Presenting PROXIMITY, a collection created in collaboration with Southern Sweden Design Days showcasing a selection of new work from ten emerging and established designers and studios. As a whole, the collection contemplates the notion of presence, interconnection, and belonging. Whether through contemporary references to traditional crafts techniques; the use of locally sourced materials such as wool, lichen, steel, and wood; or playful visualisations of the notion itself, the selected pieces illustrate the importance of closeness and kinship in uncertain times.
Organised by Form/Design Center, the annual Southern Sweden Design Days event held in Malmö, Sweden continues in its second edition, highlighting sustainability, collaboration, development, and innovation in design. Beginning today and continuing through the weekend, visitors can experience the best the creative southern Swedish design region has to offer through seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and networking events. This year’s theme – PROXIMITY – is described by the event organisers to “[reflect] on the notion of being close – the connection between people, cities, countries, species, professions, etc”.
“The purpose of the annual theme is to be inspiring, challenging and spark creativity and new ideas for exciting content. It should [also] harmonise with SSDD’s overall focus on sustainability, collaboration, development, and innovation. … From the suggestions on themes that we received, many touched upon the notion of togetherness and community, and it was clear to us that people were requesting a theme with an optimistic vibe and positive message.” – Terese Alstin & Ann Isler of Southern Sweden Design Days
Both physically and virtually, the collection inhabits the light and shadow of Lokstallarna, an old railway workshop in the Kirseberg district of Malmö and the main location of Southern Sweden Design Days’ annual event. Though disparate in their materials and techniques, the pieces presented here illustrate their ability to connect across identities, contexts, and borders. They make a case for uniting with local communities and industries to build a more sustainable and interconnected future.
Andrea Santivanez, “Fringefloss”
“Fringefloss” is a modern translation of a traditional and extinct carpet from Southern Sweden. The carpets are robot tufted in Southern Sweden and come in different color-combinations. The piece features patterned cream, brown, and black lamb’s wool and can be paired with the stainless steel stool which it was made for as a tailored seat cushion.
Andréason & Leibel, “Stopgap Low Table”
A table with no start and no end. No front nor back. No hierarchy. Just a series of random stops and gaps in an eternal movement. The “Stopgap Low Table” is the result of a failed creative divorce. The PROXIMITY project was the starting point for Andréason & Leibel’s plan to do separate designs to meet on stage. It ended up in one piece significant for their close intertwined design process.
Ebba Lindgren, “Really Rococo”
Furniture for the self-proclaimed royals.
The “Really Rococo” desk and stool are loosely based on the asymmetrical and nature-inspired rococo style. A workplace for emotional labor and social maintenance. Inspired by the ”Bonheur-Du-Jour”, a type of letter-writing desk that was popular among women in the 1700s. The objects are made out of “Really Board”, a textile waste fibreboard with a core of discarded hotel bedlinen and a coating of shredded textile off-cuts.
Förstberg Ling, “Very Good Stool”
With the first version of their “Very Good Stool” (stone, 2018), Förstberg Ling explored the relationship in-between the carried and the carrying. The stacking and slotting of the different elements of the stool makes for a certain structural clarity. Each part performing its tectonic function in relationship to the next.
The galvanised version adds another layer of structure and texture. Slightly more complex. Very rugged. Very hardcore.
Jóna Berglind Stefánsdóttir, “PLUS PLUS” The Optimistic Shelf
Originally part of the “Last Minute Collection” by M.U.S. (Malmö Upcycling Service) where the aim was to design objects made completely from local industrial leftovers or waste material. “PLUS PLUS” The Optimistic Shelf is made from discarded vinyl and filled with styrofoam.
LAB LA BLA, “Tree Trunk III”
LAB LA BLA’s “Tree Trunk” vases are created by blowing molten glass into salvaged tree stems hollowed by agents such as fungal decay or termites. Wooden molds are in constant change where parts of the intricate texture may shrink, deform or burn up, making no two objects the same.
Lisa Darland, “Mylla Rug”
In Sweden, over a thousand tons of wool is burned or thrown out every year. At the same time, Sweden imports wool and wool goods for a value of four hundred million Swedish crowns. For the “Mylla Rug”, designer Lisa Darland uses the process of getting rid of the wool (burning and disintegration), the extensive fields of Skåne, and the fenced fields where the sheep spend their days from spring to autumn as an inspiration. “Mylla” is a Swedish word for mixing things into the soil.
Louise Hederström, “Lichen Leftover Light”
The “Lichen Leftover Light” is part of a project where Louise Hederström investigates and shapes discarded lichen from Nordgröna’s production of sound absorbers. She pushes the boundaries of what is considered junk or product in a series of handmade unique mirrors and now 2022 also a lamp.
The material is very tactile and natural. Lichen (reindeer moss) is picked under strict restrictions in the Nordic countries and the production only use natural colouring and preservation. It’s a material have been used for ages because of its qualities.
Moa Lönn, “Cluster #3”
“Cluster” is a hand-built ceramic series created by Moa Lönn. Black clay draws a line in space, a number of nodes and connections construct the shape. A balancing act that oscillates between being a human-shaped artifact and a structure evolved in nature. The surface is camouflaged, with drippings reminiscent of the growth of lichens or mold taking a hold of the branch-like structure.
Studio M, “Cut-Out Rug Sprinkles”
“Cut-Out Rug” is a concept where the rug is questioned as a functional or aesthetic object in our home. A project that wants to challenge the traditional rug and invite new movement patterns in the room and create a connection between the rug and the floor. By removing the inner part of the carpet, it frames the floor and its traditional place in the home is challenged by the fact that the underlying surface contributes to a different perception of space.
PROXIMITY is presented in partnership with: