Design

Emotional Landscape turns glass objects into sculptural pieces

Aiming to challenge tradition by rediscovering our relationship with glass.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
April 06, 2021

Alter id is an international network of creatives, run by Margareta Wingårdh and Elinor Nystedt. Together with designer Alice Shulman, educated at Beckmans College of Design and Central Saint Martins and currently head of womenswear at Weekday, they run creative collaboration platform Emotional Landscape, where intuition is the main driving force.

— It’s a coupling of object and feeling, tells Wingårdh and Nystedt. Things that surround us affect us. When we fill our objects with memory and meaning, they also reflect our experiences and innermost thoughts back to us. The philosophy of Emotional Landscape is to capture this constant circle and give it material form. The first project out was Spectra, where Alice worked with the material glass and it ended up in a limited series of objects that could be perceived and used as vases and lamps.

All shapes in Spectra are created from a cutting process, shares Alice Shulman.

— Basically, I have explored the idea of cutting into hot glass in order to create form and function. Essentially vases are vessels for water, they traditionally have a shape and an entrance for flowers at the top. I wanted to challenge tradition. What if the entrance is not at the top, and what if there are multiple entrances? When applied on the lamps, vessels for light, the cuts become more like exits from which light beam into a room.

— Glass, she continues, is fragile, yet sharp, architectural, and organic. It is one of humanity’s oldest materials, both protective and revealing, closely connected with our cultural development. This duality drives the first project of Emotional Landscape, by rediscovering our relationship with glass. Sprung out of intuition and a predefined emotion, we craft our objects, and these vessels of light and water create a presence of how you move and experience your inner and exterior rooms. With the cuts, the vessels become interesting enough as sculptural pieces. The vases can stand alone and hold their ground without function. For me, this is fundamental in order to create an emotional bond to the object.

All pieces are produced in Axelsberg, outside of Stockholm.

— From my drawings and ideas, I have worked together with Eino Mäkelä, a retired glassblower, with over 50 years of experience in glassblowing. The process of cutting in hot glass is for me closely related to draping in fabric and working with cut-outs and gaps in garments. When the glass is hot it becomes very flexible and seems to have no limitations. Just like fabric acts when cut, the glass starts to present resistance and shows its own will when it cools down, says Shulman, adding,

— I distort the shape of the glass to bend it into ideas and ephemeral intuition. To work with a material that shapeshifts from liquid to solid form in an instant gives it a unique sense of immediacy, both in-process and in the finished design, and in this way, glass becomes like a filter through which you can explore and almost compulsively observe the world around you.

Onwards, the Emotional Landscape concept aims to continue to explore the energy of glass, tells Elinor Nystedt and Margareta Wingårdh.

— At the same time we sense a lot of other things that we are drawn to and want to try and test, the duo concludes.

All the glass pieces are unique and limited and available through their Instagram account as well as through a digital tour here

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