What colours and materials will dominate our workplaces in the coming years? To find out, Kinnarps has organised workshops with a number of Sweden's and Europe's leading architects and interior designers throughout 2016. The grand finale took place at the start of September in Kinnarps' own design centre in Skillingaryd, Sweden.
"My team and I usually update the choice of materials and colour palettes every third year," says Christina Wiklund, who is in charge of Kinnarps Colour Studio. "This time we decided to involve architects and interior designers very early on in the process to hear what colours and materials they would like."
Christina had 200 chairs upholstered in different fabrics for the very first workshop last spring, from which the invited architects, interior designers and salespeople had to choose. The number of chairs has gradually decreased with each workshop.
"What's interesting is how similarly we think, even across national borders, when it comes to colours, fabrics and materials. It really seems as if there's been a common creative element in our trend spotting."
For the final and decisive workshop in Skillingaryd, Christina had invited architects from Tengbom (Linn Sylvan), Wingårdhs (Sara Helder), Krok & Tjäder (Hanna Bohlin), Semrén & Månsson (Christofer Kihlberg), White (Ingrid Ehrnebo) and Howl Designstudio (Jens O Johansson), as well as interior designer Hildur Blad.
"It was an amazing day. Of the original 200 chairs only 30 were left, all upholstered in different fabrics, and these were paraded like on a catwalk before it was time to make the final selections," says Christina.
With the help of the architects, Kinnarps continues its successful initiative with colours, which is already substantiated by a volume increase. As an example, Christina uses the Chip chair, which has truly become a bestseller since seven accent colours were added to its design.
"It's extremely important to make use of all colours when designing interiors, ranging all the way from the darkest to the lightest colours and all the accent colours in between. I like to talk about being able to 'turn the volume of colours up or down' in a room."
So when will the results of the year's workshops and final in Skillingaryd be made known?
"They're still a secret, but I can say this much: there'll be beautiful laminate colours, a completely new fabrics concept, and the big rising star will be an entirely new version of our oak stain, which is also one of our strengths at Kinnarps. The input we've received through this collaboration with architects and interior designers has been invaluable, and I look forward to presenting the results in 2017."
Footnote. The following are among the architect offices and participants from the previous workshops during the year: Spectrum (Marie Oscarson), Note (Sanna Wåhlin), I-Design (Nils Löventorn), Propeller (Olle Gyllang), (Brodbeck design) Stefan Brodbeck. Materia Group, plus representatives from Kinnarps' eight focus markets, were also involved.