Conceptual design is often misunderstood as art, or that it’s work that has no specific function and would reside in the experimental bracket. This could be true in terms of it being an experiment, but this avenue has interested me for a long while and my feelings arose again thanks to Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken who has a fascinating portfolio to view online.
Although I’ve seen these sort of ideas floating around before, one creative in-particular that made me stand up and notice was Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa. I’ve said it once before, but this video of Naoto Fukasawa at Luminaire Chicago in June 2010 will give you a nice introduction in to some of his more conceptual thoughts, for example ‘design dissolving in human behaviour’ and other things like that. When I first started reading a few of his publications and researching his thoughts you get an idea of how dominant these are in his mind, they power everything he does. Almost as if he treats life as a user experience, trying to create things that sink in with the human and revolve around their habits. It’s made me think about how this applies to different fields, including experiences here on the website and shop, also in a variety of crafts that could be deemed more ‘traditional’. Each one has its own history but can be applicable to everyday modern life in some way, shape or form. I feel like Mr Rybakken is carrying this concept and has been experimenting with one method inparticular, the manipulation of light. It seems like a common theme throughout his portfolio, but first I’ll explain a little about the man himself.
Daniel grew up in Oslo, Norway where he studied design at the Oslo school of Architecture and the School of Arts & Crafts in Gothenburg, Sweden. After graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in 2008 he opened up his own design studio, both in Oslo and Gothenburg. Even at his young age he’s received many awards for his works, and now mainly experiments with prototypes and art installations, occupying the boundary between art and design. Here today I present a few of his works to make you think about some ideas that are maybe more ‘out there’ but could still be accessible to humans in some way. Take for example his fascination with light and the idea of reflection, a lot of these thoughts has made him challenge conventional lighting and how it works in the everyday world. You have to think outside of the box and take that next step to discover something new and innovative.