Apart from Mitab and Ӧrsjӧ, which were of course major highlights of the Fair, there were plenty of other new designs vying for your attention.
David Design, originally founded by David Carlson, all but fell off the design scene in recent years, but is back, back, back with new investment and a new Atelier collection. The Shelf Lamp by Andreas Engesvik was a real gem, with squat dimensions that reminded us of the famous Eclisse by Vico Magistretti for Artemide. A naked light bulb on one side and a simple brass disc on the other providing glare protection, it was simplicity itself in concept and use of materials.
There seemed to be a micro-trend for "posh flat pack". Sweden is inexorably linked with flatpack furniture, so it is understandable they should try to elevate it to something desirable, as opposed to a chore. Heritage brand Klong presented the Horizon Collection, new (and some existing) products that can be delivered flat or assembled as the customer requests. Ania Pauser's Knopp pendant is one of the first pieces designed specifically for the Horizon Collection, with existing products like the Nova chair from Asshoff & Brogård and Signum table from WIS Design also being re-branded part of the collection.
Gemla was the epitome of the Swedish aesthetic. Vilda was designed by Jonas Bohlin for Restaurant AG and is a traditional bentwood chair in ash and leather seat. Nothing else, apart from a handgrip in soft leather and now with a backrest in leather or a removable leather slip-cover. The Front design superstars designed Collage, a chair and lounge chair based on forms taken from the Gemla archive. Archive tools and processes were also dusted off and combined with contemporary styling to form a....collage.
Sticking with Gemla for a moment, it was a very pleasant surprise to see Jonas Bohlin's Kvist light in striking cobalt blue. Apparently they were hand-painted by the man himself especially for the occasion.
|Photo courtesy of Holloway's of Ludlow|
Asplund appear to be on a roll at the moment. Fresh from their win at the 2012 Wallpaper Design Awards for the Tati side tables, they presented the Luc series of cabinets by Broberg & Ridderstrӓle. Different formats in simple wooden finishes with transparent glass tops and a splash of colour on the legs. Daniel Rybakken's mesmerising lights which we first spotted back in April last year at Spazio Rosanna Orlandi are also now available from Asplund.
Colour was a major trend at this years show. Acid yellows and oranges mixed with pale sorbet colours, especially pink. Candy pink was everywhere, especially in combination with soft greys. If you remember the 80's, you'll know exactly what we mean. The other trend was for gloss finishes. Pink and glossy appears to be the future, for now at least.
|L-R: Stolab, Swedese, String|
In the young designer area, Greenhouse, Carlsten Thostrup presented Reel Cabinet and Tie Desk. They say the devil is in the detail and in this instance, it was all about the detail. The sliding doors on Reel moved on large wheels, like a barn door and Tie was held closed by leather lacing wound around two large paper buttons.
Norwegian based Thomas Jenkins of Studio Jenk presented "All Other Things Being Equal", a series of candlesticks in brass, aluminium and titanium. Each one weighs precisely 200g, but as each metal has a different density, the resulting candlesticks are different sizes.
In Cologne we spotted Domestica by Studio Formafantasma, and just weeks later in Stockholm Bjarke Frederiksen presented the Nordic Nomad Chair. Something in the air perhaps?
Finally, in our whistle stop tour of the Fair, we were taken with the work of Kristine Five Melvær. Her Light Jars allow you to display your mini treasures, almost like a lab specimen, in beautifully crafted glass. A contemporary form of display cabinets.
Plaza Magazine obviously agreed, as they awarded Kristine their young designers prize. We're pretty sure we'll see these Light Jars on a stand in the main Fair next year.