Swedishness is the keyword. More than Scandinavian pride, Stockholm Furniture Fair and the parallel Design Week celebrated Swedish identity from 7 to 11 February. Here some highlights

Front: immersion in nature

The Front duo did the honors as Guest of Honour. Which may not seem strange, since Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren, alias Front, are known worldwide.

Yet they are the first Swedish studio to design the installation at the entrance to the fair, as guest of honour, almost twenty years after the role was established. A bit of a return to the origins, because the then Front quartet made its debut in 2004 in the Greenhouse, the area of the Stockholm Furniture Fair dedicated to young talents. A little to say: "those who start from here can go far".

The installation is an immersion, technological and multisensory, in the Nordic nature, of which we had some taste in Milan.

"Continuing our Design by Nature research path", explains Sofia Lagerkvist, "we made a 3D scan of some portions of the landscape, from the forests of Lapland to those of Småland; thanks to the by Moroso the rocks have been transformed into furnishings (the Pebble Rubble sofa, ed) that appear almost covered in moss (the Arda fabrics by Kvadrat).

In this installation we show our experimental soul but also its industrial application, with collaborations with major design brands".

Among sketches, videos, drawings and historical projects, Front has given shape to a personal little, cozy gallery.

Space for collectible design

Compared to previous editions, an attempt has been made to create a greater dialogue between the events in the city and the fair, the concept of which opens up to unprecedented exhibition categories.

Thanks also to Hanna Nova Beatrice - long-time journalist and profound connoisseur of the Scandinavian design panorama - new project area manager of the Stockholm Furniture Fair and Stockholm Design Week.

Of her the curatorship of her, among other things, of an exhibition part in the new appendix, physical and thematic, dedicated to collectible design. In a location that couldn't be more Swedish.

Älvsjö Gård was a collective focused on art design, housed in the rooms of an old wooden building, not far from the fairgrounds.

Intimate domestic atmospheres of yesteryear contrasted with the experimental spirit of the projects on display. Between makers and galleries, even a touch of Italian spirit, with the colorful furniture by Stamuli and the sustainable objects by Navet, a multidisciplinary studio between Milan and Stockholm.

Scandinavian Design Awards

In a general air of restart, combined with a celebration of cultural identity, the institution of a new award by Stockholm Furniture Fair with the publisher It Is Media: Scandinavian Design Awards is placed.

The social highlight of the week was the award ceremony at Stockholm City Hall (where the Nobels are traditionally presented).

Double recognition to the Norwegian outdoor design company Vestre, for the headquarters The Plus designed by BIG (Sustainability Award and Architecture of the Year Award) .

The Folkform duo, based in Stockholm, was named Designer of the Year, thanks to an original language that hybridizes art, research and storytelling.

Rising Star Award to the Finnish Antrei Hartikainen. Producer of the year was the Swedish Massproductions, which also won the award for Best Furniture, for the designer's 4PM chaise longue and co-founder Chris Martin, who looks to the lesson of Enzo Mari.

Made in Sweden

This is the title of a choral project exhibited in the windows of the historic and luxurious Department Store NK aimed at highlighting the strength and tradition, between sustainability and manufacturing skill, of Swedish design.

Which is not just Ikea (the rear thought of the organizers).

An essential part of the project is the Together initiative, with which NK Inredning has invited some rigorously Swedish fashion designers and creatives (Lisa Hilland, Pia Wallén, Monica Förster, Jonas Bohlin, MaxJenny, Anki Gneib), to collaborate with Reijmyre, one of the oldest glassworks in the country.

The result: a limited edition of glassworks, from the most delicate inspired by nature to the most exuberant in terms of proportions and colours.

A demonstration of how much an ancient manufacturing tradition of the country can be renewed.

New products

Stockholm Furniture Fair is the reference stage for Scandinavian companies (physiological, some defections) to present their new collections. Among the most original brands Offecct, which presented the Pauline sofa, the posthumous evolution of the armchair designed by Pauline Deltour.

Remaining in the upholstered area, reminiscent of the Seventies for the Bau modular system, by Note Design for Lammhults.

Blå Station has lightly reinterpreted a Scandinavian design classic, the wooden chair (Om, design Johan Ansander).

Particular liveliness was seen in the outdoor sector, where Hem debuted with a collection by Philippe Malouin. Among other novelties, Vestre presented an intriguing seating system by Daniel Rybakken while Skargaarden proposed a Scandinavian reinterpretation (designed by Stefan Borselius) of an American classic, the Adirondack chair.

The lighting sector has also seen interesting innovations, such as the Kori collection by TAF Studio for Artek, capable of modulating direct and atmospheric light, with a grace that would Aalto liked it.

The indoor\outdoor Sprinkle collection by Note Design for Zero is decidedly more urban.

Research and reflections: visions of the future

Stockhom Design Week also offered various moments of theoretical study and meta-design research on topical issues projected into the future.

The Form Us With Love studio was commissioned by Samsung Nordic to rethink the sofa as a privileged place for using the television.

With its characteristic analytical approach, FUWL has studied the evolution of technologies and behaviours, aimed at the inevitable overcoming of the static vision of the television screen.

The result was the installation Shift, a hammock-platform that supports and promotes the liberation of behaviour.

The studio also participated in the The Bright Future of Wellbeing project presented at the fair by Baux, a Swedish brand specialized in the production of sound-absorbing materials, between innovation and sustainability.

The stand hosted an exhibition, with museum appeal, of models developed by students from the best Scandinavian schools of architecture and design, invited to explore the concept of well-being applied to different types of spaces: cultural, work, health, education, leisure .

In a freezing Stockholm, where distant echoes of earthquakes and human tragedies reached, the installation Shelter by Daniel Rybakken took on a particular intensity and a further relevance : an artistic reflection on the drama of refugees and the concept of protection.

An illuminated roof, emerging from the water, referred to the archetype - formal and substantial - of the house as a shelter and minimum condition of human dignity. Bringing design back to the center in its deepest sense.

As a concrete resource to find solutions even in emergency situations and not just as a nice opportunity to celebrate (rediscovered) collective rituals.