Five years and after extensive renovation , Stockholm’s National Museum of Fine Arts, finally opened its doors to the public again. One of the spaces that has been most anticipated is the new restaurant and cafe that is layered across three ground floor galleries previously non accessible. Some of Swedens most talented designers joined forces in order to realise this artistic project that involved exploring new materials and exciting new methods. The collaboration resulted to NM& – En Ny Samling, a contemporary collection of furniture, light fittings, tableware and other decorative objects that celebrate the unfinished and uncertain in a House already filled with artistic masterpieces. Matti Klenell, TAF Studio, Carina Seth Andersson and Stina Löfgren, are only a part of the process of creating the NM& collection which involved 32 designers and 21 manufacturers from all over the Nordic countries.
While this collaboration is impressive, it is not the teams first venture into designing with a broader series in mind. During 2012–2014, the Swedish designers worked together with Taiwanese artisans to create a series of contemporary objects made with ancient lacquer techniques with the title “A New Layer” . It was not long before the project gained international fame which brought more collaborations into the fold and later named “A New Layer II: Crafting Identities / Design Stories from Taiwan“.
Materials such as wood, metal, ceramics and glass often give the “soul” to the whole project and with the National Museum in mind the team created a space with truly unique character. What came out of the collaboration is a collection of more than 80 entirely new designed objects – each one given an archive code starting with NM& 001 similar to a museum inventory number – grounded in a shared palette of muted colors, eclectic materials and unpretentious craftsmanship. Contemporary and bold, they nevertheless embody the Nordic heritage. As the team explains,
”Each product in the NM& collection has a sometimes messy but always well documented pedigree around its origins, and just as we hoped somewhere at the beginning of our journey, the overall final picture of a place, our place right here, right now, is just as motley and unpredictable as we hoped it would be”.
I am really looking forward to seeing these designs this week and speak with the designers myself and the producers, and also very much looking forward to dining at the new restaurant. Follow me this week on stories and instagram with short updates on the blog to see more through my unique perspective!
Above : NM& 063 , Everyday glasses ”Unda” by Matti Klenell produced by Design House Stockholm.
Above : NM& 036, ”Kavalett” swivel base chair by Matti Klenell produced by Swedese.
Below : NM& 038: Height adjustable café table by Afterroom produced by Källemo. Above: NM& 071, ”Väven” fabric by Stina Löfgren produced by Klässbols Linneväveri.
Above : NM& 080, ”Kolonn” vases by Carina Seth Andersson produced by Skruf. Photo by Pia Ulin.
Below : NM& 037, ”Chapeau” chair by TAF produced by Offecct.
// All photos via Nationalmuseum Photography by Pia Ulin
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