The Swedish Home Viewing Exhibition program, launched last month, turns everyday houses into showcases for contemporary Swedish design. Read more about the Open House Exhibitions in Sweden.
For Swedes, going to open houses has been a regular weekend activity for years – not with the intentions of buying a new home but to pick up decorating ideas. Swedes are famous for their excellent sense of style, particularly when it comes to functional interior design, and now the virtual Swedish Design Museum changes the way we experience Swedish design by turning open houses into design exhibitions.
Open House Exhibitions in Sweden
“The Home Viewing Exhibitions,” a new program launched by the Swedish Design Museum last month seeks to showcase the country’s design heritage by giving tourists a first-hand experience in a curated group of homes. In fact, it uses actual properties currently on the market to offer visitors a realistic glimpse of Swedish interior design and architecture.
Home Viewing Exhibitions’ curator Niki Brantmark scanned property listings across the country and picked several homes for the show. Working with the national tourism board, she selected dwellings that capture the diversity of Swedish living, hoping in part to expand impressions about Swedish home life beyond the IKEA catalogue.
Swedish design is more than IKEA
“IKEA is obviously a big part of every Swede’s home, but there is also so much more to be explored,” explains Brantmark.
The result of the Swedish design culture is a country where each home is a goldmine for anyone who wants to experience the country’s rich design history. Now you are encouraged to tap into a well-known Swedish behavior: visiting an open house for inspiration.
Design trends and architectural movements usually take years, if not decades, to filter down from private residences into home museums or exhibitions. The innovative new program aims to offer visitors a real-time tour of contemporary design trends by simply bringing the museum into private residences.
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Among the homes selected is a traditional 16th-century-style Falu summer cottage that comes with its own island. There’s also a charming turn-of-the-century apartment in Södertälje that could conceivably be a setting for Wes Anderson’s next production, and a handsome townhouse in Stockholm designed by modernist architect Paul Hedqvist following the precepts of Nordic “funkis” (functionalism).
Swedish design and architecture
“Swedish design and architecture come in many shapes and sizes,” said Jennie Skogsborn Missuna, chief experience officer at Visit Sweden, in a statement. “To truly show the diversity we could never collect enough objects in one place. By changing perspective and looking at regular home viewings as exhibitions, we don’t have to,” she adds.
About the Swedish Design Museum
Swedish design is made for the many, made to be used – and used again. It breaks norms and challenges preconceptions. Moreover, it is shaped by its context, the beliefs and values of Swedish society. To make this accessible, Sweden’s first virtual design museum was established in 2017. The Swedish Design Museum is not your typical museum – it has no physical collection. It is a virtual museum with the purpose of making Swedish design accessible (online) and visible to people in all corners of the world. In the current exhibition “The Home Viewing Exhibitions,” the visitors also get the opportunity to experience Swedish design through real-life open houses all over Sweden. New objects will continuously be added to the museum until May 31 next year.
Open House Exhibitions in Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg