Live@ICFF Schools: Konstfack
Konstfack’s booth is notable for showing the work of just three students, Bengt Brümmer (middle), John Astbury, and Karin Wallenbäck, who met at the Swedish school last year and together make up What’s What Collective. Their designs—a trio of lamps called Push, Pull, and Pop—have a high sense of polish, as do the designers themselves, who might have stepped out of an ad for the downtown fashion company Opening Ceremony. (Theirs was also the only booth in the student area to be blaring music, giving it a bit of the feeling of a runway show.) Pop is a small table lamp with a top that bends forward to cover the heavy concrete base like a shy snail. A black cord that runs in and out of a cutaway in Pull’s slim ash body is used to maneuver the lampshade up and down. And Push is made from pleated, fabric-covered plastic that can be cinched up in the middle—a lamp with a belt!—to change the direction and quality of illumination. “We really wanted to make it look like an Italian suit,” Brümmer says.
The idea for their collection, called Potential Energy, was to make products that would capture a sense of movement, changing their shape depending on the need. Many designs that transform their appearance, Brümmer says, “try to do different things but do none of them well. With these, we wanted to tell a story in every form.” Speaking of potential energy, the collective has already been in talks with Swedish companies about putting their work into production. “And since we’re in New York,” Astbury says, “we’ll talk to American companies too.”