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    Ukurant Perspectives 2021 — Esben Kaldahl

    In 2021, Muuto is supporting Ukurant, an exhibition platform and community for emerging designers with the ambition to facilitate and nurture future new perspectives on design. Sharing this ethos of new perspectives while striving to promote new ways of thinking and working in design, Muuto and Ukurant have an inherent desire to strengthen the position of today's emerging design talents, bridging the ideas and innovations of new generations with the established design scene.
    In the coming months, we will be visiting the studios of Ukurant and some of the creatives who partook in last year’s exhibition, exploring their spaces and hearing about their craft and perspectives on design.
    In 2020, Copenhagen-based artist Esben Kaldahl partook in the first edition of Ukurant, showing his characterfully mindbending sculptures. Here, we visit Kaldahl in his Copenhagen studio to learn more about how he dreams up his poetic pieces, what drives his approach forward and to hear his thoughts on what makes a new perspective.

    Scattered throughout Kaldahl’s studio are the minute physical elements that permeate his work, be they broken-off tiles, ceramic molds or left-over materials.

    Are there any elements that you find permeate your work?
    There is always this constant exploration into how we as individuals interact with the elements around us; how we collect them and have emotional ties to them. This is an aspect that has always intrigued me and something that I seek to approach from different angles throughout my work.

    What are the most important elements in your work?
    I find that it is very dependent on the context of the given work. However, there’s always this sense of coherence that flows throughout materiality, form, color and texture, as if they’re all playing together in unison. In a broader sense, I seek to create form languages that speak to the curiosity of the viewer through details or texture, allowing for the work to invite the viewer in to explore more.

    The work of Kaldahl is defined by a constant intrigue around the relations that we as individuals form with the objects that we surround ourselves with in daily life.

    What were your thoughts behind partaking in last year’s Ukurant exhibition?
    When I first met the team behind Ukurant, I became very curious about this group of young people who were still studying, just like I was, but who had these amazing ambitions, larger than any other design exhibition that I’d heard about in years. They had this energy about them, like: “Let’s tear traditions up and create new ideas” that I really found myself gravitating towards.

    Kaldahl often seeks to awake a sense of strange familiarity within his viewer, achieved through objects that hint towards those of the everyday yet being cast in an entirely new form.

    What do you find that Ukurant brings to the world of design?
    To me, Ukurant embodies a genre of design that has been around for some years but had never had a place to call home in Scandinavia. It’s an expression that borders between design, arts and crafts. I felt like it was something that had been lacking in our part of the world; this idea of breaking free from the classic notions of Scandinavian design to instead bring a more curious and explorative approach to it.

    The studio of Kaldahl is located in the heart of the Danish capital where a generous amount of sunlight brings a soft ambiance to the workspace.

    What is a new perspective to you?
    I find that a new perspective is when I encounter an object that I don’t necessarily understand but would like to know more about. Something that I haven’t seen before. That’s how it is with the best things out there; they’re the ones that get stuck in your head; the ones that take time for you to become familiar with.

    How do you create new perspectives in your own work?
    I’m terrible at continuity, at doing the same things over and over. Once I’ve seen an idea through to its end, my mind immediately races towards other projects that I’d like to pursue, exploring unknown techniques that can force me to look at my work from unexplored perspectives and allow me to evolve the narrative within the things that I create.

    Click here to follow Esben Kaldahl’s work.

    The Ukurant Perspectives 2021 Exhibition will be open from 16th to 26th of September 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

    Ukurant Perspectives 2021
    Amaliegade 38
    DK-1256 Copenhagen K

    Adding to that, an artwork by Ukurant alumni Davide Ronco & Pablo Dorigo Sempere for Muuto will be displayed at both the Muuto HQ during 3daysofdesign alongside the Muuto collection as well as at the Ukurant Perspectives 2021 exhibition.

    Muuto HQ
    Østergade 36-38
    DK-1100 Copenhagen K

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