“We do not feel the same responsibility to the past as our neighbors and due to this we are more free to challenge.”
– Kråkvik & D’Orazio
Curators of the Norwegian Collection
All images courtesy of the respective designers.
Towering mountains shaped over millennia above deep fjords have left Norway with breathtaking natural landscapes known throughout the world. Vast expanses containing nature’s own language of form and shape inspire some of our most awe-worthy moments. Throughout man’s relation to objects and in composing a coherent domestic environment, we have always strived to emulate this creation in our own human language. In pushing the boundaries of material and reinterpreting, function and form today’s Norwegian designers construct a world of objects unbound by the rules of the past, delivering a fresh perspective to their fairly new design culture.
Adorno is proud to present the Norwegian Collection, curated by Kråkvik & D’Orazio, to be exhibited this year at Crossovers: 2019 during London Design Fair. Domestic Landscapes: Just as Mother Nature carves her way through Norway’s ancient geologic masses, these Norwegian designers carve their own world of expressive shape and form into objects populating our interior worlds. Through stone, glass, ceramic, wood, metal and weaving, Norway’s top designers showcase man’s compelling material language.
The Designers and studios in this collection feature an interdisciplinary and diverse material knowledge, including Vera & Kyte, Günzler & Andersen, Noidoi, Eyvind Solli, Bull & Krogstad, Runa Klock, Lillian Tørlen, Kim Thomé and Henrik Ødegaard.
The Norwegian Collection
What are the main themes presented across the works in the collection?
A study of the material and how it can be pushed into new dimensions or shapes. Like the Slurp bench from Henrik Ødegård where he has removed as much material as he thought was possible before the bench stopped being a bench. All pieces are first of all an object in itself, secondly, they also have a functionality, even if it is not meant to be used.
Give us 3 words that define the current design scene in Norway.
Searching, bold, human
How does this collection show the growth of Norwegian design since its fairly recent beginnings in the 70’s?
It shows that we are pushing forward, challenging the material and the perceptions of what the functionality of an object is. We are freeing our selves from the rules of the past, collaborating and working in the intersections between art, design, and architecture.
Norwegian culture places a major significance on collaboration, how has this affected the design scene in Norway?
A lot. You see a lot of interesting collaborations between artists, designers, and architects. We can see an openness to teach and to learn new skills and to help each other to push forward. We have a word called Dugnad and this is where people come together to solve any issues that we have in common, like spring cleaning in the backyards for example. We also have this Dugnader to push design and art out in the world, for example the Norwegian Presence in Milano, where private companies invest in the young design and art scene.
The works in this collection display a major focus on craft, with an honest yet challenging aesthetic. Could this be what allows Norwegian design to stand out amongst its Nordic counterparts, what other qualities set it apart from its neighbors?
We do not have the same cultural background, strength and history as Denmark, Sweden and Finland, instead we feel more free from the past like Iceland. We do not feel the same responsibility to the past as our neighbors and due to this are more free to challenge.
Connections to World Design
What does this collection say about the state of contemporary design internationally?
That we are all internationally thinking and that the differences are not as strong as before. Through the internet we all collect our inspiration from the same places and we are inspired by each other. With the interest in collectible design, it opens up to a new world of thinking more freely as the designers and artists can actually sell their ideas and thoughts directly without the strict needle eye of a manufacturer.
What is exciting about having this collection displayed together with other top design scenes from around the world?
The possibility to show how we think and evolve in the same paths, still different in terms of materials, what is available and how we interpret our past. We are proud to have Norway displayed alongside all these talented artists and designers and proud to be able to curate a collection like this.
Curated by Kråkvik & D’Orazio
Kråkvik&D’Orazio is a creative studio based in Oslo, Norway, run by Italian-born Alessandro D’Orazio and Oslo native Jannicke Kråkvik.
The studio works within product design and art direction, interior styling, and design, as well as curatorial work, promoting Norwegian design and craft.
To be able to work with talents within craft and design is an important part of our doing. And we spend a lot of time searching the Norwegian scene for young talents.
What attracted you both to be involved in collectible design, and work with designers working at the intersection of art and design?
Today, with the extreme environmental issues in mind, people tend to be a lot more aware of what they can do, to make it better. We start to ask questions about the origin and quality of a product, who made it and what is it made from? As well as the urge to stand out, to hunt and collect. The intersection between art and design makes it more interesting and more people can, for example, relate to art when it has a purpose or a functionality, even if it just looks like it. Collectible design is something that people want and often don’t know where to see it or get it. To have them available through online galleries like Adorno makes it a lot more accessible to many. It is also an important part of a designer or artist’s evolvement. It is a tough business to breakthrough in and like this, they are able to experiment and to actually sell their ideas directly.
What is your current favourite piece of design you have encountered and why?
We don’t actually have an answer to this as there are a lot of different aspects why we love design. But there are of course always the masters and just to mention a few we must say works by Isamu Noguchi, that most definitely worked in the intersection between art and design, and off course Donald Judd, the minimalist that was a lot drawn to architecture and nature.