When Misschiefs first made its debut at Stockholm Design Week 2020 there were great and exciting plans to travel with the exhibition. Then a global pandemic hit, and everything came to a halt. Nothing was going to stop the creative and energetic Paola Bjäringer. She continued with Misschiefs as a pop up then a takeover in a former laundry factory at Linnegatan 4 in Östermalm. Artists and designers have been offered free studio space and their work sold without commission at a time when the art and design world has taken a big hit. Her weekly takeovers by one artist or designer are very unique for the local art scene, a creative space like this has not been seen before in Stockholm. She was just awarded the Inspirator of the Year award by Elle Decoration Sweden, a well deserved recognition. For Stockholm Design Week 2021, Misschiefs are showing 8 leading designers, in true Misschiefs style, offering a crossing of art, craft and design. At Misschiefs nothing is ordinary, safe or predictable. I cover all the designers here with their objects.
Kajsa Willner has a bachelor degree in furniture and industrial design from Rome and Milan. She runs an inter-disciplinary studio in Malmö under her own name and works with designing products, spatial installations, and as a curator and exhibition architect.
“Emulate Nature is the first outcome of my self-initiated research project inspired by nature as a model to explore more smart design and energy efficient production strategies. For the exhibition I have created a series of pewter vases that aim to replicate nature both visually and production wise. The vases are created using an old slush casting technique to minimize material consumption in each vase and where leftovers from casting one object are used in the production of the next. Visually, the vases are sculptural compositions mixing elements from the three kingdoms of nature; plants, animals and minerals, described by Carl von Linné in his Systema Naturae.”
How has the pandemic affected your view of the design industry?
Many independent designers have for a long time been aware of the challenges we are facing and it’s been obvious to many of us that we can no longer run our own race through life and continue with business as usual. We can no longer consume energy without also reusing it. I think the pandemic has affected the design industry at large to make a shift towards more circular thinking and to let go of the linear mindset. Hopefully that will result in a faster transition in order to put theory into practice to achieve change for real.
Frida Fjellman is internationally known for her large baroque gem-like glass chandeliers, although she first trained as a ceramicist. Today she is a cross-diciplinary artist with her own studio and represented by galleries both at home and in New York and Los Angeles.
“During Stockholm Design week I will show seven Totem Buddies in glass, metal and green plants,and one with a lamp. I had a Takeover at Misschiefs last week where I did an installation of mounting the buddies one by one and showed them as a group, solo in the space. The Buddies are built from leftover materials from Venus in Glass, a 7,5 m high sculpture I made for the National Museum in 2018. The parts have been stored on shelves since then and I decided that it was time to give them new life. The Totem Buddies stand as protector, friend, vase or lamp. For me inspiration is something that comes while I’m working, when the process works well or surprises me in a good way. Also things from everyday life is my inspiration, everything from my daughters drawings to a giant carrot or an unusual butterfly.”
Lotta Lampa is a designer and artist based in Kalix, Norbotten in the north of Sweden. She has previously shown in Milan, London and Copenhagen.
“CHEVY RAIS is a tribute to the garage culture, burnouts and car shows, to my upbringing in the small village of Risögrund outside Kalix. To the craftsmanship and companionship bringing people together to create with meaning and pride. A recognition of a subculture that many have a relation to but have left behind for the tempting calls of the big cities. A crash between Swedish countryside and the big city in real time. I believe in unique, handmade objects. Items that are personal and take up space, small and large. I hope that more manufacturing takes place in Sweden, that we value and take advantage of the knowledge and craftsmanship that exists at home.”
Isa Andersson is a graduate of both Beckmans School of Design and Konstfack in Stockholm. She works sculpturally exploring social structures and the relationships between body and material and the rooms they are in. “For Stockholm Design Week 2021 I decided to create a series of new objects. I spend a lot to time in a social context to get inspiration for my art. I watch and analyze people’s behaviour at the moment when authority or discomfort occurs. It can be the distance, the smell, the room or a group of people. I study the smallest assets which force us into corners of the room to follow society’s norms. The lamp: Nylon Stockings has been a huge trend in the history and has been worn by both men and women. Today we may have a slightly more skeptical attitude to this tight, transparent stocking that demands a body in order to be shaped. The Lamp PEACH 20DEN form is dependant on the nylon stocking which is shaped by a tight and stiff metal ring. The light through this fine mesh creates a pleasant light when it is turned on, but yet is decorative when turned off, this is the minimum criteria for my design.”
