Masters at Konstfack 2021

We continue to look at the new generation of designers educated in Sweden. We have already looked at the bachelors of Konstfack and Beckmans. Now lets look at the masters students from Konstfack.

I have two themes for this generation – its very crafty and very cartoon-y. Or should you say naive? From a craft perspective almost everything is handmade and done as a unique piece. This is not a generation looking for a job. They want to be independent and leave their mark. Lots of craft materials such as textile, ceramics, glass… And I really didn’t see any project that was flirting with massproduction.

The childish, naive or cartoon inspirered aesthetic is extremely dominant. Of course a bit retro, looking for nostalgic memories but it could of course also be Japanese anime. But very childish inspiration.

Sustainability is off topic, basically as with Beckmans. Of course you can see traces of it, but not to the same extent as previous years when students were making objects out of collected trash.

Much more craft and cartoon.

Is this a result of the pandemic? Who knows, but discussions, needs, talks have been limited. Perhaps we are looking for a nostalgic comfort in design. We see it in food and music, so why not?

At department of Visual Communication I found Vendela Wetterström. First picture reads “Wow, can I be you?”. It’s design inspirered by emojis and communication over social media.

Sofi Gunnstedt from Craft department made these vases with faces- Also kind of emoji inspirered.

Craft talent Rasmus Nossbring has already gotten some attention for his work. I obviously rememeber his bachelor work which talked about a male or gender stereotype. They were touching figurines. Here he is exploring more nostaligic issues. Kind of the things grandma used to collect. Balancing between culture and kitsch. Especially the colours.

Building on memories rather than push new frontiers.

Top picture with the wall installation is done by Andrea Forslund Grath. Also a Craft Master and this is a nostalgic childlike fairytale. Super cute and fun.

Hannah-Molly Brown had been working with the folklore flower we see on street art in St Petersburg. She wants her work to make us curious about other cultures.

Craft. There are some beautiful craft work among the students. A star for this generation is obviously Josefin Gäfvert with her weaving. She is working with heritage and origin and still push the boarders. Amazing.

Her weaving is absolutely museum worthy.

Craft and handmade has always been a part of the story of Julia Gamborg Nielsen. A favourite since many years. She has previously been trained at Malmstens and working with wood. A lot of furniture but also a lof of “collectibles”. Here she is moving forward with ceramics. I miss my Wood-Julia…

When it comes to craft, history and intellectual context, perhaps noone does it better than Laura Johanna König. She is fascinated by porcelaine. On many levels. From an alchemy level. Or how a mountain in China was demolished and made into clay and is now on our tables…

Her lust and joyful approach to porcelain is amazing. She has built a proper laboratory.

Above feet are schnapps glasses.

There were extremly few furniture pieces at the exhibition. One of the few was this chair. What about biophilic design? Can we push borders? We take in a lot of stuff from nature – why not also the marks of bugs? Made by David Lundberg. Perhaps not a commercial product…

And here is a mobile office with a solar charging panel. Work anywhere… But how new is this?? By Linus Fridén.

There were of course some social design, like this shack. Designer Esteban Gomez Ramirez made a construction that indigenous people in Columbia could use. Using their own craft and aesthetic to the building. A modular system so you can grow with the shack and add sections.

Maybe not aestetically interesting – but mindblowing. My two favourite projects were the ones by textile crafts students Hazel Mallon and Karen Modrai. Above is Karen. She made a machine with a hole card and a software. It is a knitting machine we have seen before but she is experimenting on how to add pattern or should we say “traces”. The machine reacts to something and make patterns. It could have been the stock exchange rates but in this case it was sound in the room. So basically I was participating in making the pattern. We’ve kind of seen it before but I loved the forward looking experiment.

Hazel made a textile with attached sensors to a speaker. When you touched the embroidered parts the speaker would play a sound. I just love the curiosity of this project.



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