Review of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2020, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, the world’s leading meeting place for Scandinavian design, was held from February 4 to 8, 2020. Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair celebrates its 70th anniversary with the latest in Scandinavian design. To meet up with like-minded and get inspired by the latest in Scandinavian design, with easy access to both designers and decision makers in the 700 exhibitor stands, get an overview of all that’s new and upcoming within the field of Scandinavian furniture and lighting design.

The 2020 edition of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair (SFLF) draws buyers, architects, designers and journalists from more than 100 countries. The fair attracts around 40,000 visitors, and more than 30% of them are international visitors. Approximately 700 companies, 300 of which are international, have stands in Stockholmsmässan’s 70,000 sqm of exhibition space. Almost 80% of all the exhibiting companies are 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.

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.

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. The theme of the upcoming Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks is “Visionary Thinking”.

Design studio Doshi Levien is the Guest of Honour at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2020. With their magnificent exhibition in the Entrance Hall, the Indian-British duo from London aim to give visitors an insight into a creative process that is just as much about architecture as it is about individual objects.

This year’s Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, focuse The issue of sustainability is a clear presence in the designs, material choices and production processes of many exhibitors this year. On the stage in the Design Bar, created by Fredrik Paulsen, visitors was able to enjoy exciting talks about design and architecture. held in Stockholmsmässan, the design fair welcome all design enthusiasts keen to see the very latest in furniture and lighting.

Celebrations for the 70th Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair include an exhibition showcasing design classics from the 1950s to the present day, all of which have maintained their ongoing relevance – despite hot trends and new launches – by still remaining in production. Design journalist Dan Gordan has curated an exhibition that describes Scandinavian design history and raises contemporary issues.

The Design Bar continues to explore contemporary aesthetics and gastronomy. The Victoria Hall hosts this fusion of a top-class restaurant with the stage for the Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks – a cross-pollination that this year takes on a Tivoli-inspired look, created by unorthodox designer Fredrik Paulsen. The menu comes courtesy of chefs Marion Ringborg and Linn Söderström, who run the Garba restaurant.

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. The fair celebrates its 70th anniversary this year,its halls was bursting with the best of Scandinavian furniture and lighting design, as well as new concepts and ideas.

This annual furniture and lighting exhibition is the largest in Scandinavia, showcasing over 700 exhibitors including brands, including notable design houses Fredericia, Swedese, Carl Hansen, Kvadrat, Artek, Iittala, Poiat, Secto, & Tradition, Pholc, Örsjö…

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 400 design-related events throughout the city.

Hall A & C – Design & Contract Market
For this year’s fair, the floorspace given over to the Design & Contract Market is bigger than ever! With the industry growing, visitors can expect even more new products and exhibitors, and more interesting manufacturers on site. The new fair layout means that Design & Contract Market can now be found in both of the largest halls – Hall A and Hall C

Hall B – Home Furniture & Lighting | Home & Contract
For the 2020 fair, everything to do with the home is moving to Hall B, creating an exciting meeting place that focuses fully on all that is new in furniture and lighting for the home Environment.

Guest of Honour: Doshi Levien
Design studio Doshi Levien is the Guest of Honour at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2020. With their magnificent exhibition in the Entrance Hall, the Indian-British duo from London aim to give visitors an insight into a creative process that is just as much about architecture as it is about individual objects.

Discover one of the most creative design studios in the world today, Doshi Levien, when they create a unique and site-specific installation right at the heart of the fair. Inspiring, open, cheerful, seamless and cool are keywords that Swedish designer Fredrik Paulsen applied to the task of creating a welcoming and relaxing meeting place for all the fair’s visitors and participants. The Design Bar 2020 is a place with incredible food, a great bar, a designer bazaar and mellow DJs.

Anniversary exhibition – 70 years of Scandinavian design
Celebrations for the 70th Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair include an exhibition showcasing design classics from the 1950s to the present day, all of which have maintained their ongoing relevance – despite hot trends and new launches – by still remaining in production. Design journalist Dan Gordan has curated an exhibition that describes Scandinavian design history and raises contemporary issues.

The String shelf, the Bat chair and Carl Malmsten’s comfy Farmor armchair all helped to furnish the Swedish home after the furniture made its big entrance at S:t Eriksmässan. The year was 1951, making Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2020 the 70th in a very long line. The fair’s anniversary exhibition presents selected classics from seven decades – some famous, others less well-known and even a few future classics. Furniture, lighting, textiles… Timeless design through the ages, produced today.

Design Bar “Fredrik’s Fun Fair” created by Fredrik Paulsen
The Design Bar continues to explore contemporary aesthetics and gastronomy. The Victoria Hall hosts this fusion of a top-class restaurant with the stage for the Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks – a cross-pollination that this year takes on a Tivoli-inspired look, created by unorthodox designer Fredrik Paulsen. The menu comes courtesy of chefs Marion Ringborg and Linn Söderström, who run the Garba restaurant.

The Design Bar continues to explore contemporary aesthetics and gastronomy. Just off the Entrance Hall, the Victoria Hall hosts the fusion of a design exhibition and top-class restaurant with the stage for the Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks – a cross-pollination that this year takes on a fun fair-inspired look, created by unorthodox designer Fredrik Paulsen.

“Stockholm can be bleak in February, so I want to transport visitors to the place of their dreams. I’ve looked at the promenades of the French Riviera, bars on the Balearic Islands, casinos in Las Vegas and amusement parks such as Coney Island. I’m hoping to design a meeting place where people feel welcome and inspired.”

