Milan will soon be swollen with darkly-clad design types as its mammoth Salone del Mobile furniture fair and plethora of off-site exhibitions, showrooms and installations open their doors to around one million visitors beginning Tuesday, 12 April 2011. The many post-Milan tales of new discoveries are just around the corner, and the shift to underline a product's backstory is one we expect to see heavily played out this year, as brands look to give the viewer more than simply a new shape or form.
Sweden has long held its heritage dear to its heart and this year's Swedish Love Stories pavilion (organized by Svensk Form, the Swedish Crafts and Design Council) focuses on the narrative behind each of its 55 exhibitors.
Taking place at the pioneering Superstudio Più, Swedish Love Stories 2011 highlights the work of Sweden's Västra Götaland region—the center of the country's furniture production industry—with 15 young designers showcasing their wares. Fredrik Färg (pictured at top), Little Red Stuga, Staffan Holm (pictured bottom left) and Brikolör (pictured above) being a few designers from this rich region expected to clean up.
Joining them will be a hefty showcase of Sweden's wide-ranging design talent from the wise, touchingly poetic rugs of Kasthall (pictured bottom right) to Volvo Trucks (pictured above) outlining its creative credentials. Those in the know are itching to see what the first products from The Fifty Fifty Projects will look like, a collective with a unique and poignant approach to design which sees everything from profits to its economy split in terms of responsibility between its three founding designers.
Chinese telecommunications firm, Hauwei will be unveiling a unique, almost retro phone, the Folding Leaf—designed in collaboration with Sweden's starchitects Claesson Koivisto Rune. The device seeks to return functionality and simplicity to the phone user of today, who may not need quite so many apps.
For 2011 Swedish Love Stories tapped design consultancy No Picnic to bring the pavilion to life, ensuring the space is a celebration of the people behind the products and their dedication to their craft.