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An Exhibition Focused On Sustainability, From a Country Fueled By Hydropower

As recent as a decade ago, “green” typically meant that something was made from reclaimed lumber or salvage, or that it was good for the environment but straight up ugly to look at (those two things were not always mutually exclusive). But oh, have things changed. Though there’s still a long way to go — and still more waste than we can stomach — designers are finally beginning to grapple with the idea of all. this. stuff. So it was heartening to see the new Norwegian Presence exhibition, which launches in Milan next month, start off with this: “We have to acknowledge the apparent contradiction that being a part of Milan Design Week entails — after all, the act of participation in itself contributes to increased production. However, we believe the power of this platform to build awareness and influence the industry is unrivaled on the global stage, and that there is nowhere better in the world to make our case. This year, we asked Norwegian designers and artists to address the issue of sustainability from a wider perspective. As well as climate considerations and our use of resources, sustainability entails economic and social aspects, a commitment to democratic and inclusive processes, and a consideration of the needs of future generations.”

The exhibition brings together 21 designers and artists, curated by Kråkvik&D’Orazio, and seven sustainably-minded Norwegian furniture manufacturers, whose products were selected in collaboration with exhibition designers Kristine Bjaadal and Hallgeir Homstvedt — who are also using environmentally friendly materials in the set design. We’ll be interested to chat with the designers next month and see how these ideas actually played out in the objects — from a Kent Fonn Skåre series made of granite offcuts found on construction sites to a sculpture in Norwegian stone and stainless steel by Tron Meyer. For now we have some two dozen preview images to prove that sustainability and beauty can exist within a single object.

PHOTOS BY TRINE HISDAL

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Kent Fonn Skåre

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Erik Wester

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Noidoi

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Mijo Studio

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Martin Høgh Olsen TronMeyer_Varde_Photo_TrineHisdal_Styling_KraakvikD’Orazio_highres

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Tron Meyer

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Stine Aas

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Krafted

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Volver Studios

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Fjordfiesta

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Vera & Kyte

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Peter Opsvik for Varier

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Marte Frøystad

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KnudsenBergHindenes

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Elementa

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Anita Hanch-Hansen

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Terje Ekstrom for Varier