Johannes Ahlfors




Often in creative projects, a predetermined theme or a concept is not as static as one would expect. Journey along a theory causes the theory itself to shift in new directions more often than not. Johannes Ahlfors has tried to reverse the roles of the chaser and the chased in his graduate collection.


– Rather than tracing a path towards a defined conceptual goal, I’m turning my back and hoping the concept starts following my actions, he states.


Ahlfors’ collection is constantly generating more and more material to communicate itself. The collection development started with an abstract idea of letting the products speak for themselves, he explains:


– I’ve often been reluctant to concretely define and position my work in strict frames, as in my view, words and other definitive symbols of communication always fail the initial idea and feeling that drives creative action.


Ahlfors’ work can be seen as a blank canvas where ideas and concepts are developed, ‘rejected’ or elaborated on, and this creative search for an underlying narrative is left visible onto the products themselves. Unfinished ideas and underdeveloped garments are worked on in different settings and from different perspectives, again and again, in order to develop a group of ‘enough-ready for exhibiting’ -objects that share similar material language.


– The first concept that stuck with me was the concept of a continuous prototype, where a prototype can be seen either as an object, as a thought, or as an act; main underlying properties are that prototyping is never finished, and that it always exists in a space of certain unclarity and uncertainty, a space I’ve attempted to inhabit for my own creative and communicative purposes, he says.


This prototypal orientation led the designer to a method of working where every part of the project was in constant flux; no one strict guide or manifesto is followed, rather all pieces go along their own paths.


– To make something experimental requires some level of confusion and vagueness of understanding for the maker as well. Any requirements for assertive all-encompassing theories for pieces of creative work defeats the purpose of experimental creation altogether, in my view.


In material terms, Ahlfors’s method manifests in objects that are elaborated on, again and again throughout the project, often resulting in detail-rich compositions that invite the viewer to interact more intimately with them. None of the products have a definitive finished state, rather new ideas can always be implemented onto already developed garments. Most of the collection is born out of repurposing found and used materials and trash, with clothing related inspiration leaning heavily to his own everyday wardrobe.


– My hope is to create objects that have their own, ‘To Be Continued…’, story to tell. This encourages more curious interaction between garments and humans.



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Johannes Ahlfors



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