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Style, innovation & equality

Carved out of nature

Kajsa Melchior Eriksson’s designs are organic and dreamy, a mix of sculpture and furniture. This Design Week she takes her Alabaster objects to the Greenhouse exhibition of Stockholm Furniture Fair. — I don’t want functions to limit the expression of form too much, she says.

Words Konrad Olsson Photography Lucas Frisk Bergqvist

How do you define your pieces?

— I see them very much as hybrids between furniture and sculpture because I don’t want functions to limit the expression of form too much. If we don’t put function first we actually allow materials to ”speak” and enable more experimental processes. I find that important as a designer — to constantly be curious about function, form, and expression in relation to material resources and production.

What can you tell us about the material and production?

— I like to work with earth material, such as sand, ice and soil. It’s a way to learn and gain interest for future scenarios where we will have to look differently upon design, production, and quality. In this project, I’ve been molding Alabaster in natural sand. Each piece has to cure in the sand for about 12 hours before I dig them out and translate them into a material called jesmonite. The sand is, in this case, what I call the “directing material” which I can reuse for each sculpture.

Tell us about your background!

— I started my interest in design as a kid through clay figures that led me into textile and clothing design. Later, I was curious to explore the field of design further so I applied for my bachelor’s degree in design at School of Arts and Craft (HDK), in Gothenburg, which I combined with an exchange year at Chelsea College of art and design in London. After that, I started to work as an interior architect in Stockholm where I was learning a lot for four years before I decided to take on my master’s degree at Konstfack to develop my interest for furniture design and the object’s relation to space.

Where do you find inspiration?

— I always find a lot of inspiration from nature and this project is very much inspired from the process of natural erosion of sand molded by wind exposure. Grotto, this plate series, is a collaboration between me and Wavy, a creative studio with a focus on photography and image making. We wanted to work with the word “negative” so the erosion process became a good reference to the concept of image making, which also includes a moment of negative form, exposure and inducing.

This week, you exhibit at Greenhouse at Stockholm Furniture Fair, what are your expectations from the fair this year?

— I look forward to meeting with other designers in the start-up phase and to receive feedback on my work. It is a great opportunity for me to develop how to communicate my design but also to see what my colleagues are up to and learn from that.

What are your future plans with your designs?

— Continue to work hard and to keep developing the research I’ve started. My goal is to explore form and production techniques through product design but I also keep my interest in architecture and how it all plays together as a whole. One can never learn enough in this field which is a fact that triggers me a lot!