Too rarely does the world of technology meet that of craftsmanship, as the Age of Apple seems insatiable for streamlined and futuristic design. Sure, none of us like cables and wires and other techno-crap of yesteryear, but that doesn’t mean we like all our products to look like something coming out of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Artistry, as a matter of fact, often happens in the scrunchy, organic, morphological space of natural matter, touched by the human hand rather than some self-cleaning 3D-printer that might kill you in your sleep. The visionary brand Urbanears, specializing in making sound accessories better more aesthetically relevant, seems to have realized this in their most recent collaboration with Swedish designer Sandra Backlund. Backlund, who graduated from the prestigious Beckmans School in 2004, have established herself as the Nordic Queen of knitwear, cherished for her sculptural approach to knitting that often defy any traditional categorization (they certainly don’t look like whatever junk you’ve been crafting away at on those long nights in front of your TV). From couture dresses to lush accessories, Backlund transforms all material into something otherworldly and mesmerizing. Even cables, it turns out! Marking the launch of their wireless headphones, which provides 30+ hours of music in just one charge, Urbanears cheekily tasked Backlund to create sculptural wearable garments out of old Urbanear wires – a tribute and proper goodbye to those spaghetti-like rubber things that (literally) surround so much of our everyday life.
The result is a bold visualization of technology’s materiality, as worthy for a tech advertising campaign as they are for a museum. “I did some tests using the cords and then I was hooked, I just had to find out what I could do with them,” Baklund tells DANSK about the collaboration. “I have to admit that the cords were quite difficult to work with, but the technical result of both the knit and crochet swatches I did were so nice it had to be worth it. As a craftman doing everything myself by hand I’m used to pain and difficulties at work, but as long as it leads to some kind of a creative rush it’s ok.” R.I.P, dear music cords – may you only interact with us in the spaces of art and couture from now on.
For more information, see Urbanears