In Contrast

This week will see the unveiling of In Contrast, a collaboration between the graduate students at the Product Design programme and the second year Visual Communication students at Beckmans College of Design, centred on the complex concept of Yin and Yang.

What is dream, what is reality? Can long-term happiness be found in materialism? Where does reason and unreason embrace? These were some of the questions discussed by the graduate students at the Product Design programme at Beckmans College of Design in connection to their project In Contrast, exhibited at Stockholm Furniture Fair this week. The background for the project has its roots in the eastern philosophy of Yin and Yang, a term used to describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent, such as light and dark, life and death, logical and illogical, past and present. Dichotomies and dualities that are in contrast rather than in conflict. Through research and discussions, the students all found their own way to approach the theme and express their thoughts in form.

Wictor Gussing –
Wictor Gussing – Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega Fountain.

Wittingly called Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega Fountain, Wictor Gussing’s marble fountain is the result of what the design student himself calls kitschification.

– This whole thing with balance and harmony, that’s not at all what Yin and Yang means to me. Today, the symbol of Yin and Yang is mostly used for jewellery and things that has nothing to do with its original meaning. The whole notion of Ying and Yang has become kitsch. I call this phenomenon kitschification.

In contrast to Wictor Gussings kitchified interpretation of Yin and Yang, Rebecca Ral returned to the more traditional meaning of the concept. Titled Mind Your Seat, Rebecca’s balancing easy chair allows recovery and a focus on body and mind.

– There was so much stress around this project, which in the end became the core of my work. How to find balance in your everyday life, Rebecca says. In today’s active society, it is rare to stop and catch up with yourself, to rest and recover.

Rebecca Ral – Mind Your Seat
Rebecca Ral – Mind Your Seat

Titled Corpus Callosum, Tove Greitz’ cupboard is named after the part of the brain that allows the left and the right cerebral hemisphere to communicate. If the connection between them is cut, the two halves work separately. By splitting the design process into two parts, Tove wanted to explore whether the same division is possible with a piece of furniture. Mimicking the two cerebral hemispheres, she developed two different working methods, one rational and one creative. Making one half of the cupboard herself, using blueprints, she had fellow designer Jomi Evers Solheim making the other half, working from Tove’s written words.

– I let go of the control, leaving the process to Jomi, Tove says about the process. Corpus Callosum is the part of the brain enabling communication between the two cerebral hemispheres. Through this work, I broke that communication.

Tove Greitz –
Tove Greitz – Corpus Callosum.

Working from the same basic theme as the design students, five students from the Visual Communication programme created the overall communication concept In Contrast. The students also had sound artists interpret the various objects and furniture, to create sounds and music that will contrast with the physical creations. In this way, their interpretations give birth to new ideas, definitions and perspectives.

In Contrast will be on view at Stockholm Furniture Fair from February 4 through February 8. Read more about the project and listen to the sound pieces here.

Photography by Patrik Thalén.