Greenhouse at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2012

Lund School of Architecture
Lund School of Architecture, clockwise from top left: Kim Ohrstrom, Kajsa Nillson, Christopher Polteg and Freja Elvin-Nowak

Greenhouse, the hall at the Stockholm Furniture Fair for design schools, students, and independent designers, was one of the most exciting sections of the fair.

Gotland University at Stockholm Furniture Fair
Gotland University, clockwise from top left: Henke Westling (top left and top right), Philip Bergstrom and Sahar Ballaei

I’ve already written about Malin Isaksson, about Grow from the University of Gothenburg, about Alcro’s collaboration with students from Beckmans College of Design and about New Bacon, the super-styled stand from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, but that by no means covers the prolific selection of student work on show.

I shall therefore attempt to do justice to what remains, most of which was found within Greenhouse, but some of which was tucked away in different parts of the show.

Student Work at the Stockholm Furniture Fair
Clockwise from top left: Essi Similia from Aalto University part of the MA Students’ Everyday Tools stand; Sandra Cohen Callman from Beckmans College of Design part of the Never Mind The Object stand; Gaspar Gonzalez and Mikael Axelsson, also Beckmans College of Design

Never Mind the Object from Beckmans School of Design asked “Why should you care about objects? It is not until objects are filled with content and reason that they become meaningful” and so each piece was accompanied by some content and reason… Sandra Cohen Callman’s chair (top right) by “The human-like expression of this piece of furniture is reinforced by the tactile experience,” and Mikael Axelsson’s (bottom right) by “By proceeding from a model to using manual manufacturing processes, I want to create unique objects, from one and the same starting point.”

Linne University at Stockholm Furniture Fair
Vindla by Frida Aberg from Linnaeus University

You’ll have to forgive me for being somewhat singular in my coverage of the Linnaeus University stand, but I thought this piece was rather spectacular. Vindla translates from Swedish as “shelter from the wind.” This sound absorber is designed to create conversation-friendly “sound environments” in public spaces. As it sways slightly and in relation to people’s movement, its absorption of sound will change, creating a dynamic atmosphere. It’s made from sound-absorbing wool and framed in ash.

Nassjo Learning Centre at Stockholm Furniture Fair
Nassjo Learning Centre, clockwise from top left: Wal-nut by Samuel Sandelin, Fredrik Berthagen, Michaela Larsson and Lisa Ylenfors; Unusually Ordinary Chair by Marie-Louise Hellgren (not a student at Nassjo); Timeless by Stellan Ombeck, Moa Lindholm, Johanna Enmalm and Sofie Nielsen; and Kugg (Cog) by Elin Afzelius, Sanna Lejegren, Evelina Jansson and Josefine Strahl.

Independent designer Marie-Louise Hellgren’s Unusually Ordinary Chair was another piece that really captured my imagination. Featuring a small brass leaf egg on one arm and this brass leaf “thumbprint” (top right) on the other, she describes it as a portrait of herself, saying “If I were a chair, this is what I would look like on an ordinary day… The everyday life on a ordinary day is really what life is all about. This is an unusually ordinary chair… This chair is built on friendliness and femininity. It rests on kindness and heartfullness as well as on organic shapes.”

Folkuniveritetet & Linkopings at Stockholm Furniture Fair
Clockwise from top left: Gute by Theres Reiman and Lisa Stockman from Folkuniversitetet; My Best Pal by Bella Wedel and Mathilda Moller from Folkuniversitetet; Textile Surfaces on Stool and Footstool by Hillevi Parn from Linkopings Universitet; Storage Unit by Mathilda Bjorklund from Linkopings Universitet

Student work at SFF
Clockwise from top left: Lan Pham from Novia University of Applied Sciences; In Between by Ingrid Bergh from The Swedish School of Textiles; Trophy Chair by Kasper Brix Munck & Andreas Morch from Via University College; Askur by Inga Sol from Via University College

From the Swedish School of Textiles “Soft and Hard” stand (because “textiles can be more than just a soft fabric”), Ingrid Bergh’s In Between particularly caught my eye. Combining hard shiny copper with soft white flax, she asks “What happens in between softness and hardness?” and creates a dynamic lively textile that challenges your preconceptions.

Independent Designers at SFF
Clockwise from top left: Kristine Five Melvaer, Miwa Akabane and Yukari Hotta (bottom right and left).

And of course, not forgetting the independent designers, I loved these Kristine Five Melvaer lamps, my favorite color combination by Miwa Akabane, and these quirky Japanese designs from Yukari Hotta.

Our trip to Stockholm for the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2012 was supported in part by

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.