ArkDes is proud to have curated and produced the Ung Svensk Form 2020 exhibition, and the show, as every year, can be thought of as a barometer for the future of design. This is a selection of the youngest, and most talented young designers in Sweden, and their interests, embodied in the freshly minted works in the exhibition, will define the future of design in this country.
The works almost all have in common an engagement with the largest and most complex dynamics affecting human society today. Environmental crisis and the end of fossil fuels are visible in the attempts of various works in the show to use or even invent sustainable and innovative materials. It is also clear in the show that design schools in Sweden today are deeply engaged with contemporary political trends. Works about questions of identity, femininity and masculinity, queerness, sex and the body are throughout the exhibition. That interest in questions of contested identities defines a uniquely self-aware generation of designers which is now emerging into practice, and we will see how this cohort impacts the design industry in general. The jury, in choosing so many of these projects, is clearly signalling that the idea of design as a service to manufacturers, or as a generator of commercial products is over. This year, to be selected for USF, it is obvious that displaying an awareness of broader issues is the defining factor.
As ever, USF is a diverse and beautiful experience for visitors to our home on Skeppsholmen. ArkDes is ending its five-year partnership with Svensk Form this year, and while Ung Svensk Form will continue elsewhere, we will be inventing new formats to ensure that emerging talent always has a platform at ArkDes. We wish to congratulate all the designers selected this year for the exhibition, and look forward to working with many of them in the future.
Kieran Long, Director ArkDes
Photo: Elisabeth Toll