From 7th to 11th February 2017, the installation “124° – Artek on Skeppsholmen” showcases the new collection by Daniel Rybakken at the dance theatre MDT located on the island of Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm.
Two new families of furniture and accessories by Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken address the question of what it is to be a contemporary Artek product. The Kiila range of storage and seating and the 124° series of mirrors cleverly utilise systems of industrial manufacture in their making and explore the point at which art and technology converge. These new designs articulate key Artek philosophies in a fresh and original design language.
The Kiila range includes small furniture products designed to help organise and tidy; a coat stand, a coat rack, a podium and a bench, whilst the 124° series consists of three different sizes of wall-mounted or freestanding mirrors. All the pieces are new additions to Artek’ s long-established compilation of furniture objects that support and work in concert with the main events of any interior; the ‘ Domestic Helpers’ .
Daniel Rybakken is a talented young designer who has spent the early years of his career focusing on one specific area of product design; lighting. Rybakken has applied himself to the study and replication of natural daylight, making sensitive products whose subtlety often disguise the complex and rigorous engineering that goes into their making. Marianne Goebl, Artek Managing Director, recognises the significance of this careful balance by noting; “Daniel shares Artek’ s fundamental interest in bringing together the realms of art and technology.
The installation design by the architecture office Meyer-Grohbrügge from Berlin is keeping with the current program of MTD as a space for performances and aims to transform the furniture of Artek into a stage design to be inhabited by its visitors. Derived from the 124 degree angle at which the central pieces of the exhibition –Daniel Rybakken’ s mirrors – are made, the stage is similarly split creating three distinctive settings. These three scenes depict an interior, a landscape and a skyline, and create dynamic spaces for lectures and meetings while also allowing for more spontaneous interactions among visitors.
For Rybakken, the challenge was to create objects that could exist in harmony with the iconic Artek collection whilst also pushing boundaries and asserting an original language of his own. The Kiila collection is the first result; a family of useful and versatile small furniture objects designed with hallways and entrances in mind. The sturdy coat stand and coat rack can hold heavy coats without losing their centre of gravity and toppling (Rybakken applied the simple engineering principles of a tripod) whilst a bench and podium are multi-functional pieces to aid interior organisation. “I wanted to identify what constitutes an Artek product and reflect on those qualities without delivering something that was pastiche or a copy of Aalto”, Rybakken adds.
Rybakken’ s Kiila system includes a unique wedge-shaped joint (Kiila translates as ‘ wedge’ in Finnish) made from powder-coated metal onto which solid wooden legs are fitted. They are secured with metal pins which double as hanging pegs on the coat stand and coat rack. Rybakken has purposefully kept all aspects of the construction visible; “How the pieces are produced is put on display. These are transparent designs; nothing is hidden from the user.”The Kiila family of objects is robust, designed for longevity. This quality has been articulated visually in the heft of the wooden rods used; they are unapologetically heavy. Inventing a system of construction, rather than designing individual pieces, pays homage to the origins of some of Aalto’ s most famous designs. In Rybakken’ s own words: “There is a very apparent logic to the Kiila series and I recognise this in Aalto designs too. These are products designed within the parameters of industrial manufacture, they are intended to be part of a system that can be repeated.” What is more, thanks to a clever approach to production, all the products in the Kiila family can be shipped flat-packed; a last nod towards a recognised Artek standard.
The 124° wall-mounted mirrors have an unmistakable sculptural quality. Two faces are placed 124 degrees apart creating an unexpected dual-aspect reflection of the surrounding space. The mirrors are functional objects designed for use, made from mirror polished sheet steel, and are available in three different variations including one with an integrated wooden shelf. They are also an evolution of Rybakken’ s extensive work around the subjects of natural light and image and as such they punctuate the wall with their strong form, curious reflected image and fragments of refracted light. The mirrors have endless applications; they might be hung in a hallway, bedroom, bathroom or on any wall that might be enhanced by their form and qualities, alternatively they can be used freestanding on a table, shelf or horizontal surface.
Kiila and 124° mark not only the first collaboration between Artek and Rybakken but also Rybakken’ s very first furniture commission.
Artek was founded in Helsinki in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Their goal was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means.”In keeping with the radical spirit of its founders, Artek today remains an innovative player in the world of modern design, developing new products at the intersection of design, architecture, and art. The Artek collection consists of furniture, lighting, and accessories designed by Finnish masters and leading international designers. It stands for clarity, functionality, and poetic simplicity.
For more than 80 years, Artek’ s products have enriched public spaces, museums, schools, restaurants, hotels, shops, as well as countless private homes all over the world. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, also home to the Flagship Store Artek Helsinki and the Artek 2nd Cycle Store.
Born in 1984, Daniel Rybakken grew up in Oslo, Norway. He studied design at the Oslo School of Architecture and the School of Arts & Crafts in Gothenburg, Sweden. On graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in 2008 he opened his own design studio in both Oslo and Gothenburg. Rybakken has received numerous awards, including most recently the Wallpaper* Design Award in 2017, two Bo Bedre Design Awards in 2016, Compasso d’ Oro ADI in 2014 and 2016, and Hublot Design Prize in 2015. The work of Daniel Rybakken occupies the area between art and design, forming limited editions, art installations and prototypes for serial production. His main focus has been to work with daylight and how to artificially recreate its appearance and subconscious effect.
7 – 11 February 2017 MDT, Slupskjulsvägen 32, Stockholm
Opening hours: Tuesday 12 –18
Wednesday – Friday 12 –20
Saturday 12 –17
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