Glass Elephant: the stand-out exhibition of Stockholm Design Week 2013

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Heavy industrial robots share space with delicate glass pieces in Glass Elephant, which staged an encounter between the fragile material and powerful machines in an dramatic, obscure environment.

The exhibition, which took place in the the Skeppsholmen caverns (part of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities), was a collaboration between Stockholm Furniture & Light fair and ABB, and explored the boundaries between industrial design, arts and crafts and performance. A number of Swedish designers - including Ann Wåhlström, Carina Seth Andersson, Katja Pettersson, Chris Martin/Massproductions, Note Design Studio, Simon Klenell, Whatswhat and Åsa Jungnelius - were invited to take part by creating special pieces that would not only use glass as material but also offer an interesting contrast with the robots and their precision and technology.

"The purpose of the installation is to diversify and vitalise Stockholm Design Week's image as an innovative and dynamic meeting place for the best in Scandinavian design. We want to create inspiring experiences and added value for both industry professionals and interested members of the public by creatively highlighting different materials and elements of a design process," said Cecilia Nyberg, Event Manager for Stockholm Design Week.

Glass Elephant included a robot holding a duster and "cleaning" an extremely delicate glass vase while another robot transported a glass table using suction cups. Set design was created by TAF Architects.

Stockholm Design Week ran from 5-9 February. A full report on the Furniture & Light Fair will be published this week for subscribers.