7 Fresh Product Launches from Stockholm Design Week
Last fall, the city of Stockholm announced its intention to demolish the Stockholm Furniture Fair’s venue, the Stockholmsmässan conference centre, in 2030. In its place, Stockholm plans to create a mixed-use district that will include new homes and workplaces. As part of this shift, the fair itself (currently produced by a municipal organization) is now up for sale and courting a new owner — evidently, one that can also provide it with some fresh digs.
Uncertainty surrounding the fair’s long-term home places new emphasis on Stockholm Design Week, the collective name for the events that coincide with the fair but occur at other venues around the city. Yet these festivities face challenges of their own. Once the dominant event on Scandinavian design calendar, Stockholm Design Week now needs to prove that it can hold its own against Copenhagen’s 3 Days of Design festival — which stole some of the Nordic spotlight while the Stockholm Furniture Fair was on pandemic hiatus.
All that said, anyone who feared that Stockholm Design Week might fade quietly into the early winter sunset will be relieved to see the 2024 edition is by no means lacking for exciting product launches. At the Stockholm Furniture Fair, it’s more or less business as usual. This year’s guest of honour, Formafantasma, is welcoming 2024 attendees with a feature installation, “Reading Room,” that fills a quiet lounge area with products and books that speak to ecological design principles. Meanwhile, throughout the fair and across the city, Scandinavian brands are showcasing their latest and greatest.
Knowing that the Stockholm Furniture Fair grounds will later be reimagined for residential and commercial use perhaps makes it easier than ever to consider how the products on offer will soon get incorporated into everyday life. Maybe one day all these chairs, lights and tables will be back on the same site, albeit in someone’s living room or office rather than as part of a brand’s display booth. For now, here’s our roundup of everything that’s playing out in Sweden’s capital this week.
Maasto and Peace chairs by Vaarnii
While only two years old, Finnish brand Vaarnii has quickly made a name for itself with a unique proposition: brutalist wood furniture. The latest addition to the manufacturer’s rapidly evolving lineup arrives courtesy of Ronan Bouroullec (now designing solo) and Faye Toogood.
Featuring a subtly angled backrest, Bouroullec’s Maasto dining chair is available in versions with and without armrests. For her part, Toogood takes a well-rounded approach with Peace, her outdoor lounge chair and footstool, creating a charming silhouette that calls to mind oversized popsicle sticks. (And what’s more summery than that?)
The launches run the gamut from acoustic lighting to seating and power bars, but all share a focus on flexibility — presented not as fixed products, but rather as a kit of parts that can be adapted to suit the needs of today’s rapidly evolving workspaces. For instance, the Alt Collection (for Stolab) features a mix-and-match series of components that allows for both static and rolling seating, while the Nomad collection of power bars (for Forming Function) doubles as a docking station for a coordinating portable lamp.
Tension, Taburett Plus and Geofanti by Lammhults
Swedish manufacturer Lammhults kicks off 2024 with a trio of fun, colourful launches. Both the Tension Trolley (by Gustav Winsth) and Taburett Plus chair (by Peter Andersson) feature curved, tubular frames that combine industrial influences with a bright, contemporary palette. (Winsth also cites skateboard culture as an influence on his four-wheeled cart.)
Meanwhile, the Geofanti modular sofa (designed by Anya Sebton) skews similarly playful but embraces a far more robust silhouette, taking inspiration from elephants for its chunky “legs” and angled armrests that evoke large, flappy ears.
Mat seating by Normann Copenhagen
Normann Copenhagen‘s Mat seating collection marks the culmination of more than three decades of plant fibre research by design duo Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen. The two different shells used throughout the range — one made of hemp stems, and the other of seafood-like eelgrass — effectively demonstrate the potential of bio-based manufacturing as an alternative to injection-moulded plastic production.
Shaped using a special compression machine and then hand-sanded and finished in linseed oil, both shells rest on steel legs and are offered in both chair or stool configurations.
Apollo lamp by Pholc
Last November, Swedish lighting brand Pholc expanded its Apollo family (designed by Broberg & Ridderstråle) to include a wall lamp and pendant. As with the other cone-shaped designs in the collection, both are made from a solid piece of machine-turned brass or aluminum.
Apollo is on display alongside the rest of Pholc’s collection in the brand’s booth at Stockholm Furniture Fair.
Neat, Cup and Troy by Edsbyn
As much as we may be in the era of “work from anywhere,” it can be difficult to find a desk with proportions suited to environments with limited floorspace. Swedish manufacturer Edsbyn understands. Its metal Neat Table, designed by Thomas Eriksson, is equally well suited to a hotel or bedroom — especially thanks to its smart cable management and vivid colour palette.
Other new additions to the brand’s catalogue offer their own balance of personality and practicality. Luca Nichetto looked to Swedish café culture for the inspiration behind the mug-like handle on his clever Cup stool, while the Troy trolley by Mario Ruiz proves there’s no reason an office workhorse shouldn’t be as handsome as a home bar cart.
Play by Iittala
Iittala used Stockholm Design Week to let everyone know that it’s not 142 years old — it’s 142 years young. Kicking off “a new era,” the Finnish brand unveiled a redesigned logo as well as an eclectic product range, Play. Featuring mugs with endearing circular handles and bowls splashed in thoroughly au courant colour pairings, the collection is the first designed by Iittala’s new creative director, Janni Vepsäläinen, who stepped into the role after working at idiosyncratic fashion brand JW Anderson.
These new introductions join fresh reimaginings of familiar Iittala classics, such as Alvar Aalto’s glass vase, which is now available in a light lilac.