Pia Wüstenberg is a German born designer, who studied in the UK before moving to Finland to set up her studio piadesign. It is here that she began to explore self-production using local crafts skills. She has since returned to the UK and has continued in her explorations with international clients and brands, through collaborations and also ‘Utopia & Utility’, the design and manufacturing company set up by Pia and her brother Moritz.
Paper Productions is a collection of handcrafted lights created by artisans in Ahmedabad, India and the outcome of one of Pia’s collaborative development projects. On invite from House of MG, a hotel and lifestyle company in Ahmedabad, Pia spent six weeks working at the Khalamkush Paper Factory in India. The factory uses traditional paper making techniques, making its own paper pulp from cotton rags. In this way it is completely self-sufficient, both from the material making to the pressing and processing of the finished paper sheets.
To create the Paper Productions lights, paper was draped and moulded onto various objects, many sourced from the vibrant old market in Ahmedabad. This includes balloons and funnels, creating different lamp shapes, all extremely delicate and lightweight. Some have an additional wire ornament, others are simply comprised of the paper shade, equipped with a small LED light.
The lights combine in clusters, creating a beautiful effect akin to that of jellyfish swimming underwater. There is beauty in their soft and graceful positioning and in the way they have been produced, and these are two key elements in Pia’s designs. She reinvents the use of materials, creating an object that stands for its present use but also the history behind its making. Pia believes that: “The contrast and overlap of these stories make up the life of the object, and are valued equally.”
Paper Productions is not just a beautiful collection of lights, it tells a story of the tradition of paper making and the people in Ahmedabad. It will also continue to be made by the artisans Pia worked with and so it is important that the project is shared with a wider audience to promote their skills and provide continuing work. It will be showing at the Kraft Work Exhibition at the Aram Gallery in London and for WIN’s international readers and Pia’s other collections will also be shown at Design Shanghai and at EDIT by designjunction in Milan. We highly recommend going along, or just reading more about Pia’s brilliant work!