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Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair: An Atelier of Ideas

For the 70th edition of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, award-winning design studio Doshi Levien present an elaborate abstract version of their London-based studio.

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In the first week of February,Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair‘s 70th edition will take place Stockholmsmässan in a celebration of Scandinavian Design. This year’s edition of the fair will present the nearly 700 exhibitors, 80% of which from the Nordic region, in a new and improved layout. Visitors can expect even more new products and exhibitors, and more interesting manufacturers on site.

Celebrations for the fair’s remarkable 70th edition includes a special Anniversary Exhibition showcasing design classics from the 1950s to the present day which have all remained in production — maintaining their ongoing relevance. The exhibition, curated by design journalist Dan Gordan, will bring both the history of Scandinavian design history and contemporary issues to the table.

Running parallel to Workspace Sweden 2020, the fair is also focusing on the workplace of the future. The exhibition “Re-defining the Office” reflects on the relevance of the workplace in a cloud-based reality and is curated by architecture firm Tengbom, which have over 10 years experience in office design.

Whereas in the Greenhouse, a space in the fair solely dedicated to young designers, 35 up-and-coming-designers and 31 design schools from all over the world will be exhibiting their works. Five of the exhibitors — 6.5.22 (SE), Bouillon (JP), Caspar Reuterswärd (SE), Fleen Design (FI) and Studio Jonas Lutz (NL) — are nominated for the Greenhouse Best Performance award. The award recognizes the product that best embodies the core values of Greenhouse: curiosity, innovation and sustainability.

Last but not least is theGuest of Honorfor 2020’s fair: Indian-British designers Doshi Levien. Made up of Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien, the award-winning design duo aim to give visitors an insight into their creative process, revealing their drawings and prototypes alongside finished production pieces for the very first time.

The exhibition can be seen as a re-interpretation of the simple prototypes the duo has been experimenting with in their London-based studio, whilst still bringing sustainability into account. “There [in our studio], we work in wood and cardboard. Here, we’ve used a solid wood structure clad in thin plywood. A ‘skin and bone structure’ that reflects our way of making prototypes in the studio. The wood has been grown locally to minimise transport the materials are reused after the fair. We’re hanging our prototypes up on the plywood walls, alongside drawings and the finished product, to give visitors an insight into our working process.”

Inspired by churches the couple visited on a recent trip to Palermo, the fair’s workshop shows a labyrinth of inter-connected vaulted spaces. Concentrated beams of light cut through the dense spaces, highlighting the organic designs that are a staple Doshi Levien’s rich portfolio. “When we tackle an assignment, whether it’s designing a fabric or a lamp or an armchair, we like to pass the idea through an architectural filter,” Nipa explains. “We want to create interior components that architects can use to define space.”

According to Johnathan and Nipa, the exhibition marries their at times conflicting talents. Johnathan, a trained cabinet-maker and industrial designer who grew up in a toy manufacturing family in Scotland has a passion for structural design. Nipa, however, grew up in central Delhi and trained at the National Institute of Design, a school that crosses traditional Indian crafts with innovative and experimental designs. Her practice is rooted in her plural upbringing and astute eye for visual culture. According to the designers, the best ideas happen when they interpret each other’s drawings, merging the best of each other’s skills: “Beauty is often a bad word in design because it’s not quantifiable – it’s subjective and something that is considered superficial. But beauty has a huge function, not least because it makes you feel better about yourself. When you see something beautifully made, you can sense the love and craftsmanship that has gone into it. That is the concept of beauty we present at the fair: an atelier of ideas, the spirit of our studio.”

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair will run from February 4-8, 2020.



Cover Photo: Doshi Levien by Gustav Kaiser

Photo by Jonas Lindström
Photo by Jonas Lindström
Photo by Jonas Lindström
Photo by Jonas Lindström
Photo by Jonas Lindström

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