Swedish creatives set sail for ‘design Olympics’

IN PICTURES: The trade minister will add government clout to Sweden's attempt to seduce design lovers in Milan, a key hub for the global design industry. Sweden is already a top EU exporter of furniture.

Swedish creatives set sail for 'design Olympics'
Swedish designer Jangir Maddadi's Swarm lamp in a forest setting. Photo: Swedish Design Goes Milan

Trade Minister Ewa Björling is set to attend several Swedish Design Goes Milan events in Italy, where more than fifty designers will showcase Swedish form with the hope of putting wind in the sails of Swedish furniture and other design sales worldwide.

"Milan is the biggest international meeting place, or market place, or buyers across the world," Svensk Form CEO Ewa Kumlin told The Local. "It's the Olympics of the design world."

Sweden has reached number four in the union when it comes to furniture exports, trailing only EU members Germany, Italy, and Poland. Annual furniture exports reached the value of 1.7 billion euros last year.

IN PICTURES: Swedish designs get their Milan fair date

The Salone del Mobile in Milan on April 8th-13th is considered a key event on the annual design calender.

Kumlin said freelance curators For Us With Love had helped Svensk Form, which has worked with Visit Sweden and Business Sverige ahead of the event, to whittle down more than ninety applications to the final entries. 

"It's a combination of creative depth and business potential," Kumlin said of the hand-picked designs. "Often, these two go naturally hand in hand."

The trade minister's attendance is considered a nod to the designers and showed Sweden's intentions to entrench its design export industry. The minister said in a statement that the sector already employs 17,000 people in Sweden. 


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