It’s again the season of design fairs and events around Europe. This time we want to highlight a newcomer, northmodern in Copenhagen on 13–15 August. The first edition of northmodern was held in January, and now it’s time for the second round, with a wide selection of brands and exhibitors.
Northmodern calls itself “Scandinavia’s new innovative furniture and lifestyle trade show”. Their aim is to showcase both international talents and the best of Scandinavian design heritage. According to Michala Krabbe Remmer, marketing manager of the event, northmodern is a new furniture, interior and design platform created “after a decade without any high profile design and furniture events in Scandinavia”. The organizers clearly have set the aim high and want northmodern to be more than just a trade show. “A powerful platform uniting Danish culture and cuisine with design, press, retail and technology. A creative community bringing together industry leaders and innovative ‘creatives’ in a unique and well-rounded curation of design. A place for knowledge sharing and ideas between professionals and related industries,” Michala describes the different aspects of the event over email.
When browsing the brand list of northmodern, one finds many well-known and established names of the Scandinavian design scene, such as Artek, Arne Jacobsen and Muuto. On the other hand, there are also one-designer companies and new names, for examplescandinaviaform, which we recently introduced, and By Krohn with their lovely prints and posters (see the photos above). An interesting example among the new talents is We Do Wood, a Danish furniture company, which has used the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to fund their new project, the easily assembled and disassembled Nomad chair. According to Anders Holme Jensen, company representative, crowdfunding turned out to be the perfect way to involve a number of ‘first-movers’ with an interest in design. Read more about their experiences here. Like many other design events these days, northmodern also highlights sustainability. “This season we have a very close collaboration with the 1.618 Sustainable Luxury fair in Paris. They are also curating the Crystal Hall area at northmodern, and bringing with them a selection of sustainable brands with design, fashion, lifestyle and more,” Michala Krabbe Remmer says.
The 1.618 project aims to discuss how sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. At northmodern, 1.618 presents over 20 brands, many of them Scandinavian (below a lamp by a Swedish company Kovac Family). Barbara Coignet started the project in 2009. This is how she describes the beginning of it in an interview with northmodern: “The designers’ attitude was that you can either be creative, or you can save the planet; they didn’t believe it was possible to combine creativity and quality with sustainability. I decided to find examples to prove them wrong.” We find Barbara Coignet’s view on the role of consumers very interesting. According to her, the consumers now have the power over companies. “Affluent consumers still have €10.000 to spend on a handbag, but now they want to know about its origins, which is quite new, especially in the luxury market. And the brands have to answer – and tell the truth. Transparency is crucial: if a brand does not communicate its dedication to sustainability, people will assume it has none.” Beyond exhibits, displays and installations, northmodern also offers, e.g., lectures and a conference titled Better By Design.