On the pandemic. – “I know you are not supposed to say it, but I actually find it a bit comforting that the world is downsizing. That we can’t travel the world and make amazing things makes me calm. I find it to be a bit more stress-free living. When I can’t strive for success I’ll need to stay calm, look and feel inwards. I think something has awakened in my creativity that is positive. I hope these reflects not just the design industry but also all unsustainable systems. That we produce more locally and take care of time and seasons.”
Monica Förster is one of our most international designers, a name that in Sweden needs no introduction really. She has just won both Residence magazine and Elle Deco’s coveted Designer of the Year awards this year.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting most aspects of our lives. Our freedom to move freely, travel, to meet the people we care about and discover new worlds has been severely restricted. For designers, who are used to frequent travel and exploration, hands-on projects in factories and workshops around the world, getting inspired by learning about different cultures and artisanal skills, quarantine is probably having a deeper impact. On the other hand, these past months have been a good opportunity to stay closer to our household members, to relax a bit and ponder about the future, the human condition and what truly matters to us. The lockdown will end and eventually we’ll be able to move and travel. However, in addition to the transitory impact a crisis is likely to have more lasting effects.”
The Unity Stool, for instance, resulted from the Lockdown Dialogues project Zanat created: “We spent these days to reconnect with the designers and other people we work with closely and there seems to be a consensus that our houses and apartments will become more important centres in our lives than they have recently been, often used mainly as bedrooms. A house should become a home. Following consultations with our partner designers and Zanat’s Creative Director, Monica Forster, we decided to prepare a set of briefs for smaller objects that can contribute to quality of life at home inspired by the reflections of the Covid-19 impact on our lives and livelihoods, while supporting sustainable consumption and production practices with positive social impacts (e.g. woodcarving will often be outsourced to people working from home). Our aim is to produce long-lasting objects that will trigger positive emotions, objects that we would like to buy for people we care about, tactile objects that provide a connection with the makers and stimulate our senses.”
Maja Michaelsdotter Eriksson is a textile artist working within the sculptural field, specializing in tufting. For Design Week Maja has created a tufted wall piece made from wool, linen and polyester and titled Rebirth “Whether I work with an ordinary object or a fleshy body I often find a similar core of passion and intensity. I’m fascinated by the never ending cycles of the world and everything in it. The force in the living and the dying, the newest sprout and the decaying leaf. It’s intensely beautiful and brutally cruel. It’s life.”
Sara Szyber works within interior architecture and furniture design. Her work is very broad and includes furniture and industrial design to exhibition and interior architectural projects. She is also a board member in the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design, Svensk Form. For Design Week she has created three armchairs, Check Mates which are checkered print on birch wood with stainless steel/powdered lacquered metal frames and cushions with vegetable leather and wool. This is a sequel to the Death Proof cabinet for Misschiefs in 2020, with printed pattern on wood. ”My starting point is to achieve a seductive appeal to my furniture design; I want the user to sense their physical effect and unique value. In my shaping of Check Mates I’ve combined raw and pure elements: wood, metal, leather and wool, all in order to reach out and make a lasting tactile impression upon the user. ”
On the pandemic: “It is somehow important to use the break to re-think the needs of the market and the industry. I think many companies are doing this. I want to promote Swedish production, so I am concerned about the jobs – maybe we don’t want too many cutbacks, because there are many individuals with a lot of competence in the industry. Misschiefs have been the sunny side of this period, I have had the opportunity to cooperate with Paola and meet fantastic artists, which has given me a lot of energy and strength.”
Färg & Blanche are an innovative duo comprising of Fredrik Färg and Emma Blanche. They work within a wide variety of fields and have collaborated with established brands both at home and abroad. Their object for the exhibition, Burn Lace Cabinet. ” We have developed a new textile material, which we call Burn Lace, it is a kind of transformation of an existing material. Using a special heat treatment, the textile changes materiality, from a soft textile to a hard self supporting surface and a faint transparent pattern appears, like lace. While making a test for another product we made a mistake and damaged the felt we used. A fantastic pattern appeared that looked like lace that let the light shine through the fabric.From there we experimented and came up with different forms of products and lamps with this new material. Made from 100% recyclable polyester felt.”