The Stockholm Furniture Fair runs from the the 5th to the 9th February. It includes the Northern Light Fair.
This is very timely because there was a very real sense amongst the experts who were in Paris for Maison et Objet last month that the Japanese and Scandinavian stands were looking the sharpest.
Added to which, as a result of watching double bills of The Killing, The Bridge and Borgen on Saturday nights, Britons have never been more aware of Scandinavian culture -- or of Scandinavia, full stop. Those wonderful lights in the interiors in Borgen! Somehow one does not expect such design-awareness in 10 Downing Street....
The Japanese were showing very little lighting but there was plenty from Scandinavian makers. We are looking forward to being able to spend more times on their stands this week in Stockholm.
What are the Scandinavians doing that is so right? It is not really a common æsthetic (as it was in the 1960s) -- it would be difficult to imagine a more diverse, more eclectic collection of lights. Nor is there any magic. No, it is the basics that anyone could do (designers. materials, prices), underpinned by the makers' sensitivity to light and design, that is shared by enough of the populace to provide them with a market.
Design: they have strength in depth. Besides great designers from the past (Arne Jacobsen, Jørn Utzon), they are drawing on an amazing roster of contemporary designers -- Front (bsweden), Claesson Koivisto Rune (Örsjö, Muuto), Cecilie Manz (Muuto, and the incredibly successful Caravaggio -- for which a new wall light is being launched -- for Lightyears), plus Form us With Love (Muuto) and Louise Campbell (Muuto and Louis Poulsen, who are not exhibiting). Wästberg's business model is based on commissioning from famous designers.
Materials: wonderful use of glass, as one would expect (especially Muuto, bsweden) but also fabrics, acrylic, wood, marble, felt, even egg box material (from &Tradition)...
Here is an alphabetical list of who is exhibiting and where. (It is our selection but it may not be based on a complete list: omissions do not therefore necessarily indicate our disapproval!) Click on their names to go to their web sites.
&Tradition A04 25
Artek A35 10
bsweden A09 20
Le Klint A15 2
Lightyears A31 41
Muuto A04 41
Northern Lighting A07 28
Örsjö A07 21
Secto A04 39
Valoa by Aurora A01 22 (who we don't know -- the Finnish/Canadian designer Aurora Nieminen only started the company a few months ago -- but we like the look of her colourful felt pendants. Please see the image at the foot of this post.)
Wästberg A12 20
Zero A09 14
There will be some brands showing in Stockholm, rather than at the fair:
Gubi will be at AB Evert Lindelöf at Hornsgatan 29 in Södermalm.
Non-Scandinavian exhibitors include:
Outside the fair,
Foscarini will be creating "Magic Windows" at 38C Rosenlundsgatan.
The Noa pendants from Valoa by Aurora: