Review of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2015, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, was held from February 3 to 7, 2015. The Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair is the world’s largest exhibition for Scandinavian furniture and lighting design, with a focus on both home and public environments. The fair offers a fantastic opportunity to soak up the Nordic trends influencing the design scene both locally and globally at this very moment. All major Scandinavian brands are represented, with its uncompromisingly Scandinavian, and you see work here you won’t see at any other design fair in the world.

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair is the world’s largest meeting place for Scandinavian design. The fair has a reputation as one of the most interesting design fairs in the world. It has the most comprehensive selection of furniture, office furnishings, lighting, design objects, textiles and other interior furnishing for both homes and public spaces. The fair also hosts Greenhouse, an excellent exhibit area for design students and independent designers.

Visitors from all over the world come to Stockholmsmässan to see the latest trends in furniture and lighting, find the most comprehensive selection of Scandinavian furniture, office furnishings, design, textiles, lighting and other interior furnishings for both homes and public spaces. To meet up with like-minded and get inspired by the latest in Scandinavian design, with easy access to both designers and decision makers, get an overview of all that’s new and upcoming within the field of Scandinavian furniture and lighting design.

Every year, Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair draws approximately 40,000 visitors of which around 6,000 are foreign buyers, architects, designers and journalists from more than 60 countries. About 700 companies, including 300 international companies, set up exhibitions in Stockholmsmässan’s 70,000 sqm. Around 80 percent of the exhibiting companies come from Scandinavia.

Stockholmsmässan, which is Scandinavia’s largest exhibition and congress center, organized its first furniture fair in 1951. Since then the fair has grown into what is generally considered as one of the two top-notch furniture fairs in Europe – the other one being Salone del Mobile in Milan. Today the fair attracts around 40,000 visitors from more than 60 countries and over 1,100 media representatives every year, and around 750 companies exhibit their furniture, lighting and textile products. The largest exhibitor nations, apart from Sweden, are Denmark, Finland and Norway, and usually around 80 percent of all exhibitors come from Scandinavia.

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair is the world’s leading event for Scandinavian furniture and lighting design. Domestic and international visitors find the most comprehensive selection of Scandinavian furniture, office furnishings, design, textiles, lighting and other interior furnishings for both homes and public spaces.The fair’s exhibitions feature a lot of wood and visitors was able to listen to lectures by internationally acclaimed designers and architects.

During Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Stockholmsmässan’s 70,000 square meters are full to bursting point with the latest innovations within interior design and lighting for both homes and public spaces. New products, new materials, new knowledge, new trends, new business, new contacts and new environmental and technological solutions are displayed in a both informative and inspirational manner. The exhibitions are of the highest rate and the seminar program is extensive. The first days of the fair are restricted to professional visitors while the concluding Saturday also is open to the general public.

The fair is full to bursting point with the latest innovations within interior design and lighting for both homes and public spaces. New products, new materials, new knowledge, new trends and new environmental and technological solutions are displayed in a both informative and inspirational manner.

The same week as Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Stockholm Design Week also takes place, presenting more than 80 high-profile design events at various venues around the city. This makes Stockholm a must-place to be for purchasers, architects, designers and journalists in February. The Stockholm Design Week has developed into a melting pot where just about everyone in anyway connected to or interested in Scandinavian design meet and thrive, bringing home new impulses, contacts and inspiration.

Trends
Scandinavian Design is always on Trend, this year’s fair was a source of great excitement and feature much that is new. Refined simplicity, honest materials and craftsmanship are values traditionally associated with Scandinavian design. Showcased materials were predominantly genuine fabrications, including wood, leather, metal, ceramic, marble and wool.

New tendencies in details like silhouettes with an increased lightness, with transparent thin tube forming a base or an entire furniture piece. Linear, super-thin sofas were another variation on the graphic theme. Another tendency was soft textured sofas and poufs that wrap and engulf to add new meaning to the word “comfort.” On another note, there was a clear movement toward bolder post-modern shapes with clear geometric properties.

