ART & DESIGN

Norwegian Wood—and Glass and Metal


Before Norway struck oil in 1969 and became one of the world’s richest countries, it was one of Scandinavia’s poorest, with an economy largely based on fish and timber—and almost no contemporary design industry to speak of. But, oh, how things have changed. Thanks to pioneering firms like Snøhetta and Norway Says—and to a serious uptick in the number of new Nordic furniture brands supporting homegrown talent—the country’s design scene is suddenly booming. Here are some of the practitioners and suppliers of Norway’s other great natural resource.

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Hunting & Narud Amy Hunting and Oscar Narud are both Norwegian, but they found each other in London, where Hunting had worked for Established & Sons, and Narud for Nigel Coates. Since opening their design studio last year, they’ve worked with clients like Sonos and the Design Museum London, and were picked up by influential London gallerist Libby Sellers, who gave them a solo show in summer 2013 featuring their striking oversize copper mirrors. (huntingandnarud.com)

Photograph by Petr Krejci.

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Kristine Five Melvaer Melvaer studied both graphic and industrial design, and her colorful glass and stoneware vessels address these influences in their surface patterns and layering of space. As Melvaer’s practice expands, so do her horizons: Nature, textiles, films, and a recent trip to India are just some of the inspirations feeding the many projects she’s developing with European brands like Magnor Glassverk and When Objects Work. (kristinefivemelvaer.com)

Portrait courtesy of designer.

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Melvaer’s vases. Courtesy of designer.

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Hallgeir Homstvedt At one point, Homstvedt had his sights set on designing cars and sporting goods. But a stint with the furniture and interiors studio Norway Says—not to mention a big break when his cheerful Topp lamp was produced by Established & Sons in 2011—propelled him into the realm of decorative objects. (hallgeirhomstvedt.com)

Portrait courtesy of designer.

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Homstvedt’s Kavai chair. Courtesy of designer.

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Daniel Rybakken This Gothenburg, Sweden–based designer’s fixtures manipulate light in simple but unusual ways: Projections mimic sunshine, or mirrors refract it onto the wall. This year, Rybakken’s Counterbalance lamp for Luceplan won the prestigious Italian Compasso d’Oro award, making him the first Norwegian ever to receive the honor. (danielrybakken.com)

Portrait by Kalle Sanner.

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Rybakken’s Counterbalance lamp. Courtesy of the designer.

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Vera & Kyte Bergen-based Ashild Kyte and Vera Kleppe were the stars of this year’s Salone Satellite fair in Milan. Their daybeds, room dividers, and tables combine plain geometries inspired by the Norwegian landscape with bold colors reminiscent of Italian postmodernism. The duo presented its treelike topiary lamps at September’s London Design Festival. (vera-kyte.com)

Portrait courtesy of the designers.

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Vera & Kyte’s Staged shelves and blocks. Courtesy of the designers.