Konstfack Degree Exhibition: Jan Klingler

What if we could enable others to see bacteria as a carrier of meaning, rather than a carrier of disease?

Jan Klingler is an M.A. Industrial Design student at Konstfack and SSES alumn. Developed in collaboration with researchers at Karolinska Institute, Jan examines our relations to objects and perceptions towards bacteria in his final exhibition “Bacteria: In a New Light”.

Why do you think people from other disciplines should visit the Konstfack Degree Exhibition 2018?
Student works can be a great inspiration as they are not necessarily facing the same pressure and constraints of being commercially successful. This liberation can lead to breaking norms and creating new ways of thinking that can then be applied to other disciplines and our daily lives. This is the reason why I decided to start my master’s education in the first place.


How would you describe your exhibited work and what is your vision?
My work is the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between myself and Volkan Özenci from the Department of Clinical Microbiology at Karolinska in Huddinge.
Exploring the emotional relationships between users and their objects, I came to the idea of transforming our perception of bacteria from a carrier of disease to a carrier  of meaning. We are sourrounded by microorganisms that are invisible to the bare eye. Just like us, bacteria, yeast and fungi have their own origin and story. I want to use a lamp as a vessel to bring that story with us into our homes in a new way – one that will alleviate fear and promote an emotional bond by shining a light on the very thing we thought should stay hidden and putting it on display.
These vessels are not things that are necessarily meant to be mass produced but rather commissioned works. Therefore the microorganisms could be from a place or living being that is important to the new owner – perhaps their hometown, pet or a loved one.
What is your connection to SSES, and how has it influenced or affected your journey?
I was fortunate enough to come into contact with SSES from an early stage of my master’s degree. Through them I was able to get in touch and make friends with other students of different backgrounds and disciplines who have not only influenced my private but also professional life.
Without SSES I would probably not have met the great friends that I have at Karolinska who were able to refer me to the right person to collaborate with. Therefore I am incredibly grateful for all the efforts that are made to connect all the member schools for an exchange of skills I later involved myself as a student ambassador for Konstfack to help with this mission.


What is the biggest opportunity for you right now?
 My biggest opportunity right now is that it was possible for me to develop my project to an unusual degree due to the help of the SSES Validation program. My microbiological lamps are defined to a degree that I can present them as finished products. Exhibiting them out in the world to be seen and experienced has been amazing. The comments and reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Therefore I am more eager than ever to continue with this work and invite more people to experience my vision.

The Konstfack Degree Exhibition is open from May 17-28th: Mon-Fri 12–7 pm, Sat-Sun 12–4 pm

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