomed visitors to the Stockholm Furniture Fair with a petal-shaped mobile installation that echoed the work of sculptor Alexander Calder. The Danish-Italian pair, who picked up this year's Guest of Honour mantle from Nendo, suspended their fabric florals from the ceiling of the Stockholmsmässan above a lounge area kitted out with their furniture.
Dubbed 'Balance', their serene installation's arrangement was designed to create an equilibrium between life, work and play. 'For us, as for most people, each day is a struggle to find balance in life,' Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi explained. 'The exhibition we have created at the Stockholm Furniture Fair is meant to remind us of that.'
The installation proved a restorative environment for weary fairgoers. It also gave them the chance to admire GamFratesi's recent designs for the likes of Ligne Roset and Gubi, showing us just how sophisticated their body of work is.
Another equally strong collection came courtesy of young Danish/Swedish design company Friends & Founders, launched in 2013. Its Spring 2014 offering extended all the way from furniture down to small accessories, and from indoor to outdoor items, without compromising their finely honed design aesthetic - distinct for its pared-back forms and clean silhouettes. 'Balance' was once again the word that sprung to mind.
Elsewhere at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, monocolour collections seemed to be the order of the day. Swedish brand Scherlin rendered its entire collection in a bright shade of orange to mark its 20th anniversary, while Danish company Montana served up pieces in varying shades of vermillion.
Outside the fairgrounds, things took a surprisingly theatrical turn. Flooring specialist Bolon joined forces with choreographer Alexander Ekman, while Swedish-French studio Färg & Blanche teamed up with the architect Erika Janunger and the choreographer/dancer Oskar Frisk - both to create short films. We were particularly struck by Bolon's 'Silence - The Show(room)', an artful interpretation of the brand's new Silence collection, 'inspired by the tranquil beauty of forests and wide skies Ulricehamn'. The classical music fused with the beating rhythm of the Bolon looms and dancers' footsteps in this strangely hypnotic film. Presented within an installation by Beckmans College of Design, it certainly launched the new collection with a flourish.