Each year the design world holds its collective breath in anticipation of the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. It is a four-day feast during which new products, new materials, new knowledge, new trends and new environmental and technological solutions are displayed in both informative and inspirational manner – with ample doses of Swedish class. And this year Stockholm did not let us down.
Over 40,000 people visited the fair, hailing from more than 60 countries, while 1,100 journalists covered the event.
The three inter-connected halls of Stockholmsmässan, a purpose-built venue, houses the fair annually, while the foyer plays host to special exhibitions. With the exception of Pedrali, Arper and Magis, the show was dominated but local manufacturers and designers, which did not in any way detract from the quality of the pieces exhibited.
The global trend of doing away with traditional offices was apparent at the fair, as very few workstations found its way onto the exhibition floor. On the other hand, height-adjustable desks, acoustic screens and units and seating, in every conceivable shape and size were, in ample supply.
Apart from finding the largest collective of Scandinavian furniture, the fair will also offer visitors the opportunity to rub shoulders with design royalty (in the guise of Jaime Hayon). Hayon, known for his playful expression and versatile production, has been given the assignment to create an exhibition in the Entrance Hall. Alongside this, young, up and coming designers are also given a platform where they get the opportunity to exhibited fresh ideas and new concepts. Greenhouse is about giving unestablished designers this opportunity.
Another theme we picked up on was the importance placed on using environmentally friendly and eco-conscious materials and design processes. Wood, responsibly sourced and beautifully crafted, was the material of choice while sheepskin, leathers and even Reindeer moss made an appearance – the latter, possibly one of the more interesting products on show, was used as wall cladding with sound dampening and moisture-regulation properties. Sustainably sourced, the moss is treated and dyed (it even adheres to modern fire regulations) before being dried and arranged in beautiful natural shades.
One of the only British manufacturers we came across – and what a representative he was – was James Burleigh. He exhibited his beautifully crafted custom-build meeting table is, you’ve guessed it, wood.
With this year’s Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair done and dusted, you’ll have to wait until next year comes around, but trust us, it’s well worth donning your parka and making the trip.