Searching for staying power

Sweden having such an entrenched good reputation when it comes to design, visitors to the Stockholm Furniture Fair can be sure of seeing fabulous products, even if they are not the most innovative on the furniture fair circuit. This year, however, there was a fresh flavour and a few standout events, including the launch of the new Clarion Sign. With 558 rooms, the Clarion is now the biggest hotel in Stockholm and claims to provide guests with a wholly Scandinavian aesthetic experience. With interiors designed by the Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh, the hotel is furnished throughout with classic pieces by the region’s most eminent designers. Wingårdh says he would like all the furniture and fittings to remain in place for the next 50 years. Elsewhere, Swedish design group Front created an installation in the lobby of the Nordic Light Hotel, featuring a wood-look sofa and squidgy floorboards. Great Stockholm institution Svensk Form hosted an Eames exhibition, in collaboration with Vitra and the Swedish Society of Handicraft. The top names in lighting design rallied for Wästberg Interior Lighting – including Claesson Koivisto Rune, Jean Marie Maussaud, Ilse Crawford and James Irvine. In addition, Design House Stockholm launched its spring collection with products from Monica Förster, Nina Jobs, Ann Wåhlström and Ulla Christiansson. The Camp Site installation – with button-like poofs and paper aeroplane lights in the grand environs of Berns Hotel – was very popular too. Representing US designers, Stephen Burks put together an exhibition called The Craft Café with Readymade Projects, showing craft items he designed during his journeys for Aid to Artisans when he worked on design projects with local craftsmen in South Africa and Peru. The fair also initiated co-operation with events organiser Designboost, yielding a number of interviews, mini-exhibitions and talks that were structured around the truly inexhaustible theme of sustainable design.



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