What did we learn from this year’s Habitare?

10. October 2018

What did we learn from this year’s Habitare?

This year’s Habitare design fair in Helsinki set new visitor records: almost 60,000 visitors made their way to the fair to take a look at what was on offer this time round.

Softrend and its collection were represented this time, too. The concept behind our display emphasised natural, modest tones that lent character to every item through the use of different textures. Next to the bolder and brighter trends on show, our collection was the epitome of the cool, reserved Scandinavian, but tastefully combined and displayed. This drew quite a few people to our box in search of something suitable for their homes.
The Softrend sofas on show included our clients’ favourites, which we introduced to people using new stock fabrics. Our Meta sofa came in for particular attention for its unusual fabric and nuance of tone. To our surprise, our biggest hits at the fair were the coffee tables from the Kuubik series, our satin bed linen collection and our accessories.

In terms of overall appearance, this year’s Habitare could essentially be divided into two groups: one that shone the spotlight on bold, modern materials and colours; and one that favoured a more timeless, natural, Nordic feel. In amongst all this were a great deal of motifs of minimalist Japanese culture and art. Even the Marimekko display featured such motifs. Whatever the context, plants and living, multifaceted materials had an important place, as did ethereal forms and inviting materials.

habitare_signalThis year there was a very interesting display in the Signal showroom as well. Each year a group of talented designers and artists present their vision of the keywords by which the design scene will be marked in the near future. This time those keywords were ‘bare and pure’, ‘renaissance’, ‘dream world’ and ‘glamour’.

Diving deeper into the messages these keywords were conveying provided both surprises and moments of recognition and agreement. It’s rather difficult to summarise it in just a couple of sentences, but the idea was that in such a fast-paced, stressful, digital world that sometimes seems chaotic we need to make a few adjustments so that we find a connection to our inner balance, harmony and warmth and have the courage to offer ourselves out of context and at the same time at one with nature, with our dreams and with our inner child. The world is changing at a furious rate and once-held tenets are being trampled under foot. The digital world is steamrolling its way over us with ever-increasing speed, and this is something we should learn to make better use of. The climate is heating up, which is bringing about major changes in the natural environment, and this in turn is forcing us to take stock of our lifestyles and adapt them accordingly.

We’re being pulled this way and that as if between the old world and the new, unable to assume a stance one way or the other. It feels at times as though a stance is taken somewhere else on our behalf. But instead of running around, take a seat for a moment and assume the role of watcher and thinker. Perceive what’s around you, interior and exterior, and let your feelings be your guide as you position yourself in the appropriate stream of consciousness.

People are becoming more interested in design every day. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that it is becoming increasingly available and no longer seems pointless, impractical and abstract to ordinary people. More and more, design is becoming what it has in fact always been: the process of finding a solution to a problem. And as you know, we have more than our fair share of problems…

Marimekko display


Favourite display of bloggers: Anno


Natural materials and inspiration from nature, with finer details under the microscope


Softrend thanks everyone who found the time to visit our display at Habitare or popped in to our Helsinki showroom.


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