Continuing my coverage of the 2014 Stockholm Furniture Fair, here were some of the best in show from hopeful new talents producing independently and getting their first foot in the door. Of the 36 designers and 37 design schools from 16 countries that took part in the juried Greenhouse section this year, here are the top ten that caught my eye.
1 - There are some beautiful clothes racks out there, but I haven't seen anything else as simple, fun, and functional as the SINE hanger system by Erik Olovsson and Kyuhyung Cho. From the distinctive sine curve design across the top (imagine that row of perfectly spaced shirts), to the separate purpose-built hangers for clothes, belts, scarves, and accessories, this is one brilliantly-thought-through product that I can't wait to see in production.
2 - A chair in which to take a moment to find inner (and outer) balance. That is the idea behind Beckmans design student Rebecca Ral's sideways-rocking Mind Your Seat chair.
3 - POM (Piece of Me) desk collection. Simply loved the effect that new Stockholm-based studio Formellt achieved with their solid ash desks covered in tanned leather. In their shapes and surfaces are revealed the imprints of their use, workday habits built up over hundreds of hours. Imprints of a notebook here, a pen there. Their tight leather skin giving them an organic evolving quality that evokes so many things at once. Life, a living thing burdened by habit. The luxury we work so hard for and the bondage in that, both titillating and enslaving.
4 - Moody, rich, minimalist and monochromatic. What's not to love in Beckman's grad Hanna Dalrot's Textile Landscapes collection? As she's currently a design intern at Ikea, we can only hope that means her textile designs will become widely available soon.
5 - HØNS is the perfectly aesthetically pleasing high-rise henhouse for the urban high-rise dweller. That was the thinking behind this henhouse design by Anker Bak, who wants to make it possible to keep chickens on your balcony, and fresh eggs an arms reach away.
6 - Norwegian student designer Aud Julie Befring uses colorful domes of felted wool to make birch stools that are playful, customizable, and endlessly delightful. Each individual half-sphere of cushioning wool can be mixed, matched, and moved around to your heart's content in her Cool With Wool stool.
7 - In the stylish TWO LITTLE BIRDS indoor playhouse, kids can make a special place complete with shelves of their own, where their imagination can soar. Is it a boat, a house, a treehouse, a castle, or a henhouse? For designer Luka Jelusic, it's actually about making good use of pesky materials, like the invasive water hyacinth weed that the ropes of the playhouse are made of.
8 - The beautifully crafted ash wood MILDRED bench and dual-purpose handwoven wool blanket are designed together by Monique Consentino, a BA student at Denmark's TEKO school of Design & Business. Cozy and clever, the blanket folds into the stool where it makes a soft cushion, kept conveniently close until a cold breeze kicks up.
9 - Hanna Jacobsen's SPILT chair struck me as being either a super comfortable wood block equivalent of those metal pin impression toys that conform to every contour of the body, or a horrible torture device - all depending on which way its spiky wood blocks are facing. In actuality the wood blocks are simply the unwanted scraps of a busy workshop, making the chair itself an expression of the workshop's activity over a period of time, its useless pieces given a meaningful use.
10 - PULSE furniture. Is it a daybed, a bench, a table, tray or storage unit? Actually, it's all of these in one beautiful polyfunctional piece of furniture. I'd mark NOIDOI studio and its designers Kathrine Lønstad from Norway and Cosmin Cioroiu from Romania, as ones to watch. Their On the Edge lamp also left a big impression.