For intelligent design (no, not that kind) Sweden can boast of its expertise year-round—but once a year, the Swedish Design Award singles out the best of the best. House of Sweden hosts this year’s winners, which showcase product design that is both innovative and environmentally friendly. One can’t mention Swedish design without a nod to Ikea, of course, and several of the works displayed look as though they could be making their way to your home via flat pack soon: namely, the Boo, a stackable ergonomic chair; the Libri, a ladder-inspired bookshelf, and Wästberg, a series of sleek desk lamps. Tekla, a fleecy pile rug, boasts a manufacturing technique that is “understandably secret,” while the minimalist Thinner table cuts an elegant 6 millimeter line through a room. The jury has valued environmental-friendliness as a hallmark of good design, and many of the products feature recycled, or recyclable materials. The Ericsson Tower Tube makes a telecommunications tower attractive and also more energy-efficient, while using fewer materials. Bicycle commuters will covet the shiny red Skeppshult V bicycle, which has a moped-style lockbox and front rack for necessities in addition to an ergonomic bike seat and a redesigned helmet. None of these design improvements are as fun as the Pacemaker, though (again, not that kind). It’s a portable mixing board for DJs that fits in the palm of a hand and brings the beat anywhere it’s needed.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW FROM 1 P.M. TO 6 P.M., SATURDAY-SUNDAY, TO MARCH 22 AT HOUSE OF SWEDEN, 2900 K ST. NW. FREE. 202-467-2600.