MindCraft18 @ Salone Milan 2018

MindCraft18 @ Salone Milan 2018

Mindcraft, an exhibition project now in its’ 10th edition, is promoted and organised by the Danish Arts Foundation and the Agency for Culture and Palaces, born to encourage Danish artisans and artists

The term, which derived from the word “mind” plus “craft”, replaced the artisan expression handcraft to underline how conceptual design can join with the qualities of craft skills.

This year’s edition is focused on the original concept of MINDCRAFT with a new attitude towards conceptual design, where narration, reflection, and critical comments are united with top of the line craftsmanship and aesthetic.

Mindcraft18 was hosted inside the Minor Cloister of San Simpliciano, where the objects on display were at the center of attention with an emphasis on the practical aspect of materials, aesthetics, and tact.

The Danish Arts Foundation appointed Ditte Hammerstrøm curator of MINDCRAFT18, who opted for a discrete installation in which metal tubes, painted yellow, traverse the arches of the hallways and support the works, which thus become protagonists of the scene.


I gave the designers a special task: as this is going to be an outdoors exhibition, in the beautiful Sam Simpliciano cloister, I asked them for large-scale work to fill the courtyard. I had been following their work, and I chose them according to which material they work with — that’s because I want the work itself, instead of the designers, to be the main feature in the exhibition.

Louise Campbell, for example, is working with paper on a six-metre long piece. You have Petra Dalström working with very thin porcelain, Gitte Jungersen is working with glaze and another is working with very dusty, dry clay —so you have three different ways of working with the same material.

In the end, the results were even more beautiful than anything I could have expected. I wanted them to work with the equivalent of haute couture in design, pushing themselves to do, hands-on, the most extreme things they could do with each material. They all do industrial, mass-produced products as well, but I wanted this exhibition to feature haute couture –the best of the best. ” “…………….. Ditte Hammerstrom



I think a lot of issues can be solved by using design, but I also think that we use the word a bit too much. It’s not always design: sometimes it’s beautiful engineering work. As a designer, it’s nice to get the opportunity to really emphasise what a designer can do. It’s just popular, using “design” as a term. In Denmark, I often hear: “Oh, I designed this yesterday!” No! You didn’t design it yesterday, you made it yesterday. That’s something else. ” …………. Ditte Hammerstrom



The word “design” is used by everyone about everything, so I want to show the essence of it. I want to show what designers can do that nobody else can. The core of what we do is our work with materials, and so I wanted to emphasise the aesthetic and visual qualities of these objects. ” ………… Ditte Hammerstrom


Being a designer in Denmark means (in most cases) embodying the role of artisan, craftsman, and protector of art and creative creation.

Being a Danish designer also means working in a domestic dimension, where a fresh pot of coffee or a sweet to accompany it are never missing (it is, after all, the home of Hygge).

Here the process of designing goes hand in hand with personal interests and family commitments.


MindCraft18 Exhibition Catalogue

The MINDCRAFT18 catalogue; all crisp straight from the box. So much work has been put into this exhibition and it is looking great. Thank you @dittehammerstroem And @statenskunstfond for making it all happen. We are so proud to be a part of this.

Posted by Wednesday Architecture on Monday, 16 April 2018


Actually, we need to be more proud of the term “craftsmanship,” for instance. Some 10 years ago everyone wanted to be a designer, but now being a craftsman instead is getting slightly popular again ” …………. Ditte Hammerstrom


Extending the “hands-on” theme to the exhibition design, padded Kvadrat textiles were tied around the cloister’s collonaded perimeter to create comfortable make-shift seating.


”  I have sought to showcase the experimental scene, where Danish craft and design is quite strong today. To me, it is important to highlight the experimental and uncompromising qualities of design and craft and the constant exploration of new ways of addressing the material. These are essential qualities to preserve and safeguard in order to ensure the continuing development of the field. ” …………………….. Ditte Hammerstrom




Project Descriptions

Since its debut in 2008, the Danish Arts Foundation’s MINDCRAFT has displayed the best of the country’s crafts and design scene at the Fuorisalone.

In the past, many participants have had their pieces spotted and put into production by leading manufacturers.

That might be a beautiful challenge this year, as curator Ditte Hammerstrøm asked the exhibition’s 17 designers to go for couture — that is, thorough hands-on work to bring out the best of each material.


The 15 works chosen by Hammerstrøm share an experimentation with materials



SUN DISC by Cecilie Bendixen

Sound-absorbing element constructed as an open weave on a plywood ring, glued together of six laser-cut segments.

The outside of the ring has 720 laser-cut slits to hold the thread. Suspended from a pivot joint, the ring is wound around with thread in thousands of high-precision movements.

The weave takes about two weeks to complete.




Large hand-knit textile sculpture with large and small stitches and added lengths of waxed cotton string.

Mounted on an interior frame of hand-bent metal.

Colour range yellow, dark blue and chalk white.




A ‘helmet’ and a ‘sleeve’, constructed in layers and stabilized with clamps in a time-consuming but fairly simple technique.

Small bits of wire are added to the exterior of the helmet to produce a bristling appearance.

Viewed from inside, by the wearer, the helmet’s interior frame becomes fully visible.




A delicate hand crafted sculpture comprised of hand-lino-printed paper flowers, hand-cut, hand-folded and assembled by hand



CARBON BLACK by Petra Dalström

White hand-moulded, high-fired porcelain sheets that have been held over a flame from a candle.

The flame creates black stripes of soot on the surface of the porcelain. The sheets are placed on a wooden board that has been blackened by a torch.



SAKYU by Rasmus Fenhann

A wide bench made of pieces of solid Oregon pine glued together.

The three-dimensional pattern on the surface was created with a CNC milling machine and subsequently hand-finished with Japanese planers and profiled scrapers.

The legs are made of two wedge-shaped pieces of Oregon Pine, joined with sliding dovetails in European walnut. Finally, the surface was sanded and finished with lye soap.



BILLY by Kevin Hviid

The form inspiration for the bench came from the cactus. This sturdy plant can survive in the wilderness, a harsh and lonely environment with no audience or competitors.

It stands up to the taxing conditions, continuously producing new disc-shaped segments in its process of constant transformation.

The plant’s famously prickly demeanour is its main appeal for its many fans!




Knit sculpture suspended from a sinuous acrylic rod which moves beautifully in the breeze

The shimmering fabric incorporates extremely fine-gauge strands, including a fibre with glow-in-the-dark properties that is charged in daylight and subsequently emits light for a limited period of time.



HALF PIECES by Carl Emil Jacobsen

Six objects hand-moulded around a core made of polystyrene foam and steel.

Coated with fibre-reinforced concrete and painted with grey-black pigments extracted from the geological strata in the Hanklit cliff on the Danish island of Mors.



ALL IS FLUX by Gitte Jungersen

Different glazes poured into a rectangle in four thick layers and kiln-fired at 1280 degrees Celsius.

In the kiln the glaze melts, boils and bubbles up, the process transforming the texture and appearance of the material and blurring the edges of the rectangular shape.

A sudden reduction in temperature freezes the form.



A FAMILY by Kasper Kjeldgaard

Five objects that make up a family.

Each object is constructed around a pointed brass rods hanging from a thread, spaced 50 centimetres apart.

Round elements in a variety of materials are mounted on the brass rods.



FOLLOW ME by Maria Koshenkova

Glass sculpture made using the classic technique ‘cire perdue’, lost-wax casting. In a complex process involving multiple castings, Maria Koshenkova covers rope with mould material, then burns the rope to create a cavity inside the mould.

The cavity is filled with molten glass to create a replica of the rope.

Each piece is kiln-fired for about two weeks.



BLACK MATTER by Anja Vang Kragh

Textile sculpture featuring techniques from both couture and costume design, including hand-made pleats, ruffles and gathering techniques.

A diverse range of exterior materials with added human hair and tar or lacquer finish in places.

The interior wooden frame is constructed of wooden plates wedged into one another. The textiles are mounted on the frame with tie-strings or zips.



LMA (LICK MY ASS) – A CHAIR by Pettersen & Hein

Chair sculpture made of four cast pigment-dyed concrete blocks, joined together with iron tubes, and a glass-blasted, anodized aluminium seat with hand-made indentations that create a textured surface.




A table and a bench that reflect the weather and surroundings, made of slender wooden frames, solid wooden beams and rectangular silver-plated brass reflectors.

The inspiration for the project came from an architectural analysis of the site and a series of free associations on the ambience of the cloister.



About Ditte Hammerstrom

Ditte Hammerstrom was born in 1971 in Glostrup (DK)

She lives and works in Copenhagen.

She graduated from The Danish Design School in 2000.

She has her own design studio in Copenhagen since 2000.

Since 2006 the designer and artist is represented by Køppe Gallery in Copenhagen.

Considered as an important pioneer of the renewal of the Nordic design scene, Ditte has already received several prestigious prizes such as the “Walk The Plank Award” in 2008 and the “Finn Juhl Architecture Prize” in 2011.



About Mindcraft

MINDCRAFT is an exhibition concept showcasing some of Denmark’s most talented craftspeople and designers.

The curated exhibitions demonstrate the qualities, potentials and versatility of new Danish craft and design.

The MINDCRAFT exhibitions are organized by the Danish Arts Foundation and the Agency for Culture and Palaces.

Share your thoughts