Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo

Fold Oslo designers look to the future of furniture in Ny Normal exhibition

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the environmental crisis, six Oslo-based designers present furniture designs that anticipate a more positive future.

Ny Normal is an exhibition of new works from Fold Oslo, a collective made up of designers Vilde Hagelund, Sovei Giæver, Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng, Poppy Lawman, Tobias Berg and Kathrine Hovind.

Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Ny Normal features the work of six Oslo-based designers

All six designers have taken one of their past designs and evolved it further, creating a version they feel is more suited to "our new normal".

"The objects in the exhibition have developed alongside our current worldwide norm, intertwining old conversations into new interpretations," explained Poppy Lawman.

Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
All six designers have further developed one of their previous projects

"We are not alone, we believe in scrutinising the status quo," she told Dezeen. "We see many searching for new approaches to apply to our newly opened up world."

"It is time for all to seize this rare moment and make an unprecedented reset."

Papirstein Stol paper and steel lounge chair by Poppy Lawman at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Poppy Lawman's Papirstein Stol is a lounge chair partly made from compressed paper pulp

Lawman's contribution is a lounge chair made from "papirstein", a natural and biodegradable material she developed by compressing paper pulp.

Previously the designer used this material to create a stool, which featured in the Norwegian Presence showcase in 2020. In this latest iteration, it becomes the seat and backrest of a steel-framed chair.

Viride dining chair and dining table by Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Trees inspired the Viride dining table and chair by Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng

Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng presents a dining table and chair, both sculpted from ash wood, at the Ny Normal exhibition.

Intended to challenge the linearity of modern furniture, her designs have a knobbly form based on the shapes of tree branches and roots.

Kvarv pine lounge chair by Kathrine Hovind at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Kathrine Hovind's Kvarv chair is designed to look like wooden logs

Kathrine Hovind has designed a chair that celebrates a Norwegian construction technique called lafting, which utilises solid tree logs.

Wooden cylinders form the legs, sides and backrest of the design, called Kvarv.

Armarium cabinet by Vilde Hagelund at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Vilde Hagelund hand-carved birch wood to give texture to her Armarium cabinet

Another designer working in wood is Vilde Hagelund. Her design, called Armarium, is a hand-carved birch cabinet with intricate details that exaggerate the natural texture of the material.

Tobias Berg's design is a side table supported by overlapping surfaces with playfully curved cutouts, while Sovei Giæver has designed a geometric pine bench with an accompanying blue storage box.

Aspekt side table by Tobias Berg at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Curved cutaways give an unusual form to Tobias Berg's Aspekt side table

Ny Normal is the second exhibition that Fold Oslo has staged.

The six designers originally came together as a collective for a show at Stockholm Design Week in 2020.

"Our collective grew from shared commonalities," said Lawman.

"We share a love of raw materials and explorative techniques, and an attraction to utterly clean and unusually curious forms."

Pir bench and box by Sovei Giæver at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Sovei Giæver's Pir is a pine bench with an accompanying blue box

At a time when few designers have been able to showcase their work to the public, due to the cancellation of many design fairs and exhibitions, the group taking part in Ny Normal have found strength in numbers.

"The pandemic has halted much of the traditional design industry outlets that previously have been primary platforms for our work," said Lawman.

Viride dining chair by Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
The designs debuted in an exhibition at Gallery Sorgenfri in Oslo

"Now we have been looking for new ways to bring our ideas to form, new places to showcase in, and new ways of approaching design objects," she continued.

"Together we have supported one another in finding our way in design, to find our voices as designers, and to help those voices find form in shape, material, and function."

Designers at the Ukurant Perspectives show at 3 Days of Design also looked at innovative material use, while ÉCAL students teamed up with Muji to create compact, space-saving furniture.


Ny Normal was on show at Gallery Sorgenfri from 10 to 12 September 2021. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

More images

Viride dining chair and dining table by Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Viride dining chair by Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Viride dining table by Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Kvarv pine lounge chair by Kathrine Hovind at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Kvarv pine lounge chair by Kathrine Hovind at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Papirstein Stol paper and steel lounge chair by Poppy Lawman at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Aspekt side table by Tobias Berg at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Pir bench and box by Sovei Giæver at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Pir bench and box by Sovei Giæver at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo
Armarium cabinet by Vilde Hagelund at Ny Normal exhibition by Fold Oslo