The past few years have seen a renaissance in Scandinavian design, classics by designers such as Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen have found new audiences, and not content with riding on the coat tails of their predecessors emerging brands and designers have begun to create a new identity for the Scandinavian aesthetic.
What tends to distinguish Hay, Menu and others from their non-Nordic counterparts is a completely holistic approach to the process of designing, making and selling furniture. Design studios in Scandinavia have lead the way in an adaptable and multi-disciplinary approach. Collectives such as All The Way To Paris, Norm and Note Design Studio are just as likely to be found creating brand identities and graphics as they are products. The design brands themselves have also embraced this; Norm are at the creative helm of a resurgent Menu, All The Way To Paris design not just rugs for &Tradition but also the website and catalogues. Meanwhile at Fogia, Note have created several pieces of furniture but are also creative directors. Whilst this approach is not exclusively the preserve of the Scandinavians, Maruni have Naoto Fukasawa at the creative helm and Driade have recently appointed David Chipperfield to do the same; It is perhaps the success of these Nordic brands that has been catalyst for wider change.
It's undeniably an approach that works, as Jasper Morrison recently told Dezeen in a discussion about the importance of photography and branding: "Most customers discover the furniture through magazines and websites like [Dezeen]... So it is really critical. I don't think many companies get that. You see the terrible shots they do." Morrison himself has designed a capsule collection, as well as contributing to the creative direction to showcase his products for Danish brand Fredericia.
So where does this put Stockholm Design Week on the international stage? The bigger launches and international brand presence remain the preserve of Milan's Salone Del Mobile. But Stockholm, much as London, is increasingly internationally attended. Their strength at creating a united identifiable aesthetic across brands and design practices makes it a place to forage for ideas on perhaps on marketing a design culture rather than product itself. That said, there were several new pieces and updates worth mentioning that we have collated for you below.