Industrial designer Petra Lilja has been participating in the Lodz Design Festival this week, exploring the interface between the handcrafted and the local, small-scale industrially-produced objects in her search for sustainable solutions. This ties in with the theme of this year's festival, which has been investigating the processes of building the 'Brave New World'.
'Medusa Design Projects' straddles the borders between design, craft and performance. The concept has a fundamental aspect of sustainability, with mythology being the inspiration and the starting point for the Swedish designer. Medusa turns wood into stone, which ultimately means quarrying can be avoided. This transformation is done with the help of decorative painting – a traditional craft anchored in cultural history.
During the first days of the festival, Petra Lilja held a workshop within the exhibition, making her Medusa necklaces in front of an audience of fair goers. Her methods consist of deconstruction and remixing new and recycled materials. Using parts of old furniture that have lost their function, she aims to raise the value of these materials by recomposing them into new objects. Revitalising wood and glass using her marbelised-painting technique, the materials take on a whole new quality – as well as a certain gravitas. What the user thinks is a heavy, stone object is actually lightweight; watch the response of anyone picking up any of her beautifully transformed wood-based wares, and it is clear this project is one that makes people stop and think.
The designer lives and works in a converted car repair shop in Malmö, Sweden where she runs a design gallery. She also works as a freelance curator (her exhibition The Future is Handmade is still on tour) and is programme leader of the master's degree in design at Linnaeus University.
The Lodz Design Festival continues until 19 October 2014.
Photos courtesy of the designer.