The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, or KADK, put on a massive graduation show for 2015 with 220 projects on display, divided between 140 graduating architects and 80 designers. The sprawling show covers architecture, fashion, graphics, industrial and furniture design with projects ranging from experimental ceramics, spatial studies, art to a prehosptial hypothermal firstaid rescue bag.
Most of the furniture design projects revolve around urban living conditions and coping with life in increasingly small spaces, like Tue Freier Mogensen’s foldable lounge chair and Sonja Tonev’s Hoodie chair that provides the user with a private and secluded space. Some projects display a clear connection to the traditions of Danish furniture making but are designed with the same contemporary issues in mind, incorporating multifunctionality, modularity and adaptiveness. Alvilde Holm’s Xenia is a sofa that not only folds out into a guest bed but also extends drapes creating a private sphere for the guest. A sort of room within the room. Similarly Adapt by Emil Lagoni Valbak is multifunctional sofa that can be adjusted according to different social contexts and functions, from solitary reading to a low table with Japanese style seating. The rocking chair is arguably a typology out of fashion at the moment, Frederik Alexander Werner attempts to change this with his tubular steel and black leather A Rocking Chair based on a brief from Danish brand Menu.
Of the Industrial Design projects A Brighter Time in Jail, a lamp designed for jails and prisons, is an odd proposal by Oliver Borg von Bülow. ABTJ is pendant lamp with two LED light sources allowing the inmate to adjust the color temperatures, mimicking for instance the natural light of the season.
In the textile department both Sisse Maria Witek and Emilie Dissing Wiehe work with tactility and corporeality. A Dwelling Place by Witek is a small collection of objects that explore the sensory experience of a place The central piece of the collection is a round carpet with a symmetrical 3d pattern. Wiehe’s Ro is perhaps the most moving of all the projects at the exhibition, a collection designed to alleviate stress and anxiety in dementia patients. Among other things Ro contains an “activity sculpture” consisting of various materials in different shapes and colors and a heavy blanket made to have a comforting effect.
Out of the many notable works at the show, other highlights include the Digital Realism Emelie Carlson and Escapsim a collaboration between Miranda Brun and Josefin Gilbert Jespersen, projects that both mix digital and analogue printing techniques on textile. Ceramic designer Emma Payne’s Assembled Tactility, is a collection of objects based on extensive exploration of the properties of ceramics and glass. Bjarke Fredriksen’s Tomhed (Emptiness) appears to be a small study or workshop but with an esoteric or perhaps scenographic quality.
Finally artist Kevin Josias and Anne Sofie Østerby each has conducted more formal investigations of form, spatiality and time. Østerby departs from a series of archaic forms and models speculating on their spatial properties and how they create trajectories in a specific site. Josias’ Tempofili (+Repetition) is an examination of the passing of time and repetition in objects. The objects don’t have any particular function but are conceived as a series of repetitions of the same basic forms.
Although it’s a sprawling graduate show with projects all over the map, the show do come together for the overall purpose of KADK, as it’s stated in the preface to the show “It is not our goal to create graduates who can only produce solutions for a market that has already decided exactly what it needs. We also educate graduates to show the way forward: To create a new market, new settings and new social experiences”.