The Stockholm furniture is now considered to be the largest of its kind in the world. It is the largest event that makes up the whole festival known as Stockholm Design Week. While first and foremost it is a trade show for Scandinavian design, it now sits on its own as a place for top designers from all over the world to showcase their work.
What draws the crowds and what draws the business can be considered the same, but what sets them apart is the full function of the business that makes the event a success. This event is about making money. Having been to a number of similar events, I was excited to see so many papers being signed and deals inked to supply top restaurants, hotels and homes with design selected out of the show. It just so happened that I was trying my hardest to keep a virus at bay, and I was therefore taking full advantage of the many booths and their luxury sofas to keep myself rested throughout the massive show. It was during these rests that I was able to eavesdrop on deals, and I would listen with awe as sales were made.
I came out with some questions regarding what happened first in Sweden. Was the design always at a level that made people want it first, and that supported the industry during the time when companies worked out of small studios? Or was the money waved in front of the design industry first, leading the designers into a situation with less risk and the access to the reward known? It does not really matter now, as there is an obvious health and vitality in Stockholm that cities five times as large cannot seem to grasp. But it is a question that I have to ask as I am from a city that is young, searching for footing in the world, and cannot seem to tap into the revenue streams that are so obviously thick with cash.