Void Watches: In an age when we always know the time, David Ericsson offers clean, attractive designs that shape our perception of it

Void Watches
Seven years ago Swedish industrial designer David Ericsson left his industry behind to find himself in Hong Kong, steering one of the most stylistically interesting modern watch brands: Void. It's a...
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Fideli Sundqvist: I Love Paper: The Swedish artist’s book teaches the tricks of her very crafty trade

Fideli Sundqvist: I Love Paper
In the summer of 2011, Fideli Sundqvist presented her graduation project at Stockholm's Konstfack University. In the midst of the overblown gaudy work from the art departments, the conceptual...
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Unit Portables + Ucon Arko Bag: Celebrate the Stockholm label’s two-year anniversary with a collaborative rendition of their Unit 01 shoulder bag

Unit Portables + Ucon Arko Bag
The makers of highly functional, modular bags for everyday use and extended travel, Stockholm's Unit Portables are celebrating their their second year of superlative bag design by teaming up with Berlin-based clothing brand recordOutboundLink(this,...
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Mattias Adolfsson Sketchbooks

Focus sur le travail de Mattias Adolfsson, un illustrateur suédois qui aime remplir ses carnets de compositions étoffées et colorées. Un rendu absolument magnifique réalisé avec beaucoup de patience, qui fait de ses nombreux « sketchbooks » de précieux objets. A découvrir sur son portfolio et dans la suite de l’article.

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Form Us With Love + Tid: Two Swedish studios team up to keep perfect time

Form Us With Love + Tid "The wristwatch lost its essentiality when devices for showing the time moved into everyone's pocket," notes Petrus Palmér of design agency Form Us With Love on the impetus for its latest collaboration, this time with a new Swedish watch company Tid. Tid is the short Swedish word for time,...
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Omnipollo

A nomadic Swedish brewery founded on an unlikely "brewmance" Omnipollo Swedish brewing nomads Henok Fentie and Karl Grandin founded Omnipollo in 2010. Fentie, a homebrewing enthusiast and Grandin, an illustrator, graphic designer and one of the founders of Cheap Monday, take a unique approach to brewing that has seen them ferment the label's success in a short span of...
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David Taylor

The Stockholm-based Scottish artisan introduces a family of candlesticks David Taylor Based out of Stockholm, Scotsman David "Superdave" Taylor calls himself a metal craftsman. The self-proclaimed job title doesn't necessarily do him justice, however, given that his roster of work regularly transcends the boundaries between design, art and craft. Yet, tags aside, the man is a true contemporary artisan in...
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Sockerbit

The Swedish sweet shop introduces all-natural popsicles for summer

Offering a bright white respite from the bustle of Christopher Street, Sockerbit is a Scandinavian sweet shop in NYC's West Village known for its delectable selection of traditional smågodis (little candies) and its pristine, rainbow-lined interior. The shop—whose name literally translates to "lump of sugar"—was opened in 2010 by Stefan Ernberg and his wife, Florence Baras. Specializing in all things sweet and Swedish—with foodstuffs and toys from neighboring Denmark as well—Sockerbit carries more than 149 different candies priced by the pound. All of their candies are naturally colored and free of genetically modified ingredients and trans fats. "Usually there are more adults in here than kids," says Baras. "Our candies may look like other candy, but once people try them they can taste the difference."

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This summer, Sockerbit introduced a line of popsicles made in collaboration with Go-Go Pops, a company based in Cold Springs, New York. The flavors are inspired by Sockerbit's goodies and traditional Swedish flavors like lingonberry and lemon-elderberry pop. Some varieties include small pieces of candy, like the salted licorice, which features chunks of Sockerbit's bestselling sweet. Like Sockerbit's other products, their popsicles are naturally flavored and sweetened. "The best part about working with Go-Go Pops is that they are constantly updating the line to include seasonal ingredients," says Baras. "There is only about one cup of sugar in every 500 popsicles."

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Our favorite popsicles included their Rocky Road fudgesicle, which is delightfully dotted with Swedish marshmallows, and strawberry flavored with rose petals. For an ode to their new home, the star-spangled pop gets a jolt of Americana color with strawberries, blueberries and lemon. The popsicles are $3.80 each and are sold exclusively in-store, while candy is available through the online shop as well.


