Distribution in new markets. Agreements with reputable manufacturers. Challenging and high-profile design jobs. The possibilities are numerous for those participating in the Norwegian exhibition ‘Everything is Connected’ during Milan Design Week, also known as Salone del Mobile.
“Last year’s exhibition was very well received by both buyers and the international press and several of the designers entered into valuable partnerships or engaged in dialogue with major players in the international design world after the event. Expectations of this year’s exhibition are high,” says Trude Gomnæs Ugelstad, CEO of Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA).
She points out that the influential Wallpaper magazine recently chose ‘Everything is Connected’ as a ‘must-see’ exhibition during this year’s Salone del Mobile. In addition, design magazine Dezeen also included the Norwegian exhibition in its list of 14 exhibitions its readers should not miss this year. Cool Hunting also includes the exhibition in its list of expected highlights.
Commercial and artistic
The exhibition is also of significant value for arts & crafts specialists, according to Director Hege Henriksen in Norwegian Crafts.
“It promotes visibility both internationally and in Norway. Experience has taught us that this translates into new projects in the form of more exhibitions and increased sales. I am very pleased with curator Katrin Greiling’s selection this year. The projects to be displayed are of a very high artistic level, while at the same time have significant potential for sale and commercial opportunities,” says Henriksen.
Exciting partnerships and prestigious projects
After the Norwegian exhibition ‘Norwegian Presence’ in Milan in 2015, designer Runa Klock succeeded in getting his table lamp ‘Core’ in production by the Danish New Works. This year, she will be launching the ‘Archie’ chair through an Italian manufacturer she met during last year’s ‘Norwegian Structure’ exhibition.
In the wake of the same exhibition, ceramist Kristin Opem signed a contract with the German online gallery Pamono, while Mille Behrens was invited to take part in a prestigious exhibition directed by The Met Breuer in New York.
Italian manufacturer Opinion Ciatti picked up the ‘Apparel’ room separator made by design duo Vera & Kyte during the related SaloneSatelite talent exhibition in 2014. This year, Stine Aas and Cecilia Xinyu Zhang, both designers in Oslo Form, are also participating in this part of Salone del Mobile.
On the verge of capitulation prior to Milan success
Ceramist Ann Kristin Einarsen says she is negotiating with manufacturers to commercialise four of her prototypes.
“This is the direct result of all of the attention I received in Milan last year. Before I received such recognition here, I was on the verge of giving up on ceramics. I had lost my enthusiasm. After Milan, however, I’ve been included in several international exhibitions and a number of my works are now being produced commercially,” says Einarsen.
Her contribution to this year’s exhibition is ‘Fam’, a series of five stackable porcelain vases in various shapes and colours.
“A dream to be included”
In the wake of last year’s Milan exhibition, Sara Wright Polmar’s sofa was put into production by Bolia of Denmark. This year, she’s exhibiting ‘Matchbox’, a matchbox-inspired storage solution that serves as both a chest and wall-mounted shelf.
“For designers, Salone del Mobile is the most important arena to showcase their work. Since we established the design collective Klubben in 2011, it was our dream to exhibit here and, in 2015, that dream finally came true. The Norwegian exhibition was very much the result of volunteer work the first time, but now that we have professional collaborative partners, everything has been much more streamlined and easier for the exhibitors. And the contacts and media attention are worth their weight in gold,” says Polmar.
Summer exhibition in Oslo
Design and Architecture Norway and Norwegian Crafts have joined forces with Klubben and Jotun for this year’s exhibition. The concept behind the exhibition is to present a living map of Norway’s creative industries. The exhibition consists of 30 works of arts & crafts and design prototypes in furniture, textile, lighting, ceramics, metal and glass.
The opening event for ‘Everything is Connected’ is on Wednesday 5 April, after which the exhibition will be shown in the Ventura Lambrate design district until 9 April. The exhibition will be returning home during the summer and shown at the Oslo Design Fair from 30 August to 2 September.
Read more about the exhibition at www.contemporarycraftsanddesign.no.