An exhibition at this year’s Designers Saturday event in Oslo showcased never-seen-before prototypes by Norwegian designers including Andreas Engesvik and Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng inside a historic bank building.
The Unika Auction featured furniture, homeware, lighting and sculptural pieces by 30 designers and studios, exhibited within the grand main hall of the former Norwegian Bank headquarters.
All the designs are being sold in an online auction hosted by Norwegian art and antique broker Blomqvist, which continues until 24 September.
The show was curated by Fold Oslo – a collective made up of designers Vilde Hagelund, Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng, Kathrine Hovind, Tobias Berg, Sovei Giaever and Poppy Lawman – and features works by all six members.
Their contributions include a contemporary sling chair by Hagelund, a window-ledge mobile by Lawman and a pair of pine side tables that Hovind stained with plant-based dyes.
Among the show’s most eye-catching pieces were Ida Hagen’s multi-textural tapestries and a rare pink version of the Bello! bench, designed by Lars Beller Fjetland for aluminium producer Hydro.
Hand-crafted furniture featured prominently, with designs including the tubular aluminium Alphonse Chair by HLÍN Studio, the curved plywood Trappestige chair by Sander Kommedahl and a hand-painted bench by Tale Berger Hølmebakk.
On the more experimental side, Edvin Klasson created a partition screen out of an old car door, while Rasmus Stride presented a collection of 3D-printed vases.
Many designers contributed works in wood such as the sculptural Serendipity Mirrors by Hunting & Narud, the playful Voilá bowls by Kim Thomé and the delicate Tension sculptures by Nadine Fumiko Schaub.
Lighting was also well represented, with highlights including a chain-suspended ceiling lamp by Jonas Stokke and an adjustable paper reflector by Jenkins & Uhnger.
The other participating designers were Lars Tornøe, Runa Klock, Live Berg, Oslo Aula, Francesca Giulia Poli, Hanne Kvig, Fredrik Bull, Andreas Bergsaker, Are Mokkelbost, Taran Neckelmann and Frost Produkt.
This is the third edition of the Unika Auction, established as part of Oslo’s Designers Saturday biennale.
The idea behind the exhibition was to give design enthusiasts and collectors an opportunity to acquire unique pieces from some of Norway’s leading design talents.
Unlike previous editions, this year the focus was purely on contemporary designs that have never been seen before.
“The creatives were invited based on their previous work and we gave them complete artistic freedom,” said Vilde Hagelund of Fold Oslo, who led the project.
“It has been incredibly exciting to follow them through the process,” she added.
“Most have developed an entirely new product specifically for the auction, while some have transformed an existing product and developed it in a new way. The result is a collection of products that truly capture the current state of Norwegian design.”
Unika Auction was on show from 8 to 10 September 2023, as part of Designers’ Saturday, while the online auction continues until 24 September. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.