Daniel Rybakken: Daylight & Objects

The new Exhibition in Designmuseum’s Gallery space presents the work of Daniel Rybakken, a Norwegian designer specialised in lighting and in the relationship between space and light. Helsinki Design Weekly met the designer just before the opening of the exhibition.

Rybakken (born 1984) was awarded with the biggest design award of the world, Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Price in 2017. Rybakken studied design in the Oslo School of Architecture and the Academy of Designas well as in Gothenburg University of Art and Design. His collaboration with Artek started in 2014.

Daylight & Objects presents your production extensively from 2016 to this day. What is the basis for choosing the works for this exhibition?

Actually, I’m presenting my every single project from these years. For me it’s important to choose my projects in a way that they fit the total body of collection. I rather do fewer projects, but better. In this retrospective exhibition it is possible to see every object and installation of mine, but also all the photography works. I’m interested in planning a long-lasting and coherent whole. My website is kind of an archive, too. I’m almost like a collector of butterflies.

Daniel Rybakken: Light Tray
Daniel Rybakken: Light Tray

You also completed the Exhibition Architecture yourself. What should the visitor expect?

I wish that the visitors get the feeling of layering. I hope that everyone will be able to explore the space freely. I also tried to use as little ambient light as possible.

Yes, the sense of surprise and finding is important. All the objects, including the Kiila products and 124° mirrors and are on display here. There is also photographs, the Daylight Entrance (2011), for example. You have photographed your installations. Is photography also a way of self-expression or just a tool of capturing and archiving the work?

Photography plays a big part in the process. Installation can only exist for one day but photos can live forever. I still love all the installations I have done and I don’t want them to die.

Kalle Sanner & Daniel Rybakken: Daylight Entrance
Kalle Sanner & Daniel Rybakken: Daylight Entrance

Helsinki Design Week’s theme for 2018 is TRUST. What does TRUST mean to you?

Trust equals honesty. I hate fake things, fake materials, that pretend to be something that they are not. I love working with Artek for example, because it is an honest design company. This can be seen in everything, especially in the end result, in the objects. For example in this Kiila Coat Rack the screws are visible in a very honest way.

Trust also manifests in collaboration. My advice is that you should only work with people you like.

Kiila (Artek)
Kiila (Artek)

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize was established by the Torsten
Söderberg and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations and awarded for the first time in
1994 in connection with the centenary of the birth of Torsten Söderberg.
Söderberg’s wife, Wanja née Aminoff was one of the donors of funds to the
Torsten Söderberg Foundation. The Söderberg Foundations are among the
Sweden’s leading patrons of research. Worth one million SEK, the Torsten and
Wanja Söderberg Prize is the largest of its kind in the world. It is administered by
the Röhsska Museum and awarded annually to a Nordic designer or craftsperson.

The exhibition will be on show at Design Museum from 8 June until 26 August