Review of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2017, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, was held from February 7 to 11, 2017. Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair is the world’s largest meeting place for Scandinavian furniture and lighting design. 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.

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair has developed tremendously over the last few years. It has become much more international, and that makes it even more important for us Scandinavian designers to take part. 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 10,000 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 there also Stockholm Design Week, presenting more than 80 high profile design events at various venues around the city.

Trends
Scandinavian Design is always on Trend, this year’s fair was a source of great excitement and feature much that is new. Scandinavian style is clean, without fuss, and without clutter. The brands were closely aligned to the Scandinavian aesthetic and focused on being “natural”: whether in terms of the materials used, the softly contoured furniture, or the muted backgrounds. The trends this year back to the strong suit: legacy and craftsmanship. Scandinavian style share a passion for great craftsmanship. Infinitesimal changes are made to upgrade a known, traditional design: a new weave for a chair; a way to extend a table or yet another way to stack tables.

A marriage of materials Scandinavian furniture uses a lot of light coloured wood or light metal. And almost no heavy sofas. Dining and worktables are fantastically long, again with lighter understructures, drawing the eye to the wood top. Material technology has allowed the fusion of plastic with industrially-produced ranges and the inclusion of metal as part of the basic understructure has crept seamlessly into shelving and storage cabinets making them virtually invisible. Two materials being used a lot were marble and granite. Layers of tables in wood metal and stone or Corian surfaces. There were vases in glass, stone and metal bands.

Traditionally, the Scandinavian style has typically been pale and light. Colour and Light No conversation is complete without colour. The colour palettes are always harmonious. Light wood grains are offset by fabrics in a muted palette of soft greens, pinks, and dull turquoise blues. This could be grounded by earth brown. Another robust palette featured rich deep reds, rust and ochre. Floors were either light in colour, or in wood. Fabric prints fluctuate between abstract geometries and happy botanies.

Light is a very important interior décor element in the northern countries. In the another part of the fair, there were lights in mesh, glass lights, modular flat pack lights, lights as felt hats, lights as coloured metal pendants. Cooler LED lights allowed them to appear as tiny pointillist stars. And some globes held lights and plants in a continuing green story. If lights are the eyes to a home, then mirrors are the soul. Mirrors are shown at the fair were liquid seamless frames that blend into any wall.

As design becomes more environmentally driven, brands are beginning to look for ways to reduce their impact on the environment and minimize waste. The lighting industry is experiencing a period of major change, as the energy-e cient LED technology creates the opportunity for new solutions which it was previously not possible to achieve. Our designers are now able to create completely new shapes for our products, and we can now control not only the intensity of the light but also its color. The energy-e ciency of the LED lamps also alleviates our guilty consciences about the environmental impact. If it is also the case that a new LED light tting can replace a lamp that uses the old technology, this de nitely be bene cial to the environment.

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.

Guest of Honor: Jaime Hayon
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.

Every year Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair invites a highly acclaimed international designer or design studio to create an installation in Stockholmsmässan’s entrance hall. This time the assignment has gone to Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon, known for his playful expression and versatile production.

The Design Bar – Sulla bocca di tutti
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, which is a cross between an exhibition and a top-class restaurant, is being created this year by Note Design Studio. Using the concept Sulla bocca di tutti, which means “on everybody’s lips”, the goal is to create a wonderful, inspirational and generous experience. Isabella Morrone, head chef at Mother in Stockholm, created the menu.

Swedish design firm Note was invited to create the Design Bar, a restaurant and bar within the fair that aims to highlight a particular Nordic designer. In a romantic palette of pinks, blushes, and burgundys, the Design Bar exemplifies the best that Scandinavian design has to offer: class, purpose, and generosity. With the idea of making a warm and inviting zone to contrast the harsh Swedish winter outside, Note created a variety of seating areas, from round tables with plush seating, to linear bars upholstered with woven fabrics, attended to by wood and leather high stools, all immaculately detailed.

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.

Greenhouse is Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s hall for promising, young designers. The design studio Form Us With Love was commissioned to design a concept for the strategic development of Greenhouse. Together with students from Berghs School of Communication, they developed an activity that involves a one-year mentorship program. On display in the hall is also the premiere of the Young Swedish Design traveling exhibition, which is arranged by Svensk Form in collaboration with IKEA and Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair.

Mentors for 2017 are the designers Staffan Holm, Alexander Lervik, Emma Olbers, Anna Holmquist and Peter Torstensson, CEO, Mitab. On display in the hall is also the premiere of the Young Swedish Design traveling exhibition, which is arranged by Svensk Form in collaboration with IKEA and Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair.

Trend Exhibition 2017/18
Contrasts is the underlying theme for and name of the Trend Exhibition 2017/18, which has been created by stylist Lotta Agaton. The exhibition offer contrasts in materials and furniture as well as surprising combinations.

Welcome to Woodland
The exhibition presents a broad selection of innovative architecture and discusses different aspects of wooden architecture and design. Welcome to Woodland illustrates the work through short videos, presented in a “forest glade” created by beautiful, rounded and bent banisters. The exhibition is a collaboration between Architects Sweden, the Swedish Institute, C&D Joinery, White Architects and Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair.

Light Shop
At Light Shop, visitors can purchase a trendy table lamp or an innovative light chain in the Fair’s first pop-up shop. The shop include new products for 2017 from not only both established lighting companies and new, young designers but also Jaime Hayon, this year’s Guest of Honour. Light Shop is open during the Fair’s regular opening hours and is a collaboration with Trendstefan and his team behind Trends&Friends.

Awards:
Editors’ Choice Award:
Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s award – Editors’ Choice – was handed out for the second consecutive year. The jury consists of Editors-in-Chief from several of Europe’s most important design forums. The award contains three categories: Rising Star, Best Stand and Best Product. The 2017 jury consists of Marcus Fairs, Dezeen, Robert Thiemann, Frame magazine, Chantal Hamaide, Intramuros and Costas Voyatzis, Yatzer.

The Best Stand Award
The enduring appeal of Nordic design is often attributed to its simplicity, minimalist approach, and the quality of its materials. However, the industry’s sustainable production methods—which are inherently part of the Scandinavian way of life—proved that protecting natural resources is a successful formula.

British office-furniture designers Kinnarps took away the prize for best stand. Their multi-platform construction was clad in blue, semi-opaque panels and acted as a testament to the brand’s 75 year history. The stand won for what the judges considered its reinforcement of the brand’s core identity, the fundamental purpose of a stand at a trade fair.

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.

Sustainability Thinking is the theme of Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks, the fair’s own forum for knowledge and discussions within the area of design and architecture. Guests such as Dorte Mandrup, Jaime Hayon, Werner Aisslinger and Universal Design Studios hold lectures and be interviewed on stage.

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