The Stockholm Design Week exhibition Moving Forward highlights new tendencies in Scandinavian design

This September the official Stockholm Design Week returned for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. Around 70 leading Scandinavian design and furniture brands participated with major exhibitions and new launches in the city, including Wästberg, Hem, Massproductions, Offecct, Verk, Muuto and Svenskt Tenn. The department store NK was the design week hub of the week, hosting the opening night and a number of exhibitions and activities, including the Stockholm design week exhibition Moving Forward. The official partner for the design week was LG Electronics. 

Curated by renowned Norwegian stylists Kråkvik&D’Orazio on behalf of Stockholm Design Week, the exhibition showcase young talents and established brands paving a way forward, and combines new autumn launches with atelier pieces. Some objects and furniture are made specifically for the exhibition, such as the first piece of designer and craftsman Axel Wannbergs series of furniture in mappa burl, hand made in his Stockholm studio. There are also a number of unique pieces showcasing for the first time, such as the petite cupboard with intarsia by architect Thomas Sandell, made in close collaboration with fine carpenters KFK Snickeri. 

Norwegian Are Mokkelbost exhibit stools and objects made of found wood, and Swedish designer Elsa Unngård use reclaimed wood and naturally fallen Swedish oak for her organic seat. Lab La Bla’s Viper Bench is made of low- end industrial spruce, copper mining waste from the north of Sweden, pigment and lacquer. “For many of the designers included, the material is the starting point. It could be a celebration of a certain material, a way to make use of left over materials or a search for new applications for an overlooked material,” says curating duo Jannicke Kråkvik and Alessandro D’Orazio. 

Many of the furniture producers in the exhibition focus on local materials and production, and a strong brand identity around it. Swedish Verk only use local raw materials in their furniture production – all the way down to the screws – and Finnish producer Vaarnii only use pine from the north of Finland in all their products. Because of the softness of pine, this has also given way for a sturdy brutalist aesthetic. Danish brand Menu is contributing with a set of AA- stools produced in partnership with Japanese brand Ishinomaki Laboratoty. With their forward thinking initiative Made in Local, Ishinomaki Laboratory partner with different brands on different markets in order to produce furniture close to the end consumer. Menu has the rights for their local production in Scandinavia, pushing localty even further. “This exhibition is part of our commitment to play an active role as hosts to the design week. We want to mirror whats happening in the Scandinavian design industry,” says Hanna Nova Beatrice, project manager of Stockholm Design Week and Stockholm Furniture Fair. 

Moving Forward is extended and open until 18/9 2022.