Friday, 4 October 2013

100% Norway

Equal Chair by Lars Beller Fjetland, presented at 100% Norway 2013

A real highlight at the recent 10th edition of London Design Festival was 100% Norway, also celebrating its 10th birthday. An annual exhibition presenting the best and most interesting of Norway's product design, mixing established and emerging designers working across a variety of scales, materials and objectives, I'm really glad to have made it to this year's show (thanks to the guys from Designgoat for pointing me in the right direction: I would have totally missed it otherwise). Commemorating 10 years of exhibiting in London by bringing together 10 established designers and 10 emerging ones, 100% Norway presented a range of confident, attractive work. Some pieces totally fucntional, others more playful or expressive, all of it was designed and made to high standards and proved that while Norway hasn't been cultivating its design industry for as long as its other Scandinavian neighbours, they haven't let that hold them back now.

Tokyo Box Collection by Cathrine Maske, presented at 100% Norway 2013

Pictured at the very top is the Equal chair by Lars Beller Fjetland, a really minimal pairing of ash and aluminium which is a beautifully simplified form without skimping on character. Directly above is Cathrine Maske's Tokyo Box Collection, a series of stacked glass vessels inspired, I imagine, by stackable bento boxes. One thing I love about these pieces is their short and wide proportions. Rather than take the easy elongated route to making an elegant object, Maske (and a number of other exhibitors at 100% Norway) opted instead for bolder, blunter shapes. Harder to make work, but when they do they work so well...

Tuck sofa by Sverre Ungher, presented at 100% Norway 2013

Pictured above is Sverre Ungher's Tuck sofa. At first glance it's the sofa frame acting as exoskeleton that's most striking about this piece of furniture. But after closer inspection, seeing the wool fabric carefully folded along both sides like a curtain makes this a really special sofa. Attention to such a quiet detail is so cool! Then below is Kristine Bjaadal's Keepsake, a coffee-making set combining ceramics, wood and cork to great effect. The set strikes a great balance between function and form, making truly appealing objects for the truly appealing task of coffee-making...

Keepsake by Kristine Bjaadal, presented at 100% Norway 2013

See the video below for a little sense of the exhibition as a whole and the warm, inviting space the curators made for visitors. I can't speak for previous editions of the exhibition, but I can say that the 10th 100% Norway was 100% enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to their return in 2014 already :)

Images and video via 100% Norway