Nordic collectible design is “vibrant and exploratory”

Nordic Design Trace talked to CHART Director Nanna Hjortenberg about CHART Design 2019.

What is the overall curatorial idea for CHART Design 2019?

From last year we’ve sharpened our focus to only present contemporary, collectible works. With our focus on contemporary art at the art fair it only seems natural. Also, it is the end of the spectrum of the design world which really doesn’t have a platform in the Nordic. So our ambition is to build this platform and help nurture the development of collectible design by presenting an international venue with a strong Nordic focus.

Besides the professional galleries presenting at the fair, we also have invited selected design studios and design collectives to join us. This means the year’s programme will show the younger generations of designers working with unique objects and designs. Alongside this, we also present an exhibition of Kähler, the renowned Danish ceramist company, which has a very interesting history of using unique works to experiment in developing new methods and techniques.

Nanna Hjortenberg, Director of CHART. Photo: Christian Hoyer

This year, you have invited young design studios to be a part of CHART Design. What is your goal with this new initiative?

As mentioned, we wanted to show the more emerging designers who don’t have representation. The field is very disorganized and as part of our ambition to build a platform we also want to include this segment of the design field.

How would you characterize Nordic collectible design anno 2019?

It is vibrant and exploratory. For instance, we see several designers challenging the notion of functionality within the classic crafts. Glass, ceramics, and porcelain are materials that many designers explore in new, conceptual, and in a few instances almost critical and political ways drawing on the field of art.

Besides that, it is a growing market, and we feel that every year with a still growing amount of visitors from the entire globe at CHART. The Nordic countries have an impactful design tradition, which these years is carried on by contemporary talents.

At the moment we see many examples where art and design are merging, what is your view on this intersection?

I think it is super interesting and inspiring and probably also something we will see more of in the future. I think the experimentation that happens in the cross-fields between the disciplines help develop both a new firm ground but also push both the art and the design scene in new directions.

CHART presents ‘Curio’ in collaboration with Designmuseum Danmark.

How can collectible design be part of addressing critical issues about our society and the way we live today?

This year, we’ve curated parts of our public programme under the theme of ‘materiality’. Within this thematic frame the notion of sustainability is naturally touched upon. How will we process materials in the future and how can we rethink which materials to use in our design if we wish to limit the productional cost on our planet? For instance, in the exhibition ‘Curio’, which we present in collaboration with Designmuseum Danmark, emerging designers have offered five unique perspectives on the use of materials of tomorrow in an innovative display.