Pia Wüstenberg, a young German-Finnish designer based in London, graduated just last year from the Royal College of Art (RCA). But a glance at her portfolio, peppered with quirky and carefully handcrafted pieces, reveals that the 25-year-old designer has already found her visual identity.
“I am very focused on craft skills,” she explains. “I want to design objects that have a contemporary aesthetic and modern function but are made in a traditional way.” Before starting at the RCA, she studied furniture design and cabinetmaking at Bucks New University, where the foundations of her skills were laid. She has since developed some unusual applications for her woodworking skills. For her Processed Paper series, for example, she created cylinders from rolled wastepaper, which she then turned on a lathe to shape distinctive marbleized-looking vases, lamps, and table bases.
Stacking Vessels, a series of functional sculptures for the home, are each made of three individual containers—wood, glass, and ceramic—that express a harsh but poetic beauty. “I like to combine a lot of materials,” Wüstenberg explains. “Keeping traditions alive and bringing them together in a new way, that’s what I like to do.”