Materials studies leads to award win

Her mission to articulate consumption won student Maria Viftrup the big prize in the Danish Design Awards final.

Materials nerd and activist: the words Maria Viftrup uses to describe herself. In her love of materials and consideration for the environment, Maria has created the art project 'Temporary Archive of Object Ecosystems' - an interactive experience consisting of small bioplastic figures that can be put together in different ways. With the figures, Maria Viftrup sets the stage for a particularly sensory conversation forum and invites people to join in. The starting point is to use the figures to build sculptures together. This often kicks off a conversation on materials:

-When people start exploring the various objects to piece them together it awakens their curiosity and makes them initiate a conversation about consumption. What sort of lifespan should a product have? To what extent will we use plastic in the future? When is a product usable? It results in some interesting conversations, says Maria Viftrup.

Maria Viftrup's work is based in the interdisciplinary field between art and design with the one mission to contribute to a more sustainable future. With 'Temporary Archive of Object Ecosystems’, she creates dialogue through sensuousness in a positive manner:

-When people create something together it's pretty natural for a conversation about consumption to begin. There are no wagging fingers or admonitions and I think that's important when you're articulating such a complex subject, she says.

Maria Viftrup's project balances on the edge between art and design - which is precisely what moved the Danish Design Award jury to award her the 'Young Talent' trophy at the Danish Design Awards, which were held May 13 at Industriens Hus, Copenhagen.

'Maria Viftrup represents the artistic aspect of Danish design education and balances on the edge of an art project. It is an introduction to design through the culture of materials and a splendid example of how Danish design's DNA is embedded in the next generation of designers' said the DDA jury.