Oslo Design Fair (formerly Gift and Interior) is Norway's largest trade fair, and the most important meeting place in the design and interior decor sector. The fair has recently undergone significant development, and in January 2016 it was held under a new name and visual identity. With a sharper Norwegian profile, the Oslo Design Fair aims to create an event with a distinctive position in Scandinavia.
Focus on Norwegian design
Norwegian culture is attractive abroad, and Norwegian design has long been internationally acclaimed. “This is an exciting time for Norwegian design. The fair will show both the world and Norway what is happening on the design front here at home,” says Creative Director Dagny Thurmann-Moe. As part of the effort to raise the fair’s profile, the ODF will develop strong ties with Norway’s centers of excellence in the field. The concept is intended as a showcase for new Norwegian design and production that will carve out a position for the ODF in Scandinavia. Nevertheless, Dagny Thurmann-Moe is keen to underline that even though the Oslo Design Fair’s profile will concentrate on Norwegian design, they also want to attract exhibitors from elsewhere in Scandinavia and worldwide. It is important to distinguish between the fair’s profile and its function as a place to do business. Oslo Design Fair will be an international meeting place.
Oslo – design destination
In recent years, Oslo has become a popular destination for those seeking cultural and culinary inspiration, as well as opportunities to experience both pristine natural beauty and elegant urban architecture. As the new name suggests, the Oslo Design Fair will also extend its focus beyond the exhibition area. To bring the design sector even closer together during the exhibition period, a program for the City of Oslo will be developed in conjunction with relevant industry players. The objective is for Oslo and the surrounding region to become a vibrant design destination, with open showrooms, shops, galleries, product launches and social events. Although the first ‘city program’ will be presented for the 2016 fall fair, Fuglen Bar has already become the current fair’s official meeting place "after work" in downtown Oslo.
The Oslo Design Fair’s new logo has a strong visual expression. Behind the new profile is the design agency Bielke&Yang. The illustrations that fill the letters in the ODF logo will be updated for each event, depending on the theme and the season. For the January 2016 fair, the illustrations come from the renowned Norwegian illustrator Magnus Voll Mathiasson/byHands. As Christian Bielke explains, “The colors, shapes and patterns are intended to provide insight into the eclectic and exciting content of the Oslo Design Fair, Norway’s most important showcase for design and interior decor.”
Talent, trends and tradition
At each event, the Oslo Design Fair will put together a strong program of relevant exhibitions, under the three main categories: talent, trends and tradition.
“With these focus areas, we highlight the best of what Norway has to offer,” explains Andreas Engesvik, the fair’s strategic adviser. “Talent will always show the best of the young design scene in Norway, and the exhibition provides a creative platform to show off a young, powerful and commercially relevant design sector. Tradition will promote aspects of Norway’s handicraft tradition and various forms of artisanal culture. Each season, an expert or company will be invited to demonstrate some aspect of Norway’s cultural heritage. Tendence is the part of the fair where visitors can experience interpretations of what is happening in the Norwegian market. What is trending and why? Each season, external experts will be invited to curate and design the exhibitions.”
After 15 years in the industry, Engesvik believes that the Oslo Design Fair is a concept that has been a long time coming. In his view, designers and producers, buyers and sellers need a relevant and ambitious arena, and he hopes the industry will actively embrace the new concept.
“The Norwegian Trade Fairs foundation is proud of the way the exhibition concept has been revitalized,” says Project Manager Jan Gjære. “The timing is right and we are looking forward to seeing the results of the in-depth strategy development work currently being implemented.”
The concept has been developed by Norwegian Trade Fairs.← Home