The reference fair for Scandinavian design returns to Stockholm from 7 to 11 February. Guest of honor is the Swedish studio Front

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 February the is back Stockholm Furniture Fair, the reference fair for Scandinavian design now in its 71st edition.

Lots of news, starting with the Guest of Honor 2023, which goes - for the first time in the history of the event - to a Swedish design studio, that is, the female duo of the Fronts.

See also: The design furniture fairs not to be missed in 2023

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023: the numbers of the fair

The Stockholm Furniture Fair is the most important event for Scandinavian design, attracting professional visitors from over 100 countries.

Over 30,000 visitors are expected for this year's edition, more than 400 exhibitors from 31 countries, and a shortlist of internationally renowned designers and experts, who will be the protagonists of talks, installations and meetings.

Reas also: Front: “We bring the Swedish forest to Stockholm”

The Swedish studio Front is the guest of honor at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023

Guest of Honour of the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 is Front, the Stockholm-based studio formed by Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren.

For the occasion, the female duo will transform the entrance hall of the fair with Pebble Rubble furnishings produced by Moroso, organic seats in the shape of a stone, the result of a long path of naturalistic investigation conducted in the Swedish forest, where the creative couple grew up.

The installation continues the story begun at the Filodrammatici theater during the 2022 Milan Furniture Fair, and shows plays of light, sound and projections, which evoke the atmosphere of Nordic forests and lakes.

An installation that is not limited to the simple simulation of natural settings, but tells the long research work during which the two designers were able to explore the therapeutic effects that nature exerts on the physical and mental health of people, as well as on the cultural and psychological significance of pristine environments, especially those of Sweden, their native country.

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023: the talks not to be missed

The programme of events at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 is full, with talks on the main stage of the Victoria Hall, on the stage Ung Svenskt< /strong> and at the stand of the Swedish Design Movement.

Among the protagonists: Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, together with Raw Edges studio, who will tell how they develop new ideas for products and limited edition pieces; Sabine Marcelis will talk about the power of materials, and map out the role materials could play in the future for both her studio and the design industry at large.

The American designer Stephen Burks will present his thoughts on the post-pandemic way of living at the intersection of craftsmanship, design and community, touching on complex themes ranging from spirituality to technology.

Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Giorgio Pace, founders of the Nomad collecting event, will talk about their experience, and will talk the importance of cultural sustainability and the role that contemporary design plays in the conservation of cultural and artistic heritage.

And again: Philippe Malouin, a Canadian designer based in London, will show his latest experiments, emphasizing how working with galleries feeds his research and his way of working; while Ilse Crawford will explore how it is possible to integrate a more humane and lasting approach in designing shared spaces, public or residential.

Anders Lendagar, founder and CEO of the homonymous architecture studio and consultancy firm, will talk about the circular economy and Upcycle Studios, the first building circular in the world built using construction waste from Copenhagen Metro Station, and Resource Rows, the first buildings to recycle entire sections of brick from demolished buildings.

Also present was the Ukrainian architect Slava Balbek, who will talk about RE: Ukraine, a modular urban system to accommodate displaced people from the war.

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023: installations not to be missed

In addition to the installation of the Fronts mentioned above, there are many installations not to be missed, many of which focus on the theme of sustainability: Now or never– 1kg CO2e on the impact of furnishings on the climate, curated by the designer Emma Olbers, together with the EY Doberman agency, with the participation of Form us with Love, Polestar, Doconomy and Nrep; and Closing the loop, curated by Solaris Community, with furnishings, lamps and clothes made from plastic recovered from the oceans, created by designers and brands such as Karim Rashid, Pierre Balmain, Swarovski and Julia Koerner.

In pavilion B, Jonas Bohlin, architect behind Sweden's most famous restaurants, designed the Underbar bar with Christine Ingridsdotter, a café inside the fair with materials and furnishings that will be reused once the event is over.

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023: the new spaces of the fair

The fair this year introduces new exhibition sections: The Gallery Edition, near the east entrance in pavilion C, is a new space that strengthens the relationship between the fair and design week, and displays a selection, curated by Sophia Bratt, of the best projects presented in the city.

Another new section is The Nude Edition, with stands of just 15 square meters made of recycled material, which can be dismantled and reused after the fair. An area, next to the gallery in pavilion C, which tells how it is possible to create "naked" stands, without frills, essential, wasting less and focusing on the hard part.

Älvsjö gård: in a sixteenth-century manor house in Stockholm, independent makers, artists and designers

Stockholm confirms itself as an incubator of ideas, a sparkling and young city where ample space is dedicated to experimentation in its freest and purest form.

The fair this year presents Älvsjö gård, a new platform for collectible design and design research house within one of the oldest still existing manor houses in Stockholm, dating back to the 16th century, strategically located near the fairgrounds.

An initiative that aims to bridge the gap between mass production and limited edition design and on a small scale, presenting a selection of independent galleries, makers, artists and designers in the 13 rooms.

Among the exhibitors: Navet, the multidisciplinary studio based in Stockholm and Milan, founded by Cecilia Wahlberg, Helena Svensson, Lina Huring and Maria Johansson; Tokyo, the Slovenian studio created in 2011 by Gorazd Malačič; Stockholm-based designer and sculptor Kajsa Melchior, along with Stockholm Modern and Kiosken galleries, to name a few.

The Scandinavian Design Awards

Another novelty: the Scandinavian Design Awards, the prizes established by the Stockholm Furniture Fair with the publishing house It is media to celebrate the best design, architecture and interiors conceived and created in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

Eight categories, including Designer of the Year, Garden design of the year, Sustainability award of the year and Rising star of the year.

The list with all the nominees is available here, while the winners will be announced during the ceremony on February 6, at the Stockholm City Hall, and exhibited at the fair in pavilion B.

Greenhouse, space for experimentation

The Greenhouse is back, the platform of the Stockholm Furniture Fair which represents the springboard for young designers. It is in this free and playful space that the Front made their debut at the beginning of their career.

A showcase where 32 independent designers and 30 design schools from 18 different countries, selected by a jury, will be able to present their ideas, and why not, find the right partner to implement them.

Since 2017, Greenhouse has been offering five independent designers the opportunity to be mentored for a year.

For 2023, the tutors are Agneta Stake, Benny Hermansson, David Ericsson, Sandra Asplund and Thomas Bernstrand. The full list of young Greenhouse participants is here.

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023: product previews

Among the companies not to be missed is Moroso, which returns to the fair 13 years after its last presence, thus underlining the importance of the thriving Scandinavian market.

The company led by Patrizia Moroso with her brother Roberto, in addition to the Pebble Rubble collection, will bring the Gogan sofa and the Ruff armchairs, both projects by Patricia Urquiola, accompanied by the Secret Cubic Shelves bookcase, created by the artist Danish-Icelandic Olafur Eliasson.

Arper also flies to Stockholm, present with Aeeri, the table by Peter Kunz, built with just five components, and with a compact packaging to take up as little space as possible during transport, and Juno02, a low environmental impact reinterpretation of the chair designed by James Irvine from 2012, now made with less material and with 70 percent post-industrial recycled plastic.

Among the Italian brands there is also Pedrali with the most recent collections such as Buddyhub desk, designed by Busetti Garuti Redaelli, a compact but complete workstation, a privacy niche protected by a sound-absorbing panel.

On the Scandinavian front, Artek presents the new collection of lamps Kori, designed by Stockholm-based Taf Studio, a virtuoso example of intelligent modular design and essential aesthetics, a line made in Italy with 100% recycled aluminium.