Like every year in February, we donned our thickest jackets and made the pilgrimage through the snow to one of the most forward thinking furniture fairs available in Stockholm. Upon entering the fair you are immediately greeted with design influence from a guest installation from Neri & Hu. Their reflection of the rural and urban heritage in China is mixed with the latest colour trends.
Throughout the fair we saw ambition to showcase the latest products, materials, innovations and technological solutions. Read about our favourite parts…
1. Continually Celebrating Craftsmanship
Now you can’t go to Stockholm without appreciating the craftsmanship, honed after decades of perfecting styles. There was no difference this year. And why should there be – we’re in the home of the timber craftsman! A clear and hopefully enduring stamen against the mass-manufactured production lines. Pale timbers are a prominent feature of not only the furniture items but the stands themselves.
2. Colour Trends – Warm Autumn
In London Design Festival in September 2018 we saw vibrant use of yellows, to stimulate ideas and uplift our spirits. Then, Cologne October 2018 featured more muted greens to soften the workplace and tie in with Biophilic designs. As a result, Stockholm brought these colour ranges together to create a welcoming Autumnal colour palette. Deep, rich colours were seen throughout, and most notably the blue as featured by Neri & Hu as you enter. Again natural timbers were prominent providing an accent colour against the Autumnal colours.
3. Furniture Pieces on Show
As always, Stockholm provided an array of new furniture designs for us to enjoy and most often rest on while we rack up the steps whilst making our way around the stands. By the end of the day we were on 21,000 steps. Needless to say, we saw a lot of furniture. No matter the scale or construction, an attention to details was felt by all pieces.
There were the consistent themes of modular seating, mixtures of fabrics and the ever growing range of phone booths. Also, the 900mm high table was a regular option within high table ranges. In addition, the use of cane and cork was commonly applied to provide a more tactile sensation. All in all, very satisfying fair to witness! Although, we would suggest spreading the 21,000 steps over a few days and enjoy the excellent talks within The Design Bar to rest your feet in between.
4. Lighting at its best
Outside of the huge selection of furniture items, there is an equally impressive range of lighting. A wonderful array of material applications, mixed in with striking forms, ensures the lighting could not be ignored.
5. Best Stand… or Sustainable Statement?
Designed by ‘Form Us With Love’ and Johan Ronnestam, the best stand deservedly went to Baux. A wonderfully well designed stand. It both showcased the acoustic properties of ‘Pulp’ but also personified the awareness of a sustainably harvested and produced product. The Pulp product is 100% bio-based, 100% recyclable, 100% biodegradable, and has 0% pollution or waste impact. If only all products could be like this. With recycling and the reduction of waste gaining more media presence, it’s reassuring to see this within our industry too.
6. The Greenhouse – Growing New Talent
Amid the established, hardened Scandinavian manufacturers, we headed to the Greenhouse to see what the young talent had to offer. The less established designers from over 30 countries provided an impressive selection of professional, well-crafted prototypes. Along with the statement from Baux the theme was the utilisation of some innovative tools and systems to enable us to live a sustainable life in the future. A worthwhile visit not only for the impressive designs but to feel that reminiscence of excitement when designing at university.
Overall, a great insight into what we can expect to see in terms of furniture design. Similarly, a it was great to see the trending autumnal colour palette, raw materials and macro theme of sustainability evident in many designs.