A new generation of designers are emerging. I will try to cover as much as I can from the various design schools in Sweden, mainly Stockholm, to get a grip of where the future of design is heading. First out are the bachelors of Konstfack.
I tried to count the number of graduates at the website of Konstfack and I got somewhere between 70 and 100 students. It depends on, if you include art students or not. But let’s say 70 plus young talents.
My overall impression is that this is a whole new generation of talents focusing on good energy and fun. Perhaps something very needed after two years of pandemic?
But let’s start with one thing… Communication was terrible. There were no information signage. Instead you had to scan a QR code, and that moved you from looking at an object to look at a screen. Not a positive thing.
If you didn’t want to use the QR code (yup, me included) you found zero information. At the most you saw the name of the talent and the name of the project. But nothing else.
The only thing you saw was this. No information about how they had worked, what story they wanted to tell, materials, nothing.
That can of course be nice, sometimes. But when students are experimenting with new solutions and new materials – you want to know more.
As an example. You approach a work like this. It is glass. Looks nice.
Then walk closer to look at the text and details. This reads “Was he aware of that you slept?”
And you realise it is something about date rape and consent. And you look at the installation and think that this is really nice. Perhaps the black things surrounding the the glass bulb are snakes? Or thorns like Sleeping Beauty? Or nightmares?
And I really liked this installation by Saga Sandström. It is contemporary, personal, well executed and relevant. I think I got the project.
But next to it was an installation like this. Apparently a material investigation. Perhaps about rust? Done by Amelia Sundquist. I mean it is not really her fault I don’t understand. Is it about erosion and how our memories are disappearing? About the war in Ukraine? Or how factories are leaving Europe? Or about finding odd objects in the forrest to make things off?
So. Communication was terrible. Not the students. The communication.
Lets move on to lighter topics.
I must say that this class of 2022 looked more at fun, humour and energy than previous. There is an optimism. A willingness to experiment. I don’t think I really saw any projects addressing diversity. There were some projects about sustainability but absolutely less than previous. Also less about roots and origin. So more about looking to a new future.
There is almost always a student who makes a full graphical identity or concept. Last year (?) was YoYo Nasty, And this year we have Olivia Ekelund. I think it is interesting that it is almost always women who do these kind of loud, larger than life, projects. Never men.
Here are colours, patterns, ornaments. Look at the props. Even the fruit and vegetables have pattern. Lovely.
At the department of precious metals was student Ellen Ljungqvist. She has been working with Instagram images and mosaic. So easy to love. The cat is apparently a famous insta-cat.
I kind of liked this too. Yes, there were some proper furniture pieces and I will come to that. But here student Nikola Despotovic made a work-out tool for you doorway. Everyone who passed wanted to play with this. A real interactive piece.
It is of course funny. Obviously. “kuk” in Swedish means “dick”. And the sentence “pung längre än penis” means “balls hang lower than penis”. It’s funny. And you can look at this piece from several angles. The message but also craftmanship. This is a proper and well executed project with great skills. But also funny.
Made by Carli Halvars at Textile Department.
Trolls? Anna Harström made classical larger pieces at Glass and Ceramics Department. But you could also see these cartoony pieces. Pretty large. Just fun.
I don’t really look at art (don’t hate it, just different from design), but I stumbled across this piece. A Swedish “kurbits” but with dancing elephants. Fun.
And again – communications by Konstfack… Who made this? I think the sign in the wall was for Jesper Bror Palmqvist – but not really sure.
Moving on. Not necessarily “ha-ha” but good.
These ceramic artpieces about tweens or young adolescents in an urban atmosphere. Really touching and pretty optimistic. Looks like their future is pretty bright. Friendship and belonging. Not being alone. Made by Ella Lundblad.
This was also nice and almost cartoony. A wood panel. Is it art or design? Regardless, its amazing. Made by Christoffer Jansson.
More dreamy projects. Kind of like sand dunes, or if it is a fingerprint? A cabinet by Emma Wikner.
More imaginary products. Here a table by Jukka Viitasara. Are these teeth marks?? The project was about working from home and I guess this is a table for a frustrated person?? Biting the table when things aren’t going your way?
What if we made cutlery inspirered by greenery and flowers? I totally understand that this is non-functional and difficut but I think that if you should bring a new set of cutlery to the table, then it should be completely different from what we have today. And this is. It is irrelevant if you like it or not – it is something new. Made at Industrial Design Department by Ariana Drvota.
Speaking of new. Seing the project by Silje Lindrup made me really happy. One of my personal favourites. Silje has made glass in a completely new way. Rinning and colourful. Basically a new Hanna Hansdotter. Very, very innovative and nice.
Are we seing a new rinning trend?? Ceramics student Helena Malm have been experimenting with glaze. Looks very nice. Very related to the things Tom Dixon made, but if course in a new way.
And these are my main favourites. I am not listing all 70 plus projects but here are also some things from the graduation show.
Camilla Hedendahl – a vitrine where algea is used instead of glass.
Tapestry by Emelie Ivert and Erika Coleman
A new home office desk by Sara Ullvetter Norman
A chair for an Asplund restaurant by Molly Sehlin
Greenery fibres made into surfaces by Emma Viklund.
A snooze lamp imitating the light of the forrest by Julia Zander.
Recycled plastics by Lovisa Ingman
Rocking chair by Felicia Larsson
A 3D printed kiosk by Daniel Braconier
Ting Wang made textile “kintsugi”
Ruben Rens explores his sexual desires for “furries” in textile department.
Nice prints by Alma Broman.
Emotional lamps. As I understood it, you could basically have one of these lamps on your office desk and signal if you felt social or wanted to isolated. Linn Hammarberg
Glaze experiments by Simon Kriström
Truls Mårtensson is looking at figurine tradition and how we all create our personas in a digital world. What is real and not?