May 17 - June 24, 2001
Totem Design, the United States' principal advocate of Scandinavian design, is
proud to present the exhibition "Swede Sensation," a tribute to contemporary
Swedish furniture and interior design. The exhibition features some of today's
preeminent Swedish manufacturers, including David
Design, CBI, Box
Blå Station, Johanson Design, Skandiform, Klaessons, Snowcrash, Swedese and Voxia.
It runs concurrently with another Swedish show by Offecct at Totem
minutes away in Soho.
The exhibition is sponsored by Bombay Sapphire.
Swedish design has been flourishing for over one hundred years. As early as the
late 1800s, Swedes were making a name for themselves in the furniture business,
with an emphasis on simplicity of form and light colors. Strongly influenced
by the Bauhaus, Swedish designers--unlike their German counterparts, who were
dispersed around the world during World War II-were able to carry on the democratization
of design throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
Since the 1940's, Swedes have established a tradition of production in textiles,
glass, ceramics, furniture and flatware that seamlessly merge craft and industry.
The emphasis on economy, in both aesthetics and cost, were a natural extension
of the country's post-war social ideals. Swedish functionality and austerity
proved to be lasting principles of twentieth century design. When the first of
the square, flourish-free Volvos were introduced, for example, many shrugged
the design off as an aberration. Their functionalism turned out not only to not
be an anomaly, but rather a persistent success: as other car manufacturers struggled
with the exteriors of their vehicles, Volvo's look stayed virtually unchanged
for 20 years. This type of classic simplicity permeates contemporary design,
from Ikea furniture, to Carlson's now-famous Absolut Vodka bottle, or to the
Berling typeface by Karl-Erik Forsberg.
Today, The Swedish Design Movement is rapidly evolving. Its members include
stars Claesson, Koivisto & Rune, Thomas Sandell, Bjorn Dahlstrom, Pia
Wallenand Mats Theselius. Wallpaper magazine has already dedicated an entire issue
to the Swedish design scene, and the international furniture fairs in New York,
Milan, London and Tokyo are each year overflowed by a new waves of Swedish talent.
With "Swede Sensation," Totem shows its gratitude and respect to the
Swedish design scene in general, its Swedish vendors in particular and
contribution to international design.