1980s -

A new era in

furniture design

5th of February TO 25th of September 2019 AT MÖBELDESIGNMUSEUM in Stockholm, Sweden

A showcase of a paradigm shift, where the breakthrough of postmodernism fundamentally influenced the world.

The 1980s brought a new paradigm shift in the design world. The breakthrough of postmodernism, specifically by the Italian design group Memphis Milano, created a wave at design studios around the world and sparked a heated debate. On one side you could find the modern minimalism with the well-established statement “form follows function” and “less is more”. On the other side of the line were the opponents that wanted to challenge the status quo and break new ground with provocative decorative design expressions, chanting “less is bore”
and “too much is not enough”.

1980 exhibition picture 1

The debate affected the industry as a whole and no stone was left unturned. The postmodern design revolution was a reflection of the 1980s social climate, moving from collective unity to individualistic metropolitan yuppie culture.

Through the 2019 exhibition “1980s” Möbeldesignmuseum (the Museum of Furniture Studies) wants to highlight the breakthrough of postmodernism and its impact on furniture design, both internationally and within the Nordic region. What permanent changes in our values concerning quality and in our perception of the balance between surface and content did the design debate of the 1980s lead to? What impression did the Memphis group leave on Swedish furniture culture, and why and how did their choice of materials and design expression inspire today’s young designers? These were some of the questions that were reflected in the exhibition.

Exhibition Images
Images from the exhibition
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February 17,2019
Guest speakers
Hedvig Hedqvist, Jonas Bohlin, Sara Kristoffersson, Olle Anderson, Anika Reuterswärd, and Fredrik Färg.

A seminar about the 1980s

The 1980s exhibition was inaugurated during Stockholm Design Week in February 2019 and was visited during the week by about 800 people from about twenty countries.On February 17, 2019, the Furniture Design Museum organized a seminar entitled "The 1980s Paradigm Shift in the Design World."

The seminar featured six guest speakers on the theme of 1980s design and interiors. Hedvig Hedqvist discussed the launch of Memphis Milano and its impact. Jonas Bohlin talked about the reactions to his Concrete chair and how it influenced his career. Sara Kristoffersson described the Italian design climate of the 1980s. Olle Anderson shared his perspective on postmodernism and function versus decoration.

Anika Reuterswärd presented style-defining interior photos and texts and discussed her impact on Swedish interiors. Fredrik Färg showed examples of his furniture and art objects. The seminar was moderated by Kersti Sandin and Lars Bülow and was attended by 147 guests.

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