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Three Nordic exhibitions not to miss at Milan Design Week

The world’s leading design event kicks off today with Salone Del Mobile and Norway, Denmark and Sweden participating with special exhibitions showcasing a curated mix of the best that the respective country has to offer.

Norwegian Presence

After its headline-making debut in Zona Tortona last year, national design and craft art exhibition Norwegian Presence is heading back to Milan for 2019 with sustainability on its agenda. It highlights the work of 21 hand-picked designers and craft artists alongside seven of the country’s leading manufacturers — all united by a commitment to sustainable making and production practice.

Each product and artwork has been inspired by the theme of connection and created in celebration of collaboration and as a clarion call for sustainable, socially beneficial design — values that are embedded in Norway's creative ethos and infrastructure.

For curators Kråkvik&D’Orazio and organisers DOGA, Klubben, and Norwegian Crafts, sustainability means more than making things with recyclable materials. It represents a complete system of circular design that reaches from the confines of the maker’s studio to the educational systems and economic structures that support it. The exhibition highlights an array of eco-minded material and production innovations, ranging from Máret Ánne Sara and Matt Lambert’s jewellery in bone to Mijo Studio’s seating in aerated concrete.

Furthermore, set designers Kristine Bjaadal and Hallgeir Homstvedt have constructed a flat-pack set exclusively from recycled and recyclable materials, intending for it to be easily dismantled and repurposed at the close of the show.

Participating manufacturers: Fjordfiesta, Volver Studios, Varier, Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik, Krafted, Elementa, and Vestre. Designers: Erik Wester, Kim Thomé, Kaja Solgaard Dahl, KnudsenBergHindenes, Martin Høgh Olsen, Marte Frøystad, Tron Meyer, Mijo Studio, Noidoi, Stine Aas, Henrik Ødegaard, Vera & Kyte, and Tron Meyer. Address: Via Savona 35 Online:

Perfect Darkness

Elisa Ossino and Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer open the doors of Perfect Darkness, an apartment installation with a selection of award-winning international design studios that share a passion for creativity and research. Trademarks and cultural values combine tradition and innovation with authenticity and integrity to experience a new concept of home.

Participating brands and creators: Ark Journal, Artcoustic, Astep, Boffi, De Castelli, De-Tech, Dresswall, Fantini, File Under Pop, Formani, Frama, H+O, House of Finn Hjul, Kinfolk, Menu, Nesite, Officine Saffi, Pitt Cooking, Salvatori, Stine Goya, and Tubes. Address: Brera Design District, Via Solferini 11 Online:

HEMMA gone wild

Swedish Design Moves returns to Milan Design Week this year with HEMMA gone wild — a sequel to the 2018 exhibition, HEMMA — Stories of Home. Curated and designed by Joyn Studio, HEMMA gone wild invites visitors to experience an abstract and playful vision of home, from hallway to living room and onwards through an unfolding scenography that showcases the best of Swedish design, drawn by curiosity and a mood of mystery.

Among the pieces shown are a number of the 82 new objects created for the Nationalmuseum’s NM& Collection — a unique collaboration between 32 Swedish designers and 20 manufacturers, unveiled late last year. These include the Curve lamp for the museum’s library designed by Front and produced by Zero, Sand dinnerware designed by Carina Seth Andersson in collaboration with Design House Stockholm, the Ateljé dining table designed by Matti Klenell (artistic director of the NM& project) and produced by Gärsnäs, and the Botero chair, also designed by Matti Klenell in collaboration with Peter Andersson and produced by Källemo.

Sustainability is a driving influence for Sweden’s designers and manufacturers. Two leading design brands to highlight in this regard are Bolon, which launched in 1949 with rugs produced from textile waste and today uses 33% recycled materials in its flooring products, and acoustic product producer Baux, which was founded on the belief that building materials should be sustainable, surprisingly functional and remarkably beautiful.

Emerging talents throughout HEMMA gone wild will be accentuated by the inclusion of the work of students of Beckmans College of Design and HDK Academy of Design and Crafts and the winners of the Swedish national award for young designers (Ung Svensk Form), many of whom will show graduation and prototype projects.

Other participating brands and designers: Electrolux, office design brands EFG and Ogeborg, bathroom specialists Westerbergs, urban design company Nola and wood-fired bathtub manufacturer Hikki, Monica Förster, fashion designer Lars Nilsson for Vandra Rugs, Asplund, Blå Station, Gemla, and Tre Sekel and some of the country’s newest studios and brands: Massproductions, Myltha, Pholc, and Studio Mia Cullin. Address: Via Solferino 15 Online: