NATIVE TONGUES // Chatting with art director Tekla Severin

Yes! Journal

NATIVE TONGUES // Chatting with art director Tekla Severin

In recognition of the international influence on our aesthetic, we are excited to present our first bi-lingual interview as part of a new YES Journal series we have been working on. This project was conceived as an exploration of the boundaries of communication - looking at the spaces between the visual, the language and the creative process.

In a visual world such as the social media landscape, it is easy to miss the spaces in-between the images, such as the creator's language and cultural context. We all think in our own languages when we create, which means our work contains different meanings and stories beyond the surface image. We wondered wether by asking people to communicate in their native language would give us a different perspective on their work.

We chose to start with one of our favourite radical collaborators, muses and all round wonder women, Tekla Severin from Sweden. Trained in Interior Architecture, Tekla works in art direction, set design and photography and has an incredible eye for shape and colour which she documents and shares via her Instagram feed.

Kindly translated by the other amazingly talented Swedish wonder woman in our lives, our own product developer, Sofia Lundqvist.

Radical Yes Tekla SeverinMURALLA ROJA by Ricardo Boffin: Photographed by Tekla Severin for swedish architecture magazine Tidskriften RUM.

QUESTION 1

Vilka tre bocker har inspirerat dig mest och varfor?

1) 'Kostym' av Ninni Homqvist, utgiven 1995

En tunn bok med 11 kort noveller som alla handlar om olika karaktärer men som alla är lika hemlösa, ensamma eller hemtama och världsvana på samma gång oavsett om de rör sig I Singapore eller Stockholms tunnelbanevagnar, oavsett vilka ´kostymer´de bär (det är svårt att avgöra om personerna är kvinnor eller män)

En viktig bok om gränsöverskridning och hur man tar sig fram I världen i en viktig tid I livet när det enda man gjorde var att längta bort från den småstad där man levde och var uppvuxen

2) 'New York' triologoin av Paul Auster för det absurd och det existensiella och det spännans.

3) De första trettio sidorna av Karl-Ove Knausgårds 'Min Kamp' där han beskriver om hur vi I samhället stoppar undan det faktum att vi alla ska en gang dö..

Which three books have most inspired you the most and why?

(Hmmm, maybe not inspired like 'inspired' but inspired as in opened up my eyes..)

1) 'Kostym' (Costume) by Swedish writer Ninni Holmqvist from 1995

A book I didn’t know anything about, I found it in a basket at a warehouse sale in my hometown Gävle, in 1997; when I was 15 or 16 years old.

I have read these short novels (the book is made up of 11 short novels) about 10 times by now and I could easily read it 10 or 100 times more. I found the homelessness and at the same time home-familiar characters in different ´costumes´ you can´t really say are women or men in Singapore or Stockholm subway still so absolutely fascinating. The cross-boundary things about them, the non-cross-boundary about them. It spoke to me in a time when testing these borders in every day life as well as in the wider world and seeing the world was important (at that time I´ve never been abroad, never been in a plane) I could really taste the feeling of being somewhere else. And how I was longing to travel.

2) 'New York' by Paul Auster, for its mix of absurdism and existentialism and pure excitement.

3) The first part (like 30 pages) of Ove Knausgård's 'My Struggle', where he describes how we (society) hide the fact the we all going to die one day.

Radical Yes Tekla SeverinSaturn Returns Burgundy for Radical Yes.

QUESTION 2

Var I Varlden skulle du helst vilja fotografera?

Jag vill se allt! Och fotografera allt! Det låter som en kliche men är verkligen sant.

Just nu är jag sugen på klassisk modernism arkitektur och intakta 40-50-60-tals interiörer, Olika le Corbusier hus projekt och även gräva mer där jag star; se mer av grannländerna; har varken varit I Oslo eller Helsingfors (!)

Where in the world would you most like to photograph?

I want to see everything! It sounds like a cliché, but it is truly how I feel. Right now I´m actually mostly aiming for classic modernist architecture and original 40-60´s interiors, famous Le Corbusier house projects and also to “dig where I stand” ; so to see more of Sweden, Finland and Norway. I’ve never been to Oslo and Helsinki for example!

Radical Yes Tekla Severin

Luna loafer in yellow leather for Radical Yes.

QUESTION 3

Kan du beratta om tre av dina arkitektoniska favorit objekt i Stockholm?

  • Framförallt flera av tunnelbanestationerna helt klart; de är verkligen unika om man jämför med tex Berlin som är känd för sina kaklade, men i Stockholm är nästan varje station unikt utformad av en konstnär. Några favoritstationer är: T-centralen, Mörby Centrum, Kungsträdgården, Bagarmossen
  • Den palett-formade förskolan även kallad just Paletten ritad av mästerarkitekterna Tham Videgård
  • Miljonprogrammet I Alby; hur dagens arkitekter med färg och monster på fasaderna lyckats vända upp och ner på den invanda bilden av miljonprogrammet som grått, fult och tråkigt

Can you tell us about your three favourite pieces of architecture in Stolkholm?

  • The subway stations are really unique; each and every one is designed by an artist. Some favourites are, T-centralen, Mörby Centrum, Kungsträdgården, Bagarmossen.
  • The yellow palette shaped kindergarten by Swedish master architects Tham Videgård.
  • Million programme (1 million apartments; called the million programme; was built in Sweden between 1965-1975 to solve the housing crisis) in Alby; where today’s architects have re-designed them in colours and patterns to challenge the perception about them – in this suburb with a bad reputation – as being boring.

Radical Yes Tekla SeverinA VALENTINE STORY art direction & photography for urban outfitters blog, valentine´s day, 2015

QUESTION 4

Vem ar din favorit arkitekt eller designer? Varfor?

Så många; RBTA Ricardo Bofill, Corbusier, Ricardo Lagoretta, Luis Barragan, Nathalie du Pasquier, Inrednigsarkitekter/designers som Guillermo Santoma, India Mahdavi, Note Design studio, Studio Pepe, Dimore Studio etc. etc.

-Jag gillar dem alla för sin färgkänsla och sätt att använda det men också var och en pga helt olika anledningar; pga sina egna personliga uttryck

Who is your favourite architect or designer? Why?

So many: RBTA Ricardo Bofill, Corbusier, Ricardo Lagoretta, Luis Barragan, Nathalie du Pastier. Interior designers like Guillermo Santoma, India Mahdavi, Note Design studio, Studio Pepe, Dimore Studio etc. etc.

I like all of them for their sense of colour and ways of using it, but also each for a variety of reasons; because of their own personal expressions.

Radical Yes Tekla SeverinSHADOWY SCALES photography, art direction & set design: personal project in different scales.

All images belong to Tekla Severin. Tekla can be contacted here

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