This weekend saw the sixth edition of New York’s WantedDesign exhibition take place in Manhattan as part of NYCxDESIGN. This year’s exhibition is titled A Few Good Things: New Designs from Norway and showcases the best in contemporary Norwegian design. Ten of the biggest emerging and established talents from Norway’s design world were invited to Manhattan to exhibit the products and prototypes they have been working on, providing an international platform and audience for their projects.
Curated by Metropolis magazine’s Paul Makovsky, A Few Good Things was conceptualised with a distinctly Scandinavian ethos. As suggested by its title, the exhibition tackled the contemporary obsession with gathering “stuff” in our homes, suggesting instead that it isn’t more “stuff” that we need but rather fewer, higher-quality and better-made products. This is a school of thought well-established in Norway, a country which has championed models of sustainable design since the early nineties when female Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland developed the Brundtland Report on sustainable development. Sustainability remains at the heart of Norwegian design today, and the products chosen for the exhibition—ranging from hand-made silverware, ceramics, tactile wooden furniture and hand-woven blankets—all clearly demonstrate how Norway’s contemporary generation of vibrant creative designers is shaping the future of product design with sustainable models. Below is a selection of designers and examples of the work they presented in Manhattan.
Having graduated with a Master’s degree in Product Design from Oslo and Akershus Universities, Andreas Ferdinand Riise Bergsaker will exhibit a selection of his minimalist wooden products at the exhibition, including the Piedistallo lamp (above) and O’Clock desk clock series.
An international prize-winning designer perhaps best known for her glasswork, Kristine Five Melvær will appear at the exhibition with her VAVAstackable stools. The stools are crafted from ash wood and are characterised by the undular legs which give the stools a rhythmic quality while also allowing them to be stacked neatly and compactly.
Sara Skotte is an Oslo-based designer concerned with methods of designing high-quality, everyday products in a way that gives the user a new, positive experience. At A Few Good Things: New Designs from Norway Skotte will show her range of tableware, entitled Vei, which is her attempt at creating products the user immediately wants to touch, and which touch the user as a result.
Already with exhibitions in Paris, London, Cologne and Stockholm under his belt, Copenhagen-based designer Martin Solem will present his Solem table at the exhibition in New York. Crafted from a lightweight wood with hollow legs that allow for easily concealed cables, Solem originally designed his table for hotel and professional spaces although the signature understated Scandi aesthetic would fit contemporary home spaces.
Words by Liam Roberts