For Rybakken, the challenge was to create objects that could exist in harmony with the iconic Artek collection whilst also pushing boundaries and asserting an original language of his own. The Kiila collection is the first result; a family of useful and versatile small furniture objects designed with hallways and entrances in mind. The sturdy coat stand and coat rack can hold heavy coats without losing their centre of gravity and toppling (Rybakken applied the simple engineering principles of a tripod) whilst a bench and podium are multi-functional pieces to aid interior organisation. “I wanted to identify what constitutes an Artek product and reflect on those qualities without delivering something that was pastiche or a copy of Aalto”, Rybakken adds.
Rybakken’ s Kiila system includes a unique wedge-shaped joint (Kiila translates as ‘ wedge’ in Finnish) made from powder-coated metal onto which solid wooden legs are fitted. They are secured with metal pins which double as hanging pegs on the coat stand and coat rack. Rybakken has purposefully kept all aspects of the construction visible; “How the pieces are produced is put on display. These are transparent designs; nothing is hidden from the user.”The Kiila family of objects is robust, designed for longevity. This quality has been articulated visually in the heft of the wooden rods used; they are unapologetically heavy. Inventing a system of construction, rather than designing individual pieces, pays homage to the origins of some of Aalto’ s most famous designs. In Rybakken’ s own words: “There is a very apparent logic to the Kiila series and I recognise this in Aalto designs too. These are products designed within the parameters of industrial manufacture, they are intended to be part of a system that can be repeated.” What is more, thanks to a clever approach to production, all the products in the Kiila family can be shipped flat-packed; a last nod towards a recognised Artek standard.
Born in 1984, Daniel Rybakken grew up in Oslo, Norway. He studied design at the Oslo School of Architecture and the School of Arts & Crafts in Gothenburg, Sweden. On graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in 2008 he opened his own design studio in both Oslo and Gothenburg. Rybakken has received numerous awards, including most recently the Wallpaper* Design Award in 2017, two Bo Bedre Design Awards in 2016, Compasso d’ Oro ADI in 2014 and 2016, and Hublot Design Prize in 2015. The work of Daniel Rybakken occupies the area between art and design, forming limited editions, art installations and prototypes for serial production. His main focus has been to work with daylight and how to artificially recreate its appearance and subconscious effect.