The menu is composed by chefs Marion Ringborg and Linn Söderström from pop-up restaurant Garba.

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, the international platform for up-and-coming designers, continues to grow and flourish. The initiative, which was launched in 2003 and has produced such names as Front, GamFratesi and Form Us With Love, is now gaining a specially designed venue by the acclaimed Wang & Söderström.

We are a little hard to pin down, admits Anny Wang. We’re trained architects, but we work just as much in the digital world. Traditionally, these have been seen as polar opposites: one real, the other pretend. But we don’t see that division. We approach both with the same level of pragmatism.

At the fair, this cross-pollination manifest itself in a 120 meter long and 3 meter tall enclosure, a combination of digital screens and large-format images. The idea is to project digital renderings of natural objects, moving sequences that emphasize wildness and growth. We want it to feel unreal, yet real. Not fully defined. Just like the designers exhibiting in the Greenhouse.

Re-defining the office – exhibition exploring the workplace of the future
What happens to the office as a physical space and concept when people are free to manage their own time? How these new behaviours affect furniture manufacturers? And what role architects and designers play when the physical workspace is no longer a given? Explore the workplace of the future in the exhibition Re-defining the office.

Has there been a paradigm shift in the notion of what work is? One where we have moved on from seeing work as a place we go to, and instead consider it an activity where the workplace could just as well be a tree stump in a forest, a boat on the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or even a virtual space? The (human centred) post-spatial workspace aims to discuss and illuminate issues connected to the experience of working.

The Cloud is the key to present and future working practices as it connects everyone and everything, yet at the same time it creates distance. Thus, the exhibition scrutinizes issues such as the need for physical meetings, designed environments and human con­nection in the digital age. It raises awareness of integrity, wellbeing and community in connection to work, as it discusses a vision or a speculation about what the future of work might look like based on the principles of place, technology and sustainability.

With your office in your pocket, is there really any reason to leave home? Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair feature the exhibition Re-defining the Office, about what it take to keep the workplace relevant in a cloud-based reality. Re-defining the Office is a joint venture by Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Architects Sweden and the Swedish Federation of Wood and Furniture Industry (TMF), in partnership with Tengbom and supported by Swedish Wood. The exhibition is curated by Tengbom.

Arranging Things – bazaar and ambiance
Arranging things, run by Lisa Milberg and Leo Forssell, is an umbrella organisation containing an interior decoration company, a once-a-week-shop and a consulting business focusing on all ambiance related things, mostly interior and music. Aside from the interior decoration they also help retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses to find their musical profile.

For this year’s Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Arranging Things have curated the music and their playlists can be heard in Greenhouse, in the entrance hall as well as in the Design Bar, which is also where we find their pop up shop, Arranging Things Bazaar.

Workspace Sweden 2020 runs in parallel with SFLF
No new decade has challenged the idea of the workplace as much as the 2020s are going to. Rapid digitalization, new generations and lifestyles, profound changes in society and proliferating competitors are challenging companies and organizations on every level. Their businesses and their organizations are set to become more digital, innovative, sustainable and agile. While employers expect employees and freelancers to produce unprecedented results, the talent of tomorrow is making entirely new demands of the employee experience.

Environmental focus at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair
Nordic companies have come further than most in terms of environmental awareness. Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair brings together many of the most progressive and environmentally conscious companies in the furniture world. This makes the fair a unique meeting place.

Awards:
Design award: Born Classic
Born Classic is a collabo­ration between Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair and the Bukowskis auction house. The award goes to a new item of furniture or lighting that is judged to be a potential design classic of the future. The objective is to recognize and encourage good, sustainable design.The jury, comprising three experts from the prestigious auction house, nominate five products. Bukowskis also hold guided tours of the nominated items and share why they consider them to have the qualities of a Born Classic.
The winner was announced on the Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks stage at 11.30 on Saturday, February 8, when the fair is open to the public.

Editors’ Choice Award
The jury for Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s Editors’ Choice award is composed of editors-in-chief from some of the world’s most important design forums. The award has three categories: Rising Star, Best Stand and Best Product. The jury members choose their favorites from among the exhibitors at the fair. This is followed by a few hours of intense deliberation before the respective winners are announced. The 2020 jury consists of Marcus Fairs, Dezeen (GBR), Costas Voyatzis, Yatzer (GRC), and Dana Tomic Hughes, Yellowtrace (AUS). The winners was announced on the Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks stage on Wednesday, February 5 at 2:30 pm.

Best Performance selected by the Greenhouse jury
Presented for the first time in 2018, the award recognizes the product that best embodies the core values of Greenhouse: curiosity, innovation and sustainability. The objective is to encourage the designers to think about the bigger picture and present their design in a well-thought-out manner. In collaboration with Volvo Studio. The winner receive EUR 5,000.

Designers from all over the world are invited to submit applications to exhibit in the Greenhouse, Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s area for up and coming designers. This year’s exhibitors comprise 35 designers and 31 design schools, not just from Sweden but from many other countries too. Experimental design duo Wang & Söderström are responsible for the look of this year’s Greenhouse area.

Seminars:
With 40 programmed events and 100 contributors, Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks 2020 is securing its position as one of Scandinavia’s leading discussion platforms for design and architecture. Many influential names was giving talks, including:
Renee Hytry Derrington, Formica Group, “Blurred Spaces – a vision of future living”.
Kelly Alvarez Dolan, “Designing for a carbon positive future”.
Frida Ramstedt, “Home – a place to stay or to display”.
Style inspiration with Pella Hedeby.

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