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    Ukurant Perspectives 2021 — Frederik Gustav

    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 alongside those creatives who partook in last year’s exhibition as well as the ones partaking in Ukurant Perspectives 2021, exploring their spaces and hearing about their craft and perspectives on design.
    For Ukurant Perspectives 2021, the exhibition design will be created by Copenhagen-based architectural design practice, Frederik Gustav. We ventured out on a warm Danish summer day to visit the duo, comprised of Frederik Weber and Gustav Dupont, in their workspace to hear more about the origins of their collaboration, their ideas for the exhibition design for this year’s edition of Ukurant and to ask them what they believe makes something a new perspective.

    When approaching the Factory Of Art & Design in the southern neighborhood of the Danish capital from afar, one is struck by the industrial grandeur of the building, echoing that of a traditional production facility. However, upon entering the site, a wealth of small creative workspaces unfold as the building is home to no less than 49 creative studios and ateliers. Within one of these is Frederik Gustav, a practice founded in 2017 and named after its two founding partners.

    “We first met when we both were studying a bachelor’s degree in Furniture Design at the Royal Danish Academy and found ourselves quickly gravitating towards one another from where we became close friends and sparring partners. However, it wasn’t until we both signed up for a design competition in 2017 that we actually started working together,” says Gustav to which Frederik adds: “I think we both remember that first experience of collaborating on something as quite troublesome. We suddenly had to accommodate each other's viewpoints when we up until then only had to consider our own. It was a challenge but we realized that it could be turned into a driving force for pushing ourselves to a new level that we wouldn’t have been able to as individuals. We’ve been more or less inseparable since then.”

    When viewing the duo’s body of work at a glance, one is instantaneously struck by a sense of simplicity yet in a highly experimental and advanced way, paired with an inherent allure for traditional craftsmanship. Speaking on that, Frederik says: “Our work rests highly on practical experimentation that encompasses studies in static principles and tectonic systems that we want to explore from both an artistic and functional perspective. We strive for our work to reflect our curious and playful approach to our craft, often leading to us pushing the static and material properties to the furthest.” Pondering upon how this influences their process, Gustav notes: “As opposed to pursuing a specific function, we instead revolve around the idea of concepts that are at once flexible in their function, scale and context. This makes for work that is cross-disciplinary and touches the areas of small-scale architecture, crafts and design.”

    Walking us through the grand workspace to which the duo heads from their smaller studio to put their ideas into the world, we ask Frederik and Gustav about their motivations for joining Ukurant Perspectives 2021 as exhibition designers: “We see Ukurant as a platform within which we can unfold our ideas from both a playful and experimental point of view. The exhibition presenting a unique opportunity to break free from the traditional way of presenting design and art objects; an opening to do things in new ways,” says Gustav.

    Delving further into their thoughts on the universe of Ukurant, Frederik remarks: “We’ve talked a lot about Ukurant’s ability to position and amplify forward-thinking design, be it exploratory or experimental, that pushes our understanding of what design is and can become. They present design that possesses a depth which extends far beyond the mere physical identity of the work while bringing designers who demonstrate new ways of thinking, working and creating into the spotlight and, as importantly, into the eyes of the established industry.”

    The duo moves towards their work desk upon which textile swatches and sketches used in the process for the exhibition design for Ukurant Perspectives 2021 are scattered. On their thoughts behind the design, Gustav says: “We knew from the get-go that we wanted the design to be an experience that strayed far away from the often polished exhibition formats that are shown at 3daysofdesign,” to which Frederik continues: “For Ukurant Perspectives 2021, the idea is really to get a sense of theatrical scenery. We’ll be using tangled backdrops and exposed stage equipment to create this feeling of a lively exhibition that represents the creative process and the endless paths and possibilities that come with it.”

    One thing that becomes apparent when looking around the workspace of Frederik Gustav is the fact that they share a slight obsession with craftsmanship and the tools needed to excel within the field. When noting this to the two, Gustav states: “We’re working from this shared notion of craftsmanship being a language through which we communicate knowledge and ideas. The process always leads us down unexplored paths with each project bringing inspiration for the next. We seek to create new perspectives through the challenging of conventions and, through that, attempting to alter our perception of what design can be and creating objects that have an artful depth while awaking wonder and joy in their materiality, composition and function.”

    Click here to follow Frederik Gustav’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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