On October 13, 2018, the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm opens after extensive renovation and rebuilding. The construction project has been a unique opportunity for the museum to develop new exhibition concepts and settings. In line with the museum’s public mission and vision to make art and design accessible as broadly as possible, the restaurant’s new interior design took the form of an artistic project. The goal was to give a collective of designers the opportunity to work together, explore materials and methods, discover old and new producers, and ultimately provide visitors with insights into the design process – creating a new inspiring space for public use.
Photo: Nationalmuseum/Pia Ulin
The new restaurant and café at the Nationalmuseum will be located in rooms, previously used by the museum staff working with preservation and storage of art, that are now reopened to the public. The ambition is that the premises will become an inviting space for the visitors and a constant changing living room.
The task of designing the concept of the restaurant space has been commissioned to Matti Klenell, who chose TAF Studio, Carina Seth Andersson and Stina Löfgren as his close partners and collaborators in this project. The group has collaborated before in the bespoken A New Layer project. When the concept was set, it was also part of the Nationalmuseum’s assignment to expand the team and invite even more designers to participate in executing specific tasks.
The current collaboration with Nationalmuseum is called NM&. En ny samling/A New Collection. The name of the project signals that this is a collaborative artistic endeavor initiated by the art and design museum Nationalmuseum. In Swedish, the project name also flirts with the museum’s vast collection [SWE: samling] of art and design, and the fact that samling in Swedish also means gathering, thus capturing the social aspects of the restaurant as well as the fact that over 30 designers and 20 forefront producers are part of the collaboration.
For research and inspiration, the design team has travelled together in the Nordic countries. They have explored local manufacturing and investigated possibilities to create an interior based on entirely new designed objects from the region. With the travels alongside the impressive space at the Nationalmuseum as ignition, the designers has shaped an environment that consists of over 80 new objects. It is a collection that in various ways explore questions about design process and the Nordic heritage. What can be done? Has know-how been lost? Where are we today? Are there new possibilities brewing which we could cultivate and refine? The exploratory travels stretch from very local small scale production in Stockholm Old Town, via a weaving factory in the Värmland wood lands and a glass workshop in Häme, to global mass production in Europe and beyond.
Each object has been given an archive code, designed like a museum inventory number, starting with NM& 001 and so on. When all components in the collection are being put together to shape the 300-seat restaurant at the Nationalmuseum it will create a colorful interpretation of the ongoing, sometimes unfinished process and the absolute contemporary in an institution that to many are most familiar for displaying the final masterpiece.
Nationalmuseum is Sweden’s museum of art and design. The collections comprise older paintings, sculpture, drawings and graphic art, and applied art and design up to the present day. The museum building from 1866 is currently under renovation and scheduled to open again October 13, 2018. In the meantime, the museum will continue its activities through collaborations both in Sweden and abroad.