Transformative ideas that transforms people; TEDxKiruna proudly presents Jens Thoms Ivarsson as a speaker at TEDxKiruna 13 March 2014. Design, craft and creativity has been a natural part of Jens work life for over 20 years. Learn more about his challenges as head of design at ICEHOTEL - a place in constant transformation, with recurrent creative challenges in the ephemeral material: ice. Jens loves the liberating feeling in working with a material that doesn't last as well as playing the drums in his hard rock band. Here he is interviewed as of the speakers at upcoming TEDxKiruna;
You are responsible for design at ICEHOTEL. Describe the ice and its properties: how is it to work with ice as a material?
”The ice from the Torne River is unique and fantastic to work with. The reason why we can harvest big and crystal clear blocks of ice, is a combination of different things. First of all: fresh, cold and clear water. Then cold temperatures and finally the perfect speed of the water. The ice is quite easy to work with, because the structure has no direction. The most difficult thing, no matter the material, is to figure out what to do.”
ICEHOTEL is in constant transformation. What does this mean for you and your colleagues?
”This means that we can follow the beautiful transformation of the ice and snow: how it slowly returns to its liquid state and finally back into the river. Of course, it also means constant maintenance before we let it go.”
To transform the design to experiences is a strong drive for you. How do you think these experiences transform people who encounter for example ICEHOTEL?
”Our aim at ICEHOTEL is to give all our guests a genuine experience. It might sound like another romantic thought, but we really mean it. The fact that ICEHOTEL is ephemeral and only exists for a little while hopefully reminds us of the present. We want to provide original art made by creative people from all over the world – to expose great ideas in a fantastic material.”
You've worked with both rock and ice. What do
you prefer: the persistent or ephemeral? Why?
”I have always been attracted to natural materials. No matter the material, I strive to express the qualities within the material. At the same time I try to look beyond the material and focus on the design. For me, a bar or piece of furniture should look good no matter if it is made of ice or concrete.
I cannot say that I prefer any material from the other. However, it is very liberating to work with a material that I know only exist for a short while.”
What is the main message in your TED talk in Kiruna?
”That art and design is really important and it is not necessary to understand it.”
Click here to meet Jens in a short video introduction.