Playful Exploration Takes Center Stage at Greenhouse 2024

Laura Casañas Maya

Greenhouse, the Stockholm Furniture Fair’s international platform for up-and-coming designers, acts as a stepping stone for the design stars of tomorrow. The exhibitors for 2024 include 32 designers and 22 design schools from around the world, notable for their playful exploration and experimentation. Greenhouse 2024 also features the Very Simple Bar by the architecture studio Stamuli, as well as the Young Swedish Design exhibition by Svensk Form.

The Greenhouse class of 2024 is characterized by a clear curiosity and a strong presence of innovative elements in their submissions, said Anya Sebton, an industrial designer and chair of the Greenhouse jury. Their designs demonstrate a high level of exploration with materials and a playful approach to the design process, she added.

One standout is Rhode Island-based designer Taylor McKenzie-Veal, who will present his lighting collection Soft Lamps, which originated from months of experimentation with sewing and rope. “I spent months simply immersing myself in sewing and researching braided rope,” he said. “I sourced dozens of different types of rope, consulted with rope manufacturers, and explored different ways of binding rope together with the sewing machine and hand stitching.”

He overlaid this experimentation with his background in designing light fixtures and working with LEDs, and eventually his collection of table lamps emerged. “I’m excited to share this collection because it fuses handcraft with technology,” Mr. McKenzie-Veal said. “It treats familiar objects with a new perspective.”

Another Greenhouse exhibitor working with textile craft is American-Colombian designer Laura Casañas Maya, who will present The Passementerie Series – a collection consisting of a sofa, a table and a pair of lamps. “Passementerie is an increasingly rare form of textile craft, it mainly exists as an ornament,” she said. “My objective is to challenge this. The Passementerie Series subverts the relationship between ornament and function, operating within a new hierarchy in which ornament dictates forms, materials and techniques.”

For Ms. Casañas Maya, exhibiting in Greenhouse is also about engaging in a broader dialogue that pushes boundaries. “What makes this experience significant is the chance to see how my fellow designers challenge conventional notions, both conceptually and physically,” she said. “Greenhouse presents a unique opportunity to be an active participant in the sustainability conversation.”

Challenging conventions is something Canadian-based designer Reggy St-Surin is also passionate about. Despite graduating in industrial design, his approach is more artistic than practical. “I am excited to share Tom, the first chair I’ve designed,” he said. “As hard as it can be, I want to create things people have never seen before. I hope to have a bit of cultural impact.”

Kristoffer Fagerström, co-founder of Note Design Studio and a new Greenhouse juror, eagerly awaits seeing the exhibitors at the fair in February. “For me, Greenhouse is a vitamin injection,” he said. “The vibrant joy of creation and eagerness for innovation spread throughout. Over the years, Greenhouse has nurtured many big names, and will hopefully continue to do so.”

Very Simple Bar Fuses Sustainability and Community

Architecture studio Stamuli, known for fashion and retail interiors, has collaborated with the Italian kitchen producer Very Simple Kitchen to create a bar that serves as both a social hub and a statement on sustainability in the Greenhouse area.

Dubbed Very Simple Bar, it is a celebration of collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to a sustainable future, the designers said. The bar was crafted using responsibly-sourced natural materials and traditional techniques aimed at minimizing environmental impact.

“We wanted Very Simple Bar to bring people together while also serving as a symbol of our united commitment to building a better future,” said Marco Stamuli, founder of Stamuli Architecture. “It’s a gathering point to foster community and important conversations.”

Greenhouse at Stockholm Furniture Fair is held February 6–10, 2024 at Stockholmsmässan.

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