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photography by Lasse Fløde
7th March 2017

Everything is Connected: Q&A with Kråkvik & D’Orazio

Everything is Connected is an extraordinary showcase of Norwegian design that will take-centre stage in Milan during the city’s world-famous design week. Open at Ventura Lambrate 4–9 April, Everything is Connected follows in the footsteps of 2016’s show Structure and will bring together 30 designers, studios and craftspeople to explore not only the products and prototypes they create, but also the relationships, connections and collaborations that enable them to do so.

Back in January the show’s curator Katrin Greiling revealed the pack line-up. Every detail has been carefully considered, including the set design of the exhibition. We caught up with set designers and stylists Kråkvik & D’Orazio as they prepare to take Norway to Milan. 

Core Combination by Andrea Muribø and Fam by Ann Kristin Einarsen. Photography Lasse Fløde and styling by Kråkvik & D'Orazio
Hello Kråkvik & D’Orazio! People will have seen your set design as part of last year’s show, Structure, in Milan. How does it feel to be returning for Everything is Connected?
Both exciting and kind of nerve wracking. After last year's exhibition we feel the pressure, mostly from our own part, wanting to create something different and even better. But, with this team of talented people, designers, craftspeople and partners, now also including the very talented Katrin Greiling as the curator, we know it is going to be great! 

Everything is Connected is a showcase of Norwegian design in Italy, and you are an Italian and Norwegian duo, has that influenced the design and styling you’re working on for the show?
Since I [Alessandro] am Italian born, knowing the design scene from an Italian point of view, I guess that it will always be a part of what I do. Living in Oslo for more than 25 years has made me see both countries from different angles. I know how the Italians think and that is important when at the world’s biggest design fair. It is also a plus when dealing with local painters and carpenters, ha ha.

How important are international influences and national identities in the design world?
It is highly important! We are all influenced by our identities and where we are coming from, both the culture, history, nature and it’s people. We are all, of course, influenced by what is going on in the world, but a part of who we are and where we are coming from will always be with us in one way or another. It can be the choice of materials, productions, presentations, a line, a design, a word, a sound, a smell or anything else that connect us to our roots. At the same time it is highly important to know the international industry and work across borders.

Aase by Andreas Bergsaker, Bror by Noidoi, Make by Barmen & Brekke and Allen Wood by Silje Nesdal. Photography Lasse Fløde and styling by Kråkvik & D'Orazio
How have you reflected the Everything is Connected narrative in the set design and styling?
Everything is connected is a great part of our idea for the set design. It is about connecting both the objects and products together as well as the visitors.  With mirrors as a part of the design, you will look at one piece, seeing a part of the next as well as yourself if you look from a particular angle. We want to connect the viewer with the objects.

We’re extremely excited to see the set design in Milan, but can you give us a little insight into what we can expect?
It is going to be quite different from last year. New colours from Jotun Lady with wool fabrics from GU - Gudbrandsdalen Uldvarefabrikk in similar colours as Jotun, together with larvikite from Lundhs realstone and mirrors. We are still keeping the Norwegian simplicity, but with a twist you could say. We are so exited about the colours which are all specially made for this years exhibition.

How do the designers and makers exhibiting influence your design concepts?
A lot! We always study the chosen objects and products first, before even thinking of the set design. Its shapes and colours are highly important for the result and we always find a lot of inspiration in them. For us it is important to design a space that both connect and highlight each and everyone.

When you think of Italy and design what do you think about?
Oh, tough question. Years ago our design scene was a lot more innovative and important than now. We were the centre of ideas, development and production. We focused on the young talents and were in the lead. In the last few years, because of the economic crises and politics we have grown more safe. Without the young scene we are missing out on the young generations and their innovative thinking I am afraid. It is of course a lot of great things going on as well. But this is my overall view.
Kollekted By, Kråkvik & D’Orazio design shop in Oslo
When you think of Norway and design what do you think about?
Here it is quite the opposite. We have our design history, but not like in Italy. For the last 10 years a lot has happened, but even more in the last few years. We have a lot of young talents together with names such as Daniel Rybakken, Jonas Stokke, Runa Klock, Anderssen & Voll and Andreas Engesvik. The connection between design and craft is tight and the collaborations between the fields are important. Norway is for sure creating its own history as we speak. And we have become an important part of the international design scene.

You also run a design-led shop in Oslo called Kollekted By. Can you tell us a little more about this?
The idea came after a visit at Frama Studio in 2013. We met the founder Niels and fell in love with their philosophy. A few weeks later we decided to open a shop, collecting our own favourite pieces from around the world. The shop has grown and we are now working even more close with Frama. In August we are opening our second shop working with a team of very talented people. Both businesses are dependent on a lot of great people working with us. 

Where else can we see your work in 2017?
Right now we have an exhibition at ArkDes in Stockholm, together with Residence mag. In September we will exhibit together with Frama at Designer Saturday in Oslo. We are also working on a new and very exciting colour card with Jotun Lady. 

Everything is Connected will be showing at 6 Via Ventura, Ventura Lambrate, Milan on 4–9 April 2017.

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