Bright color are another way to cheer up a dull day, and a trend also still very much in evidence in this part of the world. The overall color scheme was partly influenced by the white and muted pastels with splashes of brighter colors that have dominated Nordic design and interiors for the past several years. Deep and saturated colors were fresh. There are also yellow and red, terracotta and wine-red hues in the direction of Marsala, Pantone’s Color of the Year.

Metals are still a key material, and we saw even more variations of warm metals (polished and matte) as well as green oxidized metals. The copper and brass stand clearly still a big trend, these materials that works very well in such a cold climate. The ongoing marble trend inspired experiments with new materials that feature marbled characteristics.

3D textures were carved or puzzled into wooden surfaces, braided into leather and wool, and sewn into fabrics. Tactility in fabrics was a clear trend, represented by texture and jacquard patterns woven into traditional textile materials. Innovative materials such as a woven metal mesh brought new tactile and visually appealing characteristics.

At this year’s fair, exhibitors chose to present not only finished products but glimpses of the sketches, prototype iterations and craftsmanship that go into realizing well thought-out designs. Showcasing the craft of design prompts reflection on its value not only as an end result, but also as process. This fits well with the prevailing authenticity trend; as never before and looking for honest, meaningful and long-lasting products and experiences.

Adaptable workplaces are a global trend that showed up in various shapes at the Stockholm Furniture Fair this year. Activity-based offices and mobile workers were targeted with quick and easy solutions that adapt workplaces for different activities and purposes. We saw a range of variants on the “secluded” theme: appealing hideaway sofas and work spaces that offer some degree of privacy within increasingly open office landscapes. With an increasing number of people working remotely, home office solutions that allow for quick shifts between private and public were another rising theme.

Highlights
The Stockholm Furniture Fair showcases the latest trends and innovative new products in design, and acts as a melting pot for buyers, architects, designers, press and influencers from around the world. New Nordic, Old Nordic, Soft Nordic, and Nordic Minimalism were all given floor space at the biggest event celebrating Scandinavian design, a furniture show that still represents Scandinavian craftsmanship.

This annual furniture and lighting exhibition is the largest in Scandinavia, showcasing hundreds exhibitors including brands. Showcasing innovative product prototypes, the fair’s Greenhouse platform invites unknown and emerging designers and design schools from all over the world. The fair also coincides with Stockholm Design Week, which hosts over 80 design-related events throughout the city.

From this year, Stockholmsmässan has a completely new hall layout. Many companies have been assigned new placements, and the halls have also been given new names after trees – Alder, Birch and Cedar. Two new areas were created. The first, Modern Mix, is located at the beginning of Cedar Hall and features companies offering products for the home as well as small collections for public spaces as well as Trend Exhibition 2015/16. The second area is new knowledge area, which is located at the end of Cedar Hall and includes the Design Bar, the stage for our seminar program, Stockholm Design Talks, and Materialbiblioteket’s Materials & CSR exhibition.

Guest of Honor: Ilse Crawford
One of the highlights at the fair is the Guest of Honour, a highly respected international designer or design group who is asked to create an installation in the fair’s entrance hall. Other highlights are the Greenhouse section, where new talents are given the chance to show their prototypes and meet manufacturers from the furniture industry, and the Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks, the Fair’s forum for knowledge and discussions concerning design.

In the Entrance Hall at Stockholmsmässan, Ilse Crawford, one of the most influential women in design in the United Kingdom. Known for a number of impeccable hospitality projects in the city – including both restaurants in the Grand Hotel, as well as the interiors in the luxury hotel Ett Hem. Ilse Crawford was creating an exhibition and a lounge where visitors can relax and reflect. The idea of the exhibition is to engage visitors by asking a number of questions.

The Design Bar – Material biblioteket
The Design Bar, which is a mix between an exhibition and a top-class restaurant, forms a common area together with Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks. The Design Bar is located at the end of Cedar Hall in a new knowledge area that also includes the stage for the trade show’s seminar program, Stockholm Design Talks, and Materialbiblioteket’s exhibition.

Designer Mattias Stenberg is creating the overall concept, which offers visitors the palette of Norrland’s colors, materials and flavors, with a clearly modern twist. At the Design Bar visitors can eat lunch or simply enjoy a glass of wine or a coffee. The ambience is cozy and quiet, but at the same time it is a place where visitors can recharge their batteries on the prevailing creative energy.

Greenhouse
Be inspired at Greenhouse – where seeds grow and wild ideas thrive. This is one of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s most popular and written-about areas. Here, design schools and promising young designers from around the world compete for the chance to present their work and meet future partners, manufacturers and the media.

See the design stars of tomorrow in Greenhouse, Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s hall for promising, young designers. This year, 33 designers and 30 design schools from 13 countries was taking part. Greenhouse has been designed in 2015 by Note Design Studio, which opted to focus on the products and designers. In Greenhouse, the Young Swedish Design exhibition, which is also a competition, have its premier. This year 22 designers are participating in the competition.

Trend Exhibition 2015/16
The traditional border between home and public environments is increasingly disappearing. We have therefore invited four artists to each create a room that is found in both the home and public spaces: the hotel lobby, the lunch room, the home office and the bedroom. The four artists are designer Johanna Asshoff, Sweden; color expert Dagny Thurmann-Hoelseth, Norway; trend expert Stefan Nilsson, Sweden; and interior design stylist Lene Ostenfeldt, Denmark.

Inside Scandinavian Design
Driving the Scandinavian aesthetic is a dedication to craftsmanship – which is key to the furniture industry in Sweden and beyond. Inside Scandinavian Design takes you behind the scenes and shows the work and objectives behind the furniture, follows products from idea to finished product and shines a spotlight on the challenge of creating a product that last a long time on the market.

The exhibition is a cooperation between Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair and TMF, The Swedish Federation of Wood and Furniture, and was created by the design duo, Färg & Blanche, illustrate how the relationship between construction and production are evolving and addressing environmental issues, while upholding longstanding design values.

Twelve
Twelve, the area for Nordic established designers, is located this year in Birch Hall. This time the exhibition has the theme, Methods, and participating designers represent different design techniques, from performance to digital presentation and crowdfunding. Johanna Agerman Ross, Editor-in-Chief of Disegno Magazine, is also the curator for 2015.

The Northern Light Fair
Connected to the main event, this lighting expo showcase new fixtures from the likes of Flos, Luceplan and Vita. Makers With Agendas debut the felt-wrapped Bat lamp, designed by one of the collective’s founders, the Danish architect Julien De Smedt. The versatile piece can be hung as a pendant or used as a wall, desk or floor lamp.

Materials & CSR
The Materials & CSR exhibition presents different materials and manufacturing techniques and highlights environmentally smart arguments for what is shown in the exhibition. The objective is to inspire the visitor to learn to see the complexity in thinking in an environmentally smart way and to be able to argue for the materials he or she has chosen to use.

Seminars:
The fair’s forum for knowledge and discussions within the area of design and architecture is visited by influential guests, listening to the market, talking to knowledgeable people within the business, and drawing inspiration from leading agents in the industry. Stockholm Design Talks offers many interesting discussions and lectures with high-profile guests from around the world. With the theme, Scandinavia Now, Stockholm Design Talks is striving to become even more up-to-date and reflect current trends in the field of design and architecture.

Listen to Gert Wingårdh, Wingårdhs, Tina Norden, Conran, Werner Aisslinger, Studio Aisslinger, Eero Koivisto and Claesson Koivisto Rune, who are participating in Stockholm Design Talks, the trade show’s forum for knowledge and discussions about design.

This year’s theme is Tales of Creativity. The seminar program was held February 4-7 in the new knowledge area in Cedar Hall. On February 4-5 the program has been targeted to architects and interior designers. On February 6 it has been targeted more toward trade and on February 7 to the general public. Moderators include Guy Dittrich, specialist in hotel and design, and Hanna Nova Beatrice, design author and Editor-in-Chief at Residence.

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