ORBIT // United Nations Climate Change Conference 2018 (COP24)

Hanging sculpture

Design and creation: Egeværk

Materials: Walnut and maple

Dimensions: Ø 180 cm

The hanging wooden sculpture ORBIT celebrates one of nature's most fundamental shapes; the sphere. At a first glance, ORBIT is large, impressive, and easy on the eyes. After a little while, the complexity of the design kicks in.

ORBIT consists of 14 walnut arcs and is tilted at a 23,5 degree angle. Thus, ORBIT will never look exactly the same while rotating peacefully on its off axis. The hanging three-dimensional sculpture is large enough for a grown man to stand upright in it, and the size and shape of it conjures up the image of the Vitruvian Man. Still, this archetypical picture of harmony and perfection is unsettled; would the Vitruvian Man be able to keep his balance in this tilted sphere?

ORBIT exudes an air of self-sufficiency. Well aware of its own beauty; a closed force field. At the same time, ORBIT is reactive and in dialogue with its surroundings. A friendly presence automatically amplifying natural forces in the room. Light is filtered through the sculpture, and interesting shadows appear on all surfaces. The relative lightness of ORBIT makes it react to subtle changes in the air; draugths, waves of heat, someone passing by it with quick steps.

ORBIT is designed and crafted by Egeværk. The monumental sculpture is made of 14 slim walnut arcs. The perfect shape is achieved in a painstaking process where large walnut planks are first cut into 4,5 mm slats. Each slat is carefully numbered, then glued together and forced into shape in the exact same order as they were cut. Grain structure is kept and the slim arcs become strong enough to - unsupported in any way - keep the perfect globular shape of ORBIT. Two miniature pieces of maple join the 14 arcs in each end. Four edges each; a total of 56 held together by two small dots of light wood.

Experience ORBIT. Invite time to move slower

From the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2018 (COP24)

The state of planet Earth
Thousands of delegates from all over the world are present in Katowice, Poland, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2018 (COP24). As climate changes seem to be happening faster now than most people could imagine only a decade ago, all eyes seem to be on the conference in Poland. A large and thought-provoking sculpture by Danish designers and furniture makers Egeværk is exhibited at the conference.

The Climate Change Conference
The Who’s Who of climate change is assembled in Katowice, Poland, in December. Celebrity climate change activists such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sir David Attenborough attend alongside the conference’s main characters; scientists, government officials, politicians, NGO’s and press. The setup is enormous; all nationalities, ethnicities and minorities seem to be represented – and the conference is busy, intense, and lit up by people in national costumes and other types of folklore.

The Nordic Pavillon
Every country or region has its own pavillon at the conference, and a race on climate change knowledge and viable solutions is on. The Nordic Pavillon is an important one; as it represents a geographical area that covers Denmark, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and The Faroe Islands. Thus, several substantial areas either north of the polar circle or covered by melting ice caps. Furthermore, the Nordic countries are known for implementing ambitious environmental agendas and are among the frontrunners when it comes to green energy. In this pavillon, the Nordic delegates hold lectures, panel discussions, and receive guests from all over the world who wants to learn about the Nordic approach to environmental issues, green energy, and climate change. Each pavillon is also a carefully curated introduction to the cultural identity of the region in question. The Nordic pavillon is characterized by light wood, modern furniture design and large wall sheets about sustainable energy. The pavillon’s centre piece is Orbit - a large globe made of 14 elegant walnut arcs; joined in top and bottom. You can see through Orbit; still, it conjures up an undeniable image of planet Earth. An image supported by it being tilted at a 23,5 degree angle. Which is the exact angle of planet Earth right now.

An Egeværk piece
Mette Bentzen and Lasse Kristensen of Egeværk participate in the conference as monitors. They are first and foremost impressed by the work carried out at the conference in Katowice: ”We feel reassured and are deeply impressed by the level of seriousness and intensity you experience whereever you look”, Mette Bentzen explains from Katowice. ”The conference is really really big, it takes 14 minutes to walk from the entrance to the Nordic Pavillon. I’m pretty sure, I’ll never see so many nationalities assembled in one place ever again, and everywhere you look, people are working full-tilt. It’s also fascinating for us to see a Native American in her traditional costume with tattooes across the face walking with a group of suits. The whole world is here – and so is one of our pieces, which makes us immensely proud!” The Egeværk furniture makers and designers spent a good chunk of the summer creating Orbit. The main idea behind the construction was to challenge the idea that wood is mostly angular. Orbit should thus be an exploration of round shapes. When Orbit was done, the reference to planet Earth was clear. Orbit was first introduced to the public hanging from the ceiling of Hundested Boat Builder’s Yard within a stone’s throw from where Orbit was created. ”Ever since we exhibited Orbit for the first time, we have seen people become quite emotional looking at it”, Lasse Kristensen explains. ”It moves people immediately, and they start thinking about the earth under their feet and how its future is going to be. So it makes perfect sense to see Orbit as the centre piece on a climate change conference. It’s an honour to be included in this admirable company of big thoughts, serious work and people of pivotal importance to the future of planet Earth.”

UN Conference on Climate Chance COP24 in Katowice, December 2018