Dezeen Magazine

Charlotte Wiking obituary

Stockholm Design's Charlotte Wiking dies at 48

Inspirational business leader Charlotte Wiking, a key figure in Sweden's creative industries, has passed away after a short illness.

Wiking, who at the time of her death was project managing the establishment of Stockholm Design, a planned design centre for the Swedish capital, passed away on 18 November.

Speaking in May this year, Wiking described the planned venture as "a dynamic public arena for design, fashion and architecture that will bring the world of design to Stockholm and Swedish design to the world."

The tight-knit Swedish design community has been shocked by her untimely death.

"Charlotte was a good friend and a veritable powerhouse," said Petrus Palmér, founder of Swedish design brand Hem.

"She was a passionate advocate for design, and her contribution to the Swedish design scene, both locally and internationally, can not be underestimated. It's extremely saddening that such a vivid personality has left us," he said.

Co-founder of Swedish architecture practice Claesson Koivisto Rune, Eero Koivisto took to Instagram to pay tribute, describing Wiking as "one of the most important figures in changing today's contemporary Swedish design area".

"She was an unbelievable force. And all the time being a lovely human being," he said.


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R I P Charlotte Wiking. I guess that not to many of you knew her, but i.m.h.o she was one of the most important figures in changing today’s contemporary Swedish Design arena. She was instrumental in re-newing the at the time very tired Stockholm Furniture Fair into an important International design event, being it’s manager 2002-2008. She traveled and learnt to know most of the key figures and major designers in the field. She initiated the Stockholm Design Week (at that time there were very few Design Weeks) She went on to do the same thing with the Stockholm Museum of Photography, and after that again repeated it with the Swedish Music Hall of Fame. Last time I talked to her she again wanted to start something equally big, but in the architecture and design world. She was an unbelievable force. And all the time being a lovely human being. #lottiewiking #swedishdesignmover #powerhouse #lovelyhumanbeing #wheredowegonow #stockholmfurniturefair #stockholmdesignweek

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Wiking developed a variety of cultural meeting places within design, music and photography throughout her career,

She was involved with the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair from 2002 until 2010. In this role she helped launch Greenhouse, a space for emerging young designers that has since become a permanent feature of the fair and helped launch numerous careers.

She introduced the idea of inviting an international guest of honour to the fair each year, and was part of the team that collaborated with the tourism and design industries to build Stockholm Design Week around the week of the fair.

She moved on to become the founding managing director of Fotografiska, Stockholm's world-leading photography museum, which has since expanded to London, and will open a new space in New York next year. Wiking was hired five months before the space opened in Stockholm and was responsible for rethinking the funding, opening hours and branding of such an institution.

After establishing a small marketing consultancy, Standing Ovation, in 2012 with her husband Pontus Wiking, she was handpicked to build the Swedish Music Hall of Fame from scratch that same year.

She spoke of the project as "the most challenging and hardest I've experienced, with limited budget, limited staff and limited time".

Her latest venture Stockholm Design is scheduled for completion in 2020. It will feature contemporary exhibitions, events and installations, work spaces and design shops.

Wiking held a degree in art history from Stockholm University and a diploma in marketing from IHM Business School.

She is survived by her husband and three sons.