Unit Portables 05-10

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Based in the haven for functional modernist design, Stockholm's Unit Portables is the brainchild of a group of likeminded individuals educated in product, fashion and technology design. Founder Andreas Ehde and his team of creatives designed a modest range of modular bags for the modern traveler, striving to make the ideal bag for practical, organized mobility. Today Unit Portables announces the addition of four new bags that build off the sleek silhouette of their first tote-style shoulder bag launched under a year ago. Anchored by a moderately sized overnight bag, the new range brings Unit Portables a few steps closer towards international recognition.

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Each of the bags, pouches, cases and sleeves are numbered as part of a system, but are free to be used individually or as a whole. Much like the tote, two pouches and iPad sleeve (Units 01-04) released last summer, the overnight bag is denoted by the number 05 rather than a name, along with an accompanying mesh toiletry bag (06), 13" Macbook case (07) and a small cord organizer pouch (08). The modular pieces can easily be attach with small metal snaps, adding additional storage to either the inside or outside.

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Taking a typically Scandinavian approach to design, the unstructured canvas Unit 05 is decisively minimalist throughout. With one large zipper pocket on the exterior, the interior—like the exterior—features three rows of stitched webbing on one side to accommodate Units 06-10. This purpose-driven approach reduces weight and overall footprint while maintaing a cohesive aesthetic throughout the line.

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While the industrial-strength canvas lacks a certain sense of luxury, the design team behind Unit Portables see their products as a solution to "fill the gap between boring computer bags and snobbish fashion notebook bags."

We're partial to the all-black scheme, but Units 05-08 will also be available in beige, green, russet and navy. Set to officially launch on 27 August, Units 05-08 are now available for pre-order with Unit 05 selling for £80 and the rest to be announced.

Images by Graham Hiemstra


The Enlightenment Series by Boris

Swedish designers in Hong Kong explore sustainability as religion

It's easy to become "design blind" at the world's biggest design exhibition, I Saloni, and those rushing around to see the blockbuster names run the risk of missing the small gems hidden throughout. One such discovery for us was Boris, a Hong Kong-based company born of Swedish ex-pats trying to live as close to their suppliers and manufacturers as possible. Founders Katarina Ivarsson and Anna Karlsson started the company in 2009 and have since developed a unique style of work blending design, sustainability and technology in a way which is fast becoming the signature hallmark of Scandinavian output—even if it is based in another country.

This year the company presented its new collection, the Enlightenment Series, which explores the notions of multi-ethnicity and the part played by religion and spirituality in our contemporary lives while also focusing on sustainability. "In the light of different beliefs and with mixed religion touch points we present this series," says Karlsson. "Religion is about believing in something and this is our reason for the religious perspective—personally, we believe in sustainability and want to show this devotion in our products."

"We wanted to ask what happens when you dig deeper into the subjects of sustainability and religion from a design perspective," adds Ivarsson. "What are we actually devoted to? Consumerism or sustainism? How important are the objects around us from a spiritual perspective and can we as designers fabricate spiritual products'?"

With the symbolic collection the company has paid close attention to the sustainable details for each piece, whether through efficient energy consumption during production or proper selection of materials. Each piece follows a specific train of spiritual thought—for example, the Seven Piece Mirror centers on a number with many spiritual connotations, from the seven chakras in Buddhism, to Christianity's seven days of creation, to the more literal like the number of years bad luck you'll get on smashing a mirror. Boris gives each piece of the mirror an added aesthetic touch to tie in the design elements found in places of worship. On a more directly visual level, the rosary necklace adds its form to the Rosary Lamp, with the beads adding structure to the otherwise slack form.

The Confession Box places a modern twist on the Catholic confessional, combining traditional materials with advanced technology. "When you place your phone into the box it will automatically recharge via inductive charging while also making a backup of your information. By doing so we mimic a procedure not far from the classic ritual of lightening ones load and coming clean," explains Karlsson.

The ruffled Omikuji carpet references the fortune strips of paper left at Shinto shrines. "Inspired by the process of collecting prayers, we tied 1764 wishes together when we made the carpet," says Ivarsson.

This combination of strong conceptual narrative and more accessible aesthetic and technique attributes sets Boris apart. For more information on the Enlightenment Series and other collections, visit the website.