Review of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2016, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, was held from February 9 to 13, 2016. Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair is the world’s largest meeting place for Scandinavian design. 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 has a reputation as one of the most interesting design fairs in the world.

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.

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.

Guest of Honor: Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby
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.

This year The fair include the Guest of Honour an inspiring lounge created by the internationally known design studio Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby. An installation titled Triptych within the fair’s central meeting place – a reflection of the designers’ impressions of the Nordic winters in Stockholm. The London-based duo produced three alternative set ups divided by white screens. One side featured cow hides and natural furs, creating an aura of luxury. The other side was a sharper area of geometric and graphic shapes. Between the two was a softer, more playful space, demonstrating the multifaceted approach of the studio.

The Design Bar – All the fun of the fair
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 was designed by architect Andreas Martin-Löf. Under the concept “All the fun of the fair”, he would like to create an evocative, cozy atmosphere that is miles away from hard wooden chairs and Scandinavian simplicity.

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.

Greenhouse, the hall where up- and-coming designers and design schools show their prototypes to future partners, producers and customers. This year the assignment to design Greenhouse 2016 was given to the design studio, Form Us With Love. This area also host the Ung Svensk Form (Young Swedish Design) exhibition.

With its natural colours, The Plank, designed by Form Us With Love creates subtle yet stunning environments for homes and offices. Plank is a gleaming, natural wooden texture that can be combined in numerous ways. It comes in two sizes and is easily assembled and customisable depending on project size and room shape.

Trend Exhibitions
Nature is the theme, 3 designers, Swedish designer Emma Olbers, Finnish interior stylist Susanna Vento and Danish interior stylist Christine Rudolph, designed their own sets to celebrate this trend.

At Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2016 we launch a new exhibition zone called Established. To help keeping up the diversity in the industry and the production of small collections we create a subsidized area where design studios can exhibit. Such a platform to promote small-scale productions and one-off products has previously never existed at a fair.

Exhibition Aurora
The Nordic Architecture and Design showcase is divided into two parts. The common good: Created in collaboration with Swedish Association of Architects, highlighting the lack of housing facing contemporary society. Nordic Conditions: This exhibition takes a look at the 5 Nordic countries and how even though they are similar in culture, they are varied in design.

Editors’ Choice Award:
New to this edition are the Editors’ Choice awards, chosen by a panel of editors-in-chief from Europe’s most important design publications, like Dezeen and Damn Magazine. Categories include Rising Star, Best Stand and Best Product.

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.

Guests and speakers include Neil Harbisson, artist, Judith van Vliet, fashion designer, Bolle Tham, architect, Emma Jonsteg, CEO of Utopia Arkitekter, Martin Videgård, architect, design duo Barber & Osgerby, designers and architects, Julien de Smedt, architect.