4 minute read
David Leon Fiene
On a sunny afternoon in Barcelona, Sanna develops her object “Presence” in a ceramic workshop, while she reflects on the first lockdown, time and the tradition of a teapot.
L: Can you give us a quick introduction about yourself?
Who are you? Where are you right now? What's your profession?
S: Hi! I am Sanna Völker, a Swedish-born product and furniture designer who has been living in Barcelona for the last 17 years. I also combine my work as a designer with curatorial work and teaching.
L: What was the inspiration behind Presence?
S: Presence is a reflection of my own experience during the lockdown, how after the first days of shock, my mindset slowly started to change. How I stopped multitasking and instead was doing one thing at the time. Because there was no place I had to be but where I was - and no other thing I should be doing besides what I was actually doing. I was experiencing this feeling that time was being given to me instead of me having to fight it. Because not being able to plan the future makes you live in the absolute present. And I realized how fortunate, happy and healthy I felt living in that moment.
Presence is an object that explores the personal experience of slowing down. Through combining the tea ceremony with the soothing sound of water, the project reflects on time and on staying present. The piece questions our constant search for efficiency and optimization and invites for a shared moment of stillness by focusing on sensorial information. By rethinking the traditional teapot, the substance is prepared in a manner in which the dripping sound of water, and the sudden absence of it, will indicate when the tea is ready to be savoured.
L: How did you come up with the idea of Km Zero?
S: The idea of Km Zero emerged during the strictest part of the Spanish lockdown. After spending several weeks at home I slowly started going back to the studio. And with most of my creative projects on hold, I felt a desire to create and to connect with others. I wanted to express the feelings of calm, worry and hope that had emerged during the quarantine and I was curious to know about the experiences of other creative people. I felt a desire to document this unique moment in time and an aspiration that perhaps things could be different.
L: When/How did you start with design?
S: My passion for design didn't really take off until I started studying product design in 2010. When I was younger I always saw myself working within a more sociological branch since I was (and still am) very interested in social science and human behaviour. At the same time I really enjoyed hanging out in my Dad's workshop in our basement where I would create stuff from whatever I could find in there, but I just didn't think of that as a profession. Yet in a way, I do include both of these interests in my work today.
L: Tell us a bit about your childhood
S: I come from a Swedish/English/German family and grew up with my parents and siblings in the outskirts of a small town in Sweden. Quite an idyllic start of life really, with lots of nature and free time to play.
L: What do you love/hate the most about your profession?
S: I love its versatility. Each project is different and therefore each approach and process is quite unique. I very much enjoy developing pieces for experimental briefs where I can dive into the storytelling of my work, but I also enjoy the aspects of production and finding efficient solutions. Collaborating and experimentation with craftspeople is a fundamental part of my work and something I also truly enjoy. Hate.. hmm besides making technical drawings and the uncertainty of things, not that much really.
L: Make a clear statement or let the spectator have their own view?
S: My idea with a piece or project is usually very defined so I would say making a clear statement.
L: When do you feel most creative?
S: Being in the workshops make me feel very inspired. But for new ideas somewhere offline and kind of random are often the best, like a train ride, a walk or sitting down with a sketchbook at a café.
L: What is money for you?
S: Money has never been a driving force for anything I do really. But naturally, you need it. It's hard to enjoy working creatively if you're worried about rent or can't take some time off to enjoy other things.
L: The best exhibition you visited so far? And why was it the best in your opinion?
S: The installations on the Japanese "art" islands Naoshima and Teshima are mind-blowing, just amazingly spiritual and magical. There were also a few site-specific exhibitions held during Stockholm design week a couple of years ago that I really enjoyed. They were so personal, installed in actual homes, you needed to take your shoes off and all.
L: Are there any upcoming projects you can already talk about?
S: I am very much looking forward to presenting several new glass pieces I have been working on for quite some time now. One of them is a site-specific piece which was new for me. I am also obsessing over aluminium at the moment and will be launching new pieces in that material.
L: Do you plan ahead for the next years?
S: Not really, I have abstract dreams but plans, no.
L: If you do, where would you like to be in 5 years? / If not, why?
S: In Sweden, we plan very much ahead and both your short and long time plans are usually quite set up. I feel that I can live more in the present in Barcelona and I tend to plan less, which often makes me feel healthier and happier. But in general, I would like to keep on learning, evolving and discovering. To be exploring new materials, and processes - and to collaborate with like-minded clients and creatives.
Leon Befeldt is a berlin based creative, who's working in the film industry as an editor and postproducer.
David Leon Fiene is a filmmaker and designer. He greatly enjoys working with designers, artists, and artisans, reflecting on the journey to owning one’s craft.
4 minute read
On a sunny afternoon in Barcelona, Sanna develops her object “Presence” in a ceramic workshop, while she reflects on her the first lockdown, time and the tradition of a teapot.