INTRODUCING FREDERIK NYSTRUP-LARSEN & OLIVER SUNDQVIST
Just before the Online Opening of the PN1 exhibition on November 26th, 2020, PAVILION NORDICO is proud to introduce the last pair of young Nordic designers who participated in the PN1 project.
Frederik Nystrup-Larsen and Oliver Sundqvist are a Danish-Swedish artist and design duo working in London and Copenhagen. Their practice investigates different means, materials and processes at the intersection of art and design with the aim of challenging their viewer's interpretation. For PN1, the duo worked on a series of lamps and glass objects, made with support by the Sophusfunden grant of Danish lamp manufacturer Louis Poulsen. PAVILION NORDICO team member Nele Ruckelshausen spoke to them about their work.
How did you two find each other?
We met each other in the design department of The Royal Danish Art Academy, where we started cooking together as chefs for the annual rustur [a class trip at the beginning of studies]. We became friends, but we first started working together when we shared a studio after we graduated from our bachelors program. Frederik started studying a MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London and Oliver did a MA in furniture design at The Royal Danish Art Academy.
We both have a similar approach to our artistic practice but Frederik is more concerned with conceptual investigation, and Oliver is more interested in the material and form process. Sometimes it flips though. Working as a duo definitely allows for a more playful and fun creation process.
What did you work on for PN1 and how?
We worked on several projects during our stay in Buenos Aires, collaborating closely with RIES Estudio on almost all of the projects. We did some aluminum castings at a local foundry. We cast six face-mugs and one very large bird bath.
We also went to buy local wood in one of the suburbs to create a lamp stand. The glass part of the lamp we produced in the crystal glass factory in San Carlos. Seeing the glass-blowing practices there was a great experience, one that's very hard to put in words. We also created these bent glass tubes with RIES, which was a very intuitive, material-focused project. A bit dangerous but fun.
What surprised you the most about Argentina?
It's hard to say what surprised us the most but we certainly didn’t expect how European the city would feel. The massive immigration waves from Europe and Italy specifically have had a big influence. That was very visible in the culture, which seems to take a lot of inspiration from other cultures.
Working with designers and craftspeople wasn’t that different from what we are used to though. Time schedules and deadlines are perhaps not as rigid as in Denmark but the relaxed, explorative attitude also made it much easier to try things and produce a lot of work in the limited amount of time that we had.
If you had to compare Argentine design with Nordic design, what strikes you the most?
Nordic design design history has very strong, traditional roots which are very influential to our work - whether we like it or not. Contemporary Argentinian design on the other hand seems to be influenced by many different cultures, and appears more fluent. At the Crystaleria San Carlos glassblowing factory though the design products were fairly conservative, and what you would call quality design.
We'd say that the Scandinavian eye for design is quite trained, which gives us the freedom to still experiment and still find an audience.
What new ideas, skills, and knowledge did you take away from PN1?
Our goal in coming to Buenos Aires was to work with what was there and be open to the local resources and contributions. We wanted to work closely with the craftsmen and workshops offered to us by PAVILION NORDICO. Our close collaboration with RIES was what made it possible to put our ideas into reality. What we didn’t want to do was to create something that we might as well have done at home. In our work with wood for instance, we kept the labels and color marking of the wood workshop on the final product, to make transparent where the resources came from. We would for sure never have done that at home.
The glass-blowing workshop was for sure a new and amazing experience. Not just because we got to visit this old glass workshop but also because we experienced some of the Argentinian countryside and rural life. It was also rewardint to be surrounded by and work with the people that were a part of the project: the designers, the workshops, RIES, curator Juan García Mosqueda of Quick Tiny Shows, Sur del Cruz and the rest of the team. We really feel that we now have a lot of good friends on the other side of the world.
The light objects in collaboration with Crystaleria San Carlos and RIES Estudio were made with the support of the Nordic Culture Fund, The Danish Art Council, and Sophusfonden, a cultural grant by Danish lamp manufacturer Louis Poulsen.
Photo by Dagurke