Organised by the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design, IKEA, the City of Malmö and ArkDes, Sweden’s national architecture and design museum, the annual Ung Svensk Form/Young Swedish Design award/platform, premiers young design talents not only of Swedish birth, but non-Swedes currently based in Sweden, regardless of genre, but who, in the words of outgoing Swedish Society of Crafts and Design CEO Ewa Kumlin, “experiment freely, venture without fear, believe in their ideas and have the strength to implement them”
Celebrating its 20th edition Ung Svensk Form/Young Swedish Design 2018 features the work of 29 creatives; works which can be experienced in the Ung Svensk Form/Young Swedish Design 2018 Exhibition at ArkDes, Exercisplan 4, Skeppsholmen Stockholm until Sunday March 18th.
As ever with such competitions, the jury have made their choices, the work is on display, and now it is up to the visitors to form their own opinion on the validity, or otherwise, of the inclusions. For those who can’t make it to Stockholm, the exhibition will be touring, see local press for details, and all winners are listed online at http://ungsvenskform.se
We have made it to Stockholm, a few thoughts on some of the projects….
Hemmo Honkonen is both a trained music instrument maker and a furniture designer. For his graduation project at Linköping University, Hemmo sought to combine his two professions, and created a family of furniture objects which make some form of noise when in use: a small wall-mounted cupboard strums guitar-esque when opened and closed, a chair responds to the sitters weights as an accordion to the movement of the players arms, and a rocking stool which tweets like a bird, cuckoo?, when you rock back and forth, and which was/is the only object from the collection presented in the Ung Svensk Form/Young Swedish Design exhibition.
All of you under the age of 35 will have to ask someone older, but believe us, there will come a time when your joints and bones start making noises when you stand up and sit down. No this isn’t one of our “jokes”, it’s real, it’s unavoidable, starts around 37, 38. The next stop is death.
A chair which creeks and groans along with your aged frame is obviously therefore a wonderful thing, but much more Hemmo reminds us that furniture isn’t just about dry considerations on structure, construction, material, form, ergonomics, far less delivery times, colour options and price brackets.
It can also be fun. Be something that adds to your day, improves your immediate environment.
Clearly furniture that makes a noise has its practical limitations; while what you enjoy in the privacy of your own four walls is up to you and you alone, we’re certain we’re not the only ones who wouldn’t frequent a cafe where all the chairs wheezed like an accordion every time someone moved, far less work in an office or library where the stools tweet more often than their inhabitants. But for us the point is not the sounds, it is the eloquent demonstration that with a little freer, abstracter, unconfined thinking it is possible to realise interesting, contemporary furniture objects which are more than the sum of their component parts
And those that make bird sounds can potentially be used as garden furniture, to remind us of the days when we shared our planet with animals
As Forsberg School Stockholm graduate Emelie Kasholm points out, whereas heart defibrillators can be found in most public places, kits to help with the delivery of unexpected births aren’t.
Maybeday is such a kit.
Maybeday is also one of those projects that gets you thinking and makes you realise how good life could be, if we weren’t all so stupid, selfish and stubborn.
In any nation daring to call itself civilised in the 21st century, a majority of its citizens must, surely, not only be prepared to help someone in need, but be able to. Yet globally the numbers qualified in first aid mean that if you find yourself in medical trouble there is unlikely to be someone close at hand who can help.
And an awful lot who really, really don’t want to and conveniently “haven’t” noticed.
We need to change such attitudes, need not only more people who can step in to help, but also in terms of resolving the squeamish selfishness of wider society.
Maybeday is an obvious step. A simple bag filled with simple materials, Emelie’s original plan was that it could be easily transported, and thus give future mothers (and fathers) a little more confidence and security when out and about that, should things happen quicker than planned, they were prepared. However as a simple bag filled with simple materials Maybeday can also be made readily available in a wide range of public places, where the staff are appropriately trained. Therefore not only adding to the security and confidence of future mothers (and fathers), but also about making contemporary society a little more open, accepting and civilised.
And obviously there is no need to stop at medical situations, basic bike tools, puncture repair kits and air pumps in public locations arguably helping promote cycling, while letting strangers fill up their water bottle from your tap can’t be too much to ask. Can it? In a civilised 21st century nation…….?
Implosion by Bjørn Friborg is a genuine challenge to photograph, and equally difficult to find meaningful information on. We’d kind of assumed that such a project would also exist online. Doesn’t seem to. And so we can give only very limited technical information here. Which while not ideal, does provides us with an excellent excuse to try to meet up with Bjørn at some point in the future. A prospect made doubly tantalising by photos of Bjørn at work, photos which give the very strong impression that in his studio the glass is cooled in vodka. Which is then ceremonially consumed. Sedate wasn’t the first word that occurred to us on viewing the photos. A bit like if Piet Hein Eeek and/or Tom Dixon decided to work in glass. That sort of anarchic, free-flowing environment.
As absolute joy of a contemporary glass project Implosion sees Bjørn – somehow, were not sure how, are assuming air pressure, but don’t know – blow through soft heated glass to create an implosion which shoots through the empty core of the object, creating as it does a small bump on the other side, and the most deliciously confusingly counter-intuitive object.
Others will no doubt find words to describe the fact that the resulting hole is a violent wound and thus a distracting object on a piece of glass design, the contrast between the fragility of the glass body and the eternity and resilience of the wound as it stretches through the void, the randomness and thereby achieved formal tension. We just find it thoroughly fascinating and a wonderful new perspective on what glass is and can be.
Full details on Ung Svensk Form/Young Swedish Design can be found at http://ungsvenskform.se/