From potted plants to ice blocks, Pedan’s scenes mutate the mundane into the menacing. The set designer’s intimidatingly sparse backdrops are like a glimpse into an alternate reality, taking odds and sods from our everyday lives and throwing them into strange new contexts. As 2015 approaches, her penchant for perverting the ordinary is evolving into something even more eerie and mystifying. Check out her tactile side in summer 2014’s “Touch” fashion story below (shot by Jamie Morgan and starring Dazed 100-er Binx).
What was your defining pop culture moment of 2014?
Janina Pedan: I guess it never happened. I don’t particularly follow popular culture so I can’t say I feel very influenced by it. My interest in biology and design are the things that define my everyday life.
How would you sum up what you do in a sentence?
Janina Pedan: