Designer of the month - Kärt Ojavee

Meet Kärt Ojavee – Estonian textile designer who specilizes in creating and developing smart textiles. Besides creating designing dynamical textiles and interior objects under the company KO!, Kärt creates conceptual projects and products for public spaces, for example hospitals.  Kärt Ojavee and her smart textiles have gained wide international attention and design awards. Among other things her work has been represented in exhibitions in Europe, Asia and North America where she presented the installation SymbiosisO in Issey Miyake Tribeca boutique. In 2012 Kärt Ojavee was awarded with the young designers award SÄSI.

What are you up to at the moment? 

It’s an exciting period at the moment, sharing my time between more practical design projects and more conceptual and free self expression. The key words are KO!, Kaun, exciting jobs, Köler Prize exhibition and upcoming exhibition in Dublin. At first sight quite different activities but in practice interrelated and supporting one another. 

What are your five favourite design objects and why? 

3D printer – a “thing” with what one can print more things and forms. It enables to optimize the use of material, to model accurately and to realize complicated forms. My favourite 3D prints I have found in medicine (for example custom made implants), architecture (city furniture and even houses) and car industry.
Transport – transport has developed really fundamentally through time. On one side logistics – how the transport network covering the earth is planned and on the other hand the design of the machines. For example fast trains based on biomimetism, luxurious and functional car interiors, design of motors and mechanisms and last but not least airplanes.
Energy – the schemes of solar panels and streamlined rotors of wind farms are very functional but also aesthetically appealing. Communication - our everyday activities are influenced by being online all the time, thanks to internet and devices that enable you to use wireless internet any time. I have one small device in my pocket that gathers all necessary applications. I’m not a big sports fan myself but it is interesting how the clothes of athletes are designed and how different techniques are applied for the best results. My latest favourite are Nike Free Flyknit. From Estonian design my latest purchase was Veiko Liis’s the Moons coat hooks.

Which problems design can and should solve in the world? 

To answer this question I could write long passages of articles, both from philosophical and practical viewpoint. Every problem has a lot of variable solutions and I think that using design methods quite many problems would find solutions.

Which Estonian or international company you would like to work with? 

I’m interested in working together with other fields – cooperation with some Estonian company can turn into an amazing challenge and be as productive as cooperation with any well known company or brand around the world. At the moment I could see it be a company dealing with nanotechnology or small electronic. I would like to work together with flexible and almighty manufacturer. 

Can Estonia every be a design country? 

What is a design country? Is the common character a certain state of mind? We have quite many good and talented designers in Estonia but it is only one of many premises. Design country needs consistent national action plan that includes education, production, business, science etc. The first steps have been made, but the result requires very persistent and widely thought through work.

Young Designer, Designer of the Month