ECCO CARRYING - Jingyi Zhang / TERRA urban root cellar - Ida Gudrunsdotter / YOYO BASKET - Nan Jiang
This is an exhibition by students from the Master’s Programme at the School of Industrial Design in Lund and is a collection of items, all well made, that question and challenge the assumption that any domestic chore must now be done by something plastic with a chip and a plug. And what is also clear here is that there is a sense of pride in the process of making ... so what is common to all the pieces is that they are made from natural materials using traditional craft skills.
It is a brilliant and inspiring exhibition and even more important because it comes from industrial designers … or better still the next generation of industrial designers.
In part the designs take us back to the household items that you can see in the old town houses in the open-air museum in Lund or domestic items from the past that are displayed in the Danish open-air museums in Aarhus and at Frilandsmuseet north of Copenhagen but those items tend to be from old rural crafts and there is, in part, a sense there of people making do and making themselves what was not available to buy but all these items here in the exhibition could be produced commercially.
This is not nostalgia ... not a sort of romantic revivalist view of a cosy kitchen from our grandparents' past.
These designers have taken a very serious and realistic look at what we do and how and what we make and what we throw away. Sometimes it is useful and sometimes actually necessary to look at where we are, wonder if it is the right place and maybe go back down the road to a cross roads and explore if another road might be more interesting.
Basically they are saying take a step back and look at what you do and why and how and possibly, with ingenuity, sustainability can be very stylish and actually fun.
But they also make a very serious point …. “In a time when the single person is becoming more and more distanced from where things come from, how they are made, what they are made of and where they inevitably end up, it becomes increasingly harder to see the consequences of our lifestyles and choices. We depend on fossil fuel driven transportation systems, monocultural large-scale farming and non renewable, toxic energy sources. Our economies thrive on productivity and consumption and we live like there’s no tomorrow. The Tomorrow Collective is about exploring ways of enabling us to live a sustainable life in the future. Inspired by past knowledge of how to grow, make and be, the project presents concepts for modern tools and systems that can be used in a cyclic sense, within private homes or to share in smaller communities.”
M FOR MILK within one's reach - Judith Glaser
THE BURKS - Oskar Olsson
LITTLE THUMB save the crumbs - Elena Biondi
WOODEN IRON simple clothing care tool - Ausrine Augustinaite
FLAVOUR OF TIME preserve the unique feeling of daily food and seasonal flavour - Reo Letian Zhang
MICU smart choice for a healthy conscience - Andrea Müller
THE TOOTHPASTER nice and simple - Olof Janson
SHAVING KIT long lasting shaving tools inspired by the past & the present - Philip Andersson
Even now, electric gadgets with smart technology do not rule our homes completely … many people still have wooden spoons in the kitchen or one of those wooden lemon juicers and lots of cooks use a pestle and mortar to grind their own herbs but one of the points made here is that often a specific contraption for a specific task might be used once or twice and then confined to the back of a cupboard. Could there be a simpler way of doing some things? Is the purchase of a clever-clever time-saving devise our real priority? Whatever the cost in terms of the energy and the materials consumed? In that profit and loss account is a little time gained worth the loss from the satisfaction of doing something ourselves?
After looking at the exhibition I remembered that when I cleared my mother’s house, after she died a couple of years ago, I came across a butter knife that I had used at my grandparent’s house when I was a small child and some brushes my grandfather kept in his own drawer in the kitchen for when he came in from the garden and wanted to wash and they still smelt of the specific soap and and the tooth powder he always used … he was a late and reluctant convert to toothpaste. Memories suddenly came flooding back. If we chuck out and replace everything because it all has a short shelf life and the replacement is cheap, is it not just sustainability we should worry about but also the loss of our own sense of time and place?
There is a full catalogue of all the pieces on line with photographs and links to all the designers
The exhibition continues at Form Design Center, Malmö until 30 August 2015