Stockholm has much more to offer than just minimalism

As always, this year’s edition of the Stockholm Furniture Fair has confirmed its role as a showcase for the noblest expressions of Scandinavian and international furniture and lighting technology.  Its layout has been designed to flank excellent product displays with numerous installations and concepts aimed at elaborating particular themes in greater detail.  Such as the Greenhouse, dedicated to projects by 33 up-and-coming designers and 30 design schools. Whilst last year’s edition chose to probe themes of a purely social nature, this year the focus has been placed on products and the single manufacturing processes behind them, through an experience of engagement, sharing and reflection with the public.  

Another thought-provoking initiative, which also involved the great themes of design, was that of the   Lounge Area of the Stockholmsmässan’s entrance hall, designed by Ilse Crawford, this year’s Guest of Honour. “Design – explains Crawford – is all the more powerful when it successfully answers our questions regarding the world we live in.”  Hence the idea of a place in which to stop and think about what design means for us and what our real living requirements are; a place in which to elaborate on the meaning of our experience at the show with direct questions being put to visitors.

The format of the Inside Scandinavian Design space was particularly interesting. This experience set out to tell the story and illustrate the values of Scandinavian design through its most iconic pieces and manufacturing processes.  

While the trade fair was on, the city came to life and opened its doors to the Stockholm Design Week, with a vast programme of events and activities launched by international design firms.  

One of these was hosted in the prestigious headquarters of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Stoccolma designed by Giò Ponti in the mid fifties: Tempo Italiano #Tables, a festival of design and creative culture, presented projects, installations and cross-disciplinary forums involving the worlds of design and food, with a lavish programme of events and a theme exhibition on Food Design.