let’s pretend this never happened
“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” is a one-of-a-kind presentation at Stockholm Design Week by Portuguese furniture brand De La Espada and Studio Astolfi. The event – which ran for four days in a series of performances – is a heartfelt theatrical presentation set in a stunning 1920s apartment in Stockholm. Actors Fernando Nobre and Vania Rovisco play a couple who inhabits the house – a luxurious, elegant apartment once owned by ABBA’s manager – dancing, singing and running around the space, while the audience follows them.
One by one, the couple uncovers beautiful pieces of furniture – a total of fourteen new designs by Neri&Hu, Jason Miller, Matthew Hilton, and Luca Nichetto – through vignettes of everyday life. In the office, they pound on a vintage typewriter trying to find the right words while melancholic music fills the room – they look at each other with complete understanding, an acknowledgment of love. Later on, a sing-along and musical chair games with the audience take place in the living room. In the dining room, we witness the couple fight without words but through intense glares and tears, sadly staring at each other across the table. The performance ends in the bedroom where the couple tenderly makes up, ending the scene by inviting the audience to place an object in the cabinet of curiosities.
Once intimate and interactive, the emotional presentation felt like witnessing someone else’s private life. Or being a part of it. What makes it unique is that the performance brings the furniture to life, instead of taking it out of context as in usual presentations. It brings us to the very heart of the home, where furniture is ultimately used. It also makes one think of the intimacy of the spaces we inhabit, and the special moments that happen in our everyday lives. Given its limited run, it only adds to the specialness of it – of being part of something that’s transient and fleeting, something we can look back on and ask if it really happened.
Angel Trinidad is an editor, writer and creative strategist based in Amsterdam. She is the author of ‘Scandinavia Dreaming: Nordic Homes, Interiors and Design’, and co-author of ‘Night Fever 5: Hospitality Design’. She is also the founding editor of Keen On Walls, a website which features inspiring interiors, design and spaces.