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Designer Kasper Kjeldgaard wants to put us a little closer to the fundamental rules of nature

The Danish designer’s work stretches across the fields of art and design. He was recently one of the chosen to display his work at Wallpaper’s exhibition Handmade during Milan Design Week. This week he was announced the winner of design award Formex Nova 2019.

Words: Johan Magnusson

The jury’s motivation: ”Kasper Friis Kjeldgaard creates sculptural three-dimensionality, with strong expressions in metal and bristles. He has a unique sense for details and material transitions. The creativity flows between art and design. His artistic ability could also be a great asset in the design of everyday products.”

— It is always difficult to say what it’s going to mean in a specific way, and how it’s going to impact on my career, he says. But I also have to say, that in this business we might tend to think a little too much about what this and that could mean in the future. Instead of just taking it as it is, and as a goal on its own. Winning means that a group of very qualified people with a lot of experience have looked at my work, and taken so much joy, that they have chosen it over so much other good work out there. And that motivates me and makes me enormously proud.

The 36-year-old Aarhus-based designer was educated as a furniture designer from The Royal School of Architecture and Design in Copenhagen (KADK).

— Already when I was in school, I tried using the work with abstract objects, as a process tool in making furniture, he says. I found that materials informed me better on their properties and aesthetics when they were structured in intended abstractions, than they did when they were just flat material samples. Before I knew it, I was on this quest chasing the sculpture and the mobiles rather than the furnitures.

His last couple of years have been all about exhibitions.

— I’ve had the privilege of showing my objects in Milan, Stockholm, London, New York, and at home in Denmark. That means that I have had a very tight focus on making new pieces. They have all been about nature to some extent. I am really eager to put us a little closer to the fundamental rules of nature, such as gravity, rotation, friction and so on. Also lately, I’ve been looking quite a lot into the more mysterious objects of the nature religions. So you will find objects such as mobiles, reliefs and spears in my collection.

— I do more and more site specific installations for private collectors, architects and others, which I enjoy very much. The materials are usually brass, glass, granite, horsehair and beeswax.

What do you have coming?

— I have always stated that working as a designer in the abstract field gives you a lot of realizations. They’re often quite specific realizations that can be embedded in more classical design solutions. One thing is to claim that, and another thing is to actually show that. I am going to continue my abstract work, but I would like to have a fluid design process where I do both. I have a few specific projects in the pipeline and I hope to show them in the fall 2021.