The Stockholm Furniture Fair 2016 was held last week presenting the latest trends of Scandinavian design in lighting and furniture design. The fair has a well-established position in the Nordics being the number one on its field and where all the leading Scandinavian interior brands showcase their latest novelties.
The concept of Scandinavian design is globally well known, but since the internet is making everything so easily available it seems that the characteristics of that genre might be diluted since the designers get more influences all around the world. Or on the other hand you might say that the Scandinavian design is gaining more international attention and for example the design DNA for many Southern European companies is looking quite “Scandinavian” these days - it is more and more about simple and clear visual appearance. That might also be the reason why for example many Italian companies are much more popular in the Nordics these days as they have been before; maybe today´s Italian design has also been globalized in some extent.
While the origin of design is getting perhaps a bit blurred the same tendency can be found between home and office interiors. Also the concept of workplace can be a bit vague as well, since thanks to modern technology we are able to work anywhere and anytime. It´s a clear trend that offices are now more about people meeting each other than them doing actual work in the traditional sense of the word. In my opinion this trend has as big influence on the change of the visual appearance of office environments as the introduction of the computers had in the 1980´s and the pace of this change is dramatic.
The wellbeing of employees is today one of the main topics and the role of architecture and visual aspects of working environments are getting more and more important. This was clearly visible also on the stands of those companies who usually have been specialized in office environments. The new products resemble home furniture and they try to create more cozy and homelike environments for offices. Since the content of work is getting more demanding with deadlines, demands of multitasking etc. it´s important that the visual environment works as a counterweight against all these demands. We are now using much more elements from homes in offices than we have ever before: flowerpots, loose carpets, cozy floor lamps, decorative cushions and tactile materials such as solid wood. It was also seen on the fair that organic shapes are getting more and more popular and I think that this is also a very welcomed trend and makes it easier to create more human and inspiring workplaces.
The hotels have tried to mimic homes in their pursuit of creating homelike environments for their guests and that´s exactly the same that companies are now doing for their employees - today´s inspiring workplace is indeed a home away from home.
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