Young Danish designer Jonas Edvard conjures up chairs out of seaweed, lamps out of edible mushrooms, cutlery disguised as protection devices. What will he come up with next? We wonder..
Jonas Edvard is a young Danish designer working and living in Copenhagen, Denmark. He graduated from the Royal Danish Academy, School of Design in 2013 with an MA in product design. Edvard’s interest lies in sustainable design and although his studio is still very new, his products and concepts have been garnering a fair bit of attention already.
One of Edvard’s earliest designs is Hangover (2010), a sleek modern bench that is familiar yet unusual. The oakwood and MDF creation is inspired by objects and the relationship they have with each other. The bench is multi-purpose; it can be used as a single bench or double up as a picnic table, with attached bench.
In 2010, Edvard undertook a 3 week outdoor experiment to “seek out the possibility to live without any essentials.” He called this ‘Fail’. In a series of experiments he “created objects from found materials, including “a transport vehicle in the shape of a river raft, a sleeping cocoon and a resting chair with storage.”
Prolong (2010) is an unusual take on traditional cutlery. The knife and fork are embedded into an ash wood handle, tied together with a rubber band. Why would you need an extra-long knife or fork? “The stick provides one with extra ferocity and damage control when it comes to dealing with obstacles that needs to be either eaten or scared off.” An intriguing concept for sure and one you might want to carry along when you go camping.
The Prosaic (2012) Lamp is a bit more sedate but equally unusual and thought-provoking. Cast in glazed concrete, the lampshade also doubles up as a ‘lock’ that holds the wooden structure in place. “The projects combine traditional handicraft techniques with the technical aspects of concrete to challenge the designer’s role as inventor and manufacturer.”
The Tektonik (2012) porcelain cup is a play on stacked objects and a comment on mass-produced objects that “pile up in the homes of individuals.” The cup looks like it is stacked but it is actually a single unit, beautifully layered.
Edvard’s Konkret wood pendant (2012) is an interesting light pendant crafted in ash wood with an unusual leather strap. Contrary to what the name sounds like, there’s no concrete here at all. Instead, the basket-shaped lamp is coloured with traditional wood stain which gives it a lovely softness. The handle on top allows it to be hung in unusual ways. You can also carry the lamp wherever you like. The Konkret won the 2nd prize in Danish Brand Muuto’s talent award.
The Bricoleur (2012) is a messy looking lamp made from plywood and coloured glue – a combination you don’t see often in industrial design! The combination and the method give one a new perspective on shape and material.
One of Edvard’s more remarkable and sustainable designs has been the Myx lamp (2013). He is perhaps one of the world’s few designers to use living organisms (Mushroom Mycelium, in this case) as the medium for a product design. Over his Myx lamps, Edvard grows a mixture of fungi and plant filaments. Over three weeks, the lamp ‘grows’ organically “to create a vast network of threads that adheres the plant filament together.” Each lamp generates 500-600 grams of oyster mushrooms, which after harvesting leave a dry and light lampshade ready for use.
It is a remarkable concept and perhaps the world is ready for an edible, compostable lamp now. The Myx won a Green Furniture Award in Rotterdam, London in 2013. Edvard’s most recent creation was made in collaboration with designer Nikolaj Steenfatt.
The Terroir (2014) is a collection of a chair and pendant lamps, made from (you’ll never guess) seaweed. The duo harvested the seaweed Fucus – a type of algae – from 8000 km of the Danish coastline. They dried and ground this seaweed into a powder which was then cooked into a glue. “Combining the seaweed glue with paper results in a tough and durable material similar to cork, which is then turned into the products of the Terroir collection.”
The colour of the product is determined by the species of seaweed as the final product is really just seaweed and paper. Why seaweed? It contains a high quantity of salt which not only acts as a preservative but is also a natural flame-retardant. “The material can be broken down and reused, or recycled as natural fertiliser, as it contains large amounts of nitrogen, iodine, magnesium and calcium.”
It is fascinating how Edvard comes up with new ideas for sustainable products that are useful, have character and also derive from the cultural landscape. He may still be a new face in the competitive design world, but Jonas Edvard’s creations may soon top the sustainable products’ chart.
Text By Chryselle D’Silva Dias
Photographs Courtesy The Designer