The designer duo Kaksikko, comprising Salla Luhtasela and Wesley Walters, are FCINY’s artists-in-residence from January to February 2018.
Salla Luhtasela and Wesley Walters are Helsinki-based designers specializing in ceramic tableware and wooden furniture. Their work, built on functional, understated forms, comprises pieces such as the Maissi bench and Piippu coffee pot for Danish brand Skagerak, the Perch Stool for Finnish furniture producer Nikari, and a series of porcelain tableware which they produce themselves for Michelin-starred Restaurant Ask, in Helsinki.
In 2017, Kaksikko made three products for the Koti Sleepover in Paris and Helsinki, produced by designer Linda Bergroth and the Finnish Institute in Paris. Koti was created to promote and celebrate the culture of 100-year-old Finland by inviting journalists, design enthusiasts and tourists to spend a night in contemporary interpretations of traditional ‘aitta’ cottages.
During their two-month residency in New York, Salla Luhtasela and Wesley Walters will be conducting research on the distinctive furniture and product designs of the Shakers, a religious sect founded in England and settled in colonial America in late 18th century, particularly in the state of New York and its vicinity.
Luhtasela and Walters’ primary focus will be the lifestyle of the Shakers, especially their way of integrating craft and furniture production into their daily lives: “Our own design practice is dominated by hands-on creation, from prototyping to the fabrication of small series, and we believe there is much to learn from the Shakers’ views on production. Although we do not approach our own practice from a religious standpoint, we are interested to learn more about how, within the Shaker design philosophy, the most mundane tasks were imbued with spiritual significance, and how the principles of simplicity, honesty and usefulness were translated into their work."
In addition to a new piece of furniture they are developing for Nikari, Luhtasela and Walters plan to make other work inspired by their research and ideally present it at the New York Design Week, NYCxDESIGN, in May 2018. “However, as we are usually working on very specific briefs with tight timelines, we want to allow our work during the residency to proceed more organically, so we don’t want to tie ourselves down to a fixed outcome at the moment.”
http://fciny.org/residency/iiro-a-ahokas http://fciny.org/news/company-temple-of-manufacturing http://fciny.org/residency/tuula-pyhnen