Laura Spring has been selected as the British Council Helsinki Design Resident for 2018.
Laura has recently been researching an ancient Finnish weaving technique known as täkänä. She first discovered täkänä by accident back in 2015 whilst on a residency in Finland. Instantly drawn to the graphic aesthetics of the designs she saw in the old catalogues she discovered at a flea market, Laura was excited to find further parallels with her own work once she began further research into the technique. Thanks to Creative Scotland funding received last year, Laura was able to return to Finland and carry out a thorough period of research into the technique by visiting archives and meeting various experts in this field.
Laura has been interested in Helsinki for many years due to a huge interest and love for Finnish textiles and design. Her täkänä research took her back to Finland several times in the past three years, but visits to Helsinki were always brief. Laura is excited to finally be able to spend a period of time based in Helsinki and build on the connections and conversations she began in those previous visits.
The Design Residency appealed to Laura as the theme of this year’s call (‘Arranging practice: Proximity, distance, instance’) resonated with her thinking as a designer. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to allow her the necessary time and space to further develop her täkänä based work reflecting on its cultural context as well as considering the balance and working methods within her own creative practice.
Laura hopes to spend time researching successful contemporary design practices in Helsinki, asking questions regarding the importance of location, collaboration and how they define their practice. This will enable her to reflect and consider her own approaches to creating work, to consider the balance between hand-made and batch-produced and the importance of a collaborative approach to design. Laura also intends to further her research into täkänä to allow for exciting new outcomes for her work.
Laura will take up her residency in Helsinki from 14 - 27 May and 13 August - 18 September 2018.
This year, for the first time, British Council have also selected a Finnish designer in residence; Laura will be working alongside Elina Laitinen.
Textiles Scotland look forward to hearing about how their respective research projects evolve.
You can read Laura Spring's Member of the Moment interview here.
Original article here