Virtual Design Festival

Stockholm Design Week and VDF present this year's Formex Nova nominees

As part of today's collaboration with Stockholm Design Week, Virtual Design Festival showcases work by the five nominees for the 2020 Formex Nova award.

Interior design fair Formex, founded in 1960, is held in Stockholm twice a year in January and August. Each year, its Formex Nova award is given to a relatively unknown designer working in the Nordic interior design industry.

vdf x stockholm design week formex nova valdis steinarsdottir
Valdís Steinarsdóttir's rocking horse and slippers made of horse hair

Previous nominees include Theodora Alfredsdottir and Studio Kaksikoo, whose Maissi Bench was shortlisted for furniture design of the year at Dezeen Awards 2019.

In 2018, Ragna Ragnarsdottir's objects depicting strange landscapes and oceans netted her the prize.

The award was established to promote high-quality Nordic design, and nominees must live and work in the Nordic region and be under 40 years of age.

VDF x Stockholm Design Week Jokinen Konu, Formex Nova
Jokinen and Konu's multi-glass series is made in a modular mould

They're also required to have a college education or have demonstrated an ability to make innovative, artistic and usable products.

In addition, to be considered as a professional designer they must have at least one product in production, had a product that has attracted a lot of attention, or had a product exhibited.

Below are the five nominees for Formex Nova 2020 award:

Formex Nova nominess Jokinen Konu

Jukka Jokinen and Heikki Konu, Finland

Jukka Jokinen and Heikki Konu's glass series is based on a new kind of modular glass-blowing mould. Pieces can be stacked together to produce a countless number of shapes.

Working with professional glassblowers, the designers created lampshades, vases and containers using just the one mould.

The jury's motivation:

"The minimal and clear aesthetics of the series amplifies the design principles and mindset of Nordic design. This duo developed a new kind of glass blowing technique with a modular mould that can implement countless of different objects for different use. The possibilities are endless."

Formex Nova nominee Stine Mikkelsen

Stine Mikkelsen, Denmark

Danish textile designer Stine Mikkelsen's Luminous Shapes collection explores how people understand and interpret experimental product design. To create her sculptural lamps, often only identifiable as lighting designs from their bulbs, she focused on first making the right shape before adding the light source.

Mikkelsen has previously exhibited at London Design Fair, Crossover and Adorno, among others.

Stine Mikkelsen's Luminous Shapes
Pieces in the Luminous Shapes collection are both sculptures and lamps

She has an MA in Knitted Textiles from Royal College of Art in the UK and an MA in Contextual Design from Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

The jury's motivation:

"Design with interesting combination of materials in luminaires, smaller objects, textile design, sculptures or mural works. Design that makes you wonder how it was made, from what and how it's used."

Formex Nova nominee Sigve Knutson

Sigve Knutson, Norway

Experimental designer Sigve Knutson made his objects, which are motivated by his fascination for the intuitive and playful, by hand. The collection includes tables and chairs in rough-hewn shapes.

Knutson is based in Oslo and has exhibited his work in Beirut, Milan, New York, Paris, Antwerp and Copenhagen. He holds an MA in Contextual Design from Design Academy Eindhoven.

Work by Sigve Knutson for Formex Nova
Knutsons' handmade products have organic forms and unpolished surfaces

The jury's motivation:

"A designer who works in between art and design. His approach is playful and improvisational, more focusing on process than on precise results. Fascinated by random process and the intuitive rather than the calculated."

Formex Nova nominee Vadis Steinarsdottir

Valdís Steinarsdóttir, Iceland

Icelandic designer Valdís Steinarsdóttir specialises in material experiments using recycled organic material.

Her Bioplastic Skin project saw Steinarsdóttir invent a biodegradable packaging for meat made from the skin of the animal, while her Just Bones design used animal bones to create a natural material similar in strength to an MDF board.

The jury's motivation:

"Design that focuses on material experiments and finding unique solutions to social and environmental issues. Through Valdís projects, she wants to have an open discussion with the audience about social changes through design."

Formex Nova nominee Jan Klingler

Jan Klingler, Sweden

Industrial designer Jan Klingler describes his Bacteria lamp as "a modern fossil". He created the lamp by taking a skin sample from a person and growing the bacteria into unique patterns for twenty-four to forty-eight hours, before sealing them in resin.

The jury's motivation:

"Designer who finds inspiration in the most unexpected of places. He combines industrial design and microbiology into innovative design that highlights a highly personalised content: bacteria."

Jan Klingler's Bacteria Lamp
Jan Klingler's Bacteria Lamp. Photo is by TrendNomad

About Stockholm Design Week

Together with Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Stockholm Design Week has established itself as the most important week of the year for Scandinavian Design. The week is held annually in February and is a meeting point for buyers, architects, designers, press and influencers from all over the world.

Stockholm Design Week takes place in a variety of venues across the city, from galleries and showrooms to dinner parties, after fair meetings, opening cocktails, museums and cultural institutions. The upcoming edition, Summer Design Week, will be held on 17-23 August 2020. The next Stockholm Design Week will take place on February 8-14, 2021