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Main / 2003 / 2002 / 2001 / 2000 / 1999 / 1998
Totem Design shows off it's stable of Swedish designers.
May 9-11, 2000


Scenes from the exhibition Totem Design Group, New York's leading showcase for young contemporary design and a proponent of the Swedish design renaissance in the United States, is proud to co-present Stockholm New York, a three day happening featuring the very best of Swedish lifestyle, design, fashion, music, art, food and drink, with Swedish lifestyle magazine Stockholm New.

Taking place at the recently opened Altman building in Chelsea, Stockholm New York feature amongst other events a large live-in exhibition of the finest contemporary Swedish furniture and interior design. Totem Design's David Shearer takes his successful Swedish stable of designers, including Pia Wallen, Trio Claesson, Koivisto and Rune, and Bjorn Dahlstrom to the Tomas Sandell/Designed Exhibition Space. Stockholm New York is the third leg of an ongoing world tour for Swedish lifestyle that began in Milan in 1998 and went on to Tokyo last year.

Swedish Design

Swedish design culture has been flourishing for over one hundred years. As early as the late 1800s, Swedes were making a name for themselves in the furniture business, with an emphasis on simplicity of form and light colors. Strongly influenced by the Bauhaus, Swedish designers--unlike their German counterparts, who were dispersed or co-opted by Nazism—were able to carry on the democratization of design throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

Since the 1940's, Swedes have established a tradition of production in textiles, glass, ceramics, furniture and flatware that seamlessly merge craft and industry. The emphasis on economy, in both aesthetics and cost, were a natural extension of the country's post-war social ideals. Swedish functionality and austerity proved to be lasting principles of twentieth century design. When the first of the square, flourish-free Volvos were introduced, for example, many shrugged the design off as an aberration. Their functionalism turned out not only to not be an anomaly, but rather a persistent success: as other car manufacturers struggled with the exteriors of their vehicles, Volvo's look stayed virtually unchanged for 20 years. This type of classic simplicity permeates contemporary design, from Ikea furniture, to Carlson's now-famous Absolut Vodka bottle, or to the Berling typeface by Karl-Erik Forsberg.

Power Box by Box MoblerToday, The Swedish Design Movement is rapidly evolving. Its members include rising stars Claesson, Koivisto & Rune, and many are taking notice. Last year, Wallpaper magazine dedicated an entire issue to the current Swedish design scene. The International Contemporary Furniture Fair held in New York this past fall featured a number of young Swedish stars like Thomas Sandell and Bjorn Dahlstrom at the Totem design booth. And there are a host of new wave Swedish companies like David Design, Asplund, Box Mobler and CBI, all of which are distributed in the United States by Totem Design.

Stockholm New York

In between bites of Nordic cuisine and beats from imported DJs, visitors can also catch art exhibits, a photography show of Sweden's leading photographers, and a collection of classic Swedish design art objects from the past 300 years. Thursday, May 11 will climax in a party with all New York invited to share in all that Sweden has to offer.
Copyright © 2008 David Shearer   
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