A colourful vision: Designing Kånken Art ’22
Kånken Art happens when renowned artists express their relationship to nature while using Kånken as their canvas. For the 2022 edition, Fjällräven teamed up with Swedish colourist, multi-disciplinary designer and photographer Tekla Evelina Severin to create Kånken Art ’22, Free Horizon.
Colour is powerful. It stirs the soul. And there is no better place to seek it out and get inspired than in nature.
No one knows this better than the person behind Kånken Art 2022: Tekla Evelina Severin. As she says, “Nobody does colour like nature.”
An interior designer by trade, as well as a photographer and multi-disciplinary designer, Tekla considers herself to be a colourist first and foremost. For her, colour is fundamental to her craft, and she is forever fascinated by its strong power. “Colour is never absolute, and its meaning changes relative to what you put next to it”
In fact, Tekla actively seeks out colour when spending time in the outdoors – allowing her mind to wander and be inspired. Pairing her passion for colour and enthusiasm for nature with her credentials as a designer, she is the ideal partner for the latest Kånken Art. Free Horizon reflects this in its use of colour-blocking to represent similar compositions of colour, line and symmetry in nature:
“I started off with a vision of colour interpretation. I found a very strong connection both in nature and in the backpack’s design. An idea about the colour blocking pattern by nature itself started to take shape.”
Read on for first-hand insights about Tekla’s mindset and her creative process.
How did you approach the project Kånken Art ‘22?
“I started like I always do: with an analysis and visual deconstruction. First, of nature itself and my relationship with it. I’m an outdoor enthusiast in the sense that I appreciate spending time in nature for relaxation, walking, and wondering. Also for getting inspired. Nobody does colour like nature. Then, I thought about Kånken. Especially its design. The shape, composition and details are so iconic. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve almost always had one.”
What inspired you to choose the horizon theme?
“The straightforward design of Kånken inspired me to seek out similar compositions in nature. I found very strong visual connections in their natural lines, pattern repetitions and symmetries.
Soon enough, an idea about colour blocking in nature took shape, and I decided that I wanted to work with colour on the same scales as nature does. That’s when the horizon theme came about, because what is bigger and more splendid than a straight and open horizon line?”
How did the design process unfold?
“The experience combined elements that were familiar to me, as well as those that were entirely new. For example, it was both quicker and longer than I am used to. The design ideation and concept phase were pretty fast – a few weeks of back and forth – which is typical. The product development and sample processes however, took some months.
I also regularly work between the 2D and 3D worlds to explore different ways of using colour, and this was no exception. I am, however, used to being in-control of the colour processes and this time I had to leave testing and adjustments to Fjällräven. The best part was working on an entirely new level of detail on buttons, trim and zippers. That was a dream!”
Describe the collaboration between Fjällräven and yourself.
“I was first approached because of how I work visually with composition and colour as a photographer. I was delighted, because Fjällräven and I have similar values about the importance of nature. We are all a part of it and need to take strong actions to protect it. We have a shared belief that design plays a big role in product longevity and sustainability. Not just in terms of its functionality and durability, but in the timeless quality of its visual appearance.
During the process I learned a lot about Fjällräven as a brand, including its heritage and vision. I also learned a lot on a practical level about product development, production timelines and colouring processes for specific materials.”
What do you hope the effect will be of your Kånken Art?
“I hope Kånken Art ’22 will get people out into nature to discover all its colours, and hopefully inspire them too.”
If you have ever wondered about the origins of Kånken Art, look no further than the Foxtrail. Here you can read up on Kånken’s heritage and how the timeless design became space for exploration, innovation and creativity.