Interview with Freja: “A critical mind is a healthy mind”

Freja talking at exhibition

What if

An interview with Freja Kyr. Topic: “What if.” Freja is a graphic designer living in Amsterdam. She is one of the two founders and managers of an interesting platform for design and interdisciplinary collaborations called Fanfare. Our interview about the question “What if” ended up being a talk about art and design as much as a personal encounter with Freja. 

Freja’s spontaneous reaction after finding out the topic of our interview was the following creation. A perfect prelude to our talk as you will see…

“WHAT IF, WHAT IF, THE WHAT IF, THE ORDER OF WHAT IF, THE ORDER OF THINGS, WHAT IF, THE ORDER OF THINGS, DIDNT WHAT IF, THE ORDER OF THINGS, DIDNT FOLLOW WHAT IF, THE ORDER OF THINGS, DIDNT FOLLOW ONE WHAT IF, THE ORDER OF THINGS, DIDNT FOLLOW ONE AFTER WHAT IF, THE ORDER OF THINGS, DIDNT FOLLOW ONE AFTER ANOTHER?”
(Publication without ending from a collaboration with Ott Metusala and Celina Yavelow)


What would you say if someone asked you why design and art are important at all?

Why design and art are important at all is in first consideration, and shortly answered, because design and art are fields that allow for questioning the common.

How would you define the common?

I guess what equals “the common” is the regular structures surrounding us. The ordinary and routine based.
But what common is is, of course, a tricky one to define. Like defining what’s normal. This said I do think there can be patterns observed in for instance trends, habits of living, politics, consumerism.

Freja during interview

Is the common something you observe critically or do you tend to embrace it?

Personally I think we all have some kind of responsibility for taking a distance every now and then and ask, what if… things were turned upside down, or you took another route home, or walked instead of biking. Pretty banal examples. Nonetheless, they might point out, the honesty of sometimes having to have made a routine, in order to break out of it.
I find myself having followed the stream, but also often find myself questioning it.
Overall, I think a critical mind, is a healthy mind, although I also think there are many treasures hidden in embracing the common. After all “the common” is not bad. Only sometimes:)

Did you ever experience a negative response to having turned things upside down a bit too much?

My first and initial reply would be, yes, I have experienced negative response to overly twisted things, but in these cases, it often comes down to the example of becoming far stretched and effectively non-graspable. […] If approaching your question with reference to my working experience, most often, in fact, almost always, I experience that outcomes are products of having been bounced and twisted back and forth between ups and downs, in order to find stability.

Freja in a hallway

Is it important for you to be able to grasp information in order for it to have an effect?

No, I wouldn’t say so. In fact, I often tend to register form as more (or at least equally) effective as the information itself. Non-graspable information can in this sense indeed also be powerful!

Say you are working on a piece or preparing an exhibition. Is it important for you to keep a good balance between concreteness and the power of the ungraspable?

The level of explanation, of course, depends on the content, the context, and the audience. However, I think you have to take into account that perception at any given moment always will depend on personal references of the perceiver. In most cases, I find the room for the individual experience of a work preferable above an overly spelled out show. This naturally also reflects my personal preference of often being more intrigued by work that does not give itself away at first glance, but challenges my understanding, or triggers personal references.

Freja in a hallway

What kind of criteria is important for you when selecting work?

The consideration of selection naturally always depends on the project. And as I find myself involved with more projects, the choice likewise depends on the specific framework. However, as an overall feel, I do tend to prefer working with a collaborative mindset, involving young designers and artists.

What if art and design would not be part of your life?

Creativity comes in many shapes and regardless of the situation, I envision it likely that I would bring a certain level of imagination along in any other field too. At the moment I just happen to be expressing this in a creative context.
More practically speaking though, if art and design would not have been a part of my life, I would most likely have had a bigger income, and surely not been living in Amsterdam.


About Freja

Place of Birth: Copenhagen, Denmark
Parents: Mother Susanne, is a pedagogue, father Albert is a computer engineer
Siblings: Three siblings in total. Gorm (13), Laura (17) and Camilla (21) on her father’s side.
Profession: Graphic designer (when a quick explanation is needed)
Age: 27
Nationality: Danish
Relationship status: Single
Romantic or realistic? Realism and romanticism come in chapters
How many Facebook friends do you have? Around 700
Adventure or Stability? It was adventure for a long time, however, her need for stability is taking over more space lately
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
My favorite spot in Amsterdam: The glasshouse on top of the former Tetterode building
If I were a bitterbal, I’d be filled with… Shrimp

View from Freja's favorite spot in Amsterdam

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