There was something really strange about this picture. Has there been a time travel in both directions, where it’s possible to make a sculpture which then magically transforms into a product? I thought that a car was the most difficult thing to design in terms of complexity, impossible to be tackled with clay, but seeing this, really made an impression. It looked like anything could just be solved by making a sculpture. And of course I didn’t have a car but I knew how to drive and my father knew how to drive and everybody else had a car and I inherited the idea that everybody needs a car. And car models were changing frequently like the life span of insects. I could roughly distinguish different car brands by their shape but after all I knew nothing about the design process. There I was, fascinated by this clay model and I got interested in the history of the profession of the car designer. And the question that drove it was: How does the designer know when to stop?
© 2019 Johanna Seelemann    Curricilum Vitæ    mail:hanna@seelemann.de    phone:+491629789049    Leipzig—Amsterdam—Reykjavík    Visual Library
© 2019 Johanna Seelemann
Johanna Seelemann (b. 1990) is an explorer and a designer. Based in Germany, Iceland, and the Netherlands. She is driven by the fascination with the context and agency of products that stage our everyday life. This relates to industrial scale material flows for mass-production, the potentials of aesthetic obsolescence as well as speculations on forms of production.

These interests manifest in works such as Banana Story, a series of propositions for extended made-in labels, which is currently exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In 2019, Johanna and her part-time collaborator Björn Steinar got selected amongst the Icon Design 100 Talents to watch. They presented Cargo at the first Antenna - the worlds best design graduates conference in 2017, hosted by Design Indaba, Dutch Design Week and World Design Event. The Willow Project, a work of seven designers, maps material transformations of the Icelandic willow tree as a new local resource. This has gained a wide audience and has been presented in Earth Matters, curated by Lidewij Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano for the TextielMuseum in Tilburg.

Johanna developed her fascinations during the bachelor course in Product Design at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavík. During her experience in assisting Studio Formafantasma, she further evolved her role as a designer, bridging a dialogue between cultural institutions, industries, and organizations towards the topic of electronic waste.

At the moment, she develops works together with Björn Steinar Blumenstein, has a collaboration with Daniele Misso, as well as a persistent dialogue with Garðar Eyjólfsson. Johanna is currently attending the Contextual Design Master program at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.