Interior design inspiration started strong this year with Stockholm Design Week (SDW) in early February. It runs parallel to Stockholm Furniture Fair (SFF), first organised in 1951, making it one of the most important design weeks in Europe. With more than 700 companies presenting their designs and exhibitions across the city, SDW is the place to be for your Scandinavian design fix!
During this exciting week, graduate students and new designers get a platform alongside established brands. Most exhibit with their universities, and some independently at the Greenhouse within the furniture fair. Designers discovered at SFF include big names such as Gam Fratesi, TAF architects, Oki Sato of Nendo, and Afteroom.
When talking to emerging designers about their work, they express a level of freedom in their designs and artistry; they also often address political, environmental, and social issues. This year was no exception.
Here are six top emerging Swedish designers seen at Stockholm Design Week:
Kajsa Melchior works between the themes of sculpture, furniture, and communicating human interaction with earthly materials. She encourages people to use her pieces as functional items. The Grotto Plate series is made with an experimental method of molding forms using natural and reusable materials. The organic mold formations are made with alabaster and sand; once set and dug out, the molds are filled with alabaster.
Stockholm-based designer Madeleine describes herself as an imaginative person with great respect, curiosity, and ambition. With an interest in construction techniques and researching materials, she likes to create pieces that are unexpected.
One of her pieces, Re-grow, has raised the issue of food waste; the project encourages people to re-grow food from what would be considered waste.
The Bella mirror by Sofie Wallenius, a student at HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts, raises the issue of body shaming and the importance of looking at oneself without feeling contempt. The patriarchal, capitalist, and Euro-centric framework we live in has created an image of an idealised body. Wallenius’s mirror can be hidden and pushed inside the “body.”
“Loving oneself is the most dangerous weapon and the most serious crime, which means it is the most radical and amazing thing you will ever do, ” says Sofie.
Matilda Ellow and Asta Westermark Florestedt
The Michelin Chair was designed by Matilda Elow and Asta Westermark, students from Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. They worked closely with furniture manufacturer Woodstockholm in making the voluminous piece, and their design questions the notion of a traditional chair. Being made from alder wood, its form expresses the natural characteristics of the wood in a truly stunning way.
Ronja Reuber and Mika Lindblad exhibited at Swedish design store DesignTorget, where they could sell as well as showcase their designs. A modern version of the traditional Swedish wall candle holder, the Oort Candle Holder is made from recycled aluminium and in turn can be recycled again.
Mälmo Upcycling Service is a predominantly female design collective based in Mälmo with a focus on waste materials from local manufacturers. Their aim is to question the role of designers and highlight their responsibilities when putting designs into production. With this standpoint, the collective actively asks the furniture industry in Scandinavia to answer questions relating to sustainable production.
For their own designs, The MUS collective creates new products made of these waste materials, which in-turn highlights the wastefulness of production.