Five questions about Formex and Nordic design

The largest Nordic design fair, Formex, kicks off on Wednesday. We asked Project Manager Christina Olsson what to expect.

Five questions about Formex and Nordic design
Photo: Formex

The semi-annual interior design fair Formex takes place January 18-21. But what's it all about? We spoke with Formex Project Manager Christina Olsson to find out. 

What exactly is Formex? Why should people go?

Formex is the largest meeting place for Nordic interior design. Visitors get information about trends, inspiration and knowledge in the form of exhibitions and lectures.

How and why did Formex start? What is its purpose?  

Formex started in 1960 and is held twice a year, in the beginning of January and in the end of August. The purpose is to be the most important meeting point for Nordic interior design, fashion and accessories.

There is a large focus on Nordic Design – the largest in both number of exhibitors and in size of designs, and not to forget unique craft from the Nordic countries.

What can visitors expect? Is it only Swedish design? Nordic? International? What different types of exhibits are there?

It is Nordic design and we have 800 exhibitors and 20 000 visitors. The fair brings together national and international buyers, agents, designers, producers and media from all over the interior design and gifts industry.

What is new or different at this event, in January 2017? 

All inspirational areas and quest exhibitors add new ideas and can hopefully give your visitors some new and inspiration for their upcoming work.

Some of the young designers at the event. Photo: Formex

Can you name five “highlights” of the event, perhaps particularly unusual or interesting exhibitors this year?

You will find some new guest exhibitors, such as the showing of Carpets as design objects. The aim of the exhibition is to display rugs that have different artistic expressions in terms of their material, technique and pattern. The rugs in the exhibition have been made by architects, artists and designers.

Also there is Sashiko  – a old Japanese technique in handcraft. 

Sashiko, which was developed in the 600s and 700s in Japan,is both a decorative reinforcement stitching and functional embroidery. In the exhibition at Formex, traditional Sashiko patterns from northern Japan meet Sashiko modern fashion patterns created by Scandinavian designers. 

And of course two large inspirational exhibits are those showing the theme Nordic space and the three trends: Austronautica, Monlith, and Milk & Flowers.

The Young Designers area is always interesting –there you can see young ad upcoming designers presenting their work.

Check out the Formex website to learn more

That's all from Christina Olsson. But want a little more Formex?

One of the many designers at Formex this year is Viktoria Månström, with her line of products Anna Viktoria. She has quickly become a leading designer in Sweden.

”Everything I design has a Scandinavian touch and a modern design, built on Swedish traditions,” the designer says. “I take the past of Sweden and bring it into the present.”

And they're covered in modern Swedish art, such as reindeer and elk.

“I actually started with the Dala horse. I come from Dalarna so it felt like the right place to begin.”

While the Dala horse is a classic Swedish symbol, Månström's version is a perfect example of contemporary Scandinavian design – clean, simple, modern and unique, mixing colours and patterns in an innovative way without looking too busy.

And of course they're made beautifully and sustainably.

”My products are truly Scandinavian; products that convey Sweden. And they also last. They're items you can really use in everyday life.”

Check out the Formex website to learn more


‘Sky path’ flats could transform Stockholm

A plan for a new residential area in the heart of Stockholm includes roof terraces, courtyards - and a public 'sky walk'.

'Sky path' flats could transform Stockholm
Photo: Anders Berensson Architects

The planned housing zone is called 'Klarastaden' (The Clear Town) and would be located next to Stockholm's Central Station in the heart of the Swedish capital.

The Local spoke to Anders Berensson, the architect behind the designs, who says Klarastaden has the dual goal of providing a dense housing block in Europe's fastest growing city and making the area around the station “more beautiful”, with leafy roof terraces and courtyards.

The apartment blocks would be connected by a 'sky walk' or floating pathway, allowing residents and the public to reach the waterfront, currently inaccessible due to the train tracks there.

“For me, the most exciting aspect of the project is being able to walk on the roofscape and have views over Stockholm city,” Berensson says.

The sky walk would form one of the city's longest parks, with stunning views, helping to ensure the ground-level pedestrianized area is less crowded.

The innovative design has already captured the attention of international media. “It's always great when a project is popular,” says Berensson. “Hopefully, we will inspire other cities to do similar things.”

Photo: Anders Berensson Architects

Berensson explains that all Stockholmers would benefit from the new blocks – not just those wealthy enough to live inside them.

“If you build skyscapers in Stockholm, it's very expensive housing,” he says. “I wanted to be able to give something back to the public too, so I came up with the idea of the roofscapes.”

What the project will look like viewed from neighbouring Kungsholmen island. Photo: Anders Berensson Architects

The apartment blocks would be of varying heights, ranging from four to 30 floors.

The clever design means that each apartment would have direct sunlight – in line with Swedish housing regulations – and around 90 percent would benefit from lake views.

Photo: Anders Berensson Architects

The zone would accommodate approximately 5,800 apartments, 8,000 offices and 300 shops.

Photo: Anders Berensson Architects

Berensson hopes that the project would go some way to help solve the housing crisis in the Swedish capital, where it is notoriously difficult to find accommodation.

READ ALSO: How to steer Sweden's crazy rental market

Photo: Anders Berensson Architects

The below diagram shows how the design works by allowing sunlight to filter through to street-level.
Photo: Anders Berensson Architects

Photo: Anders Berensson Architects


However, Stockholmers may have a while to wait before the plans become reality.

The designs were commissioned by the Swedish Centre Party, currently in opposition, who Berensson says wanted to “build something very dense and high”. In order for work to start on the project in 2018, the party will have to win more seats in Stockholm in the election scheduled for that year – or the plans will need backing from the current Social Democrat-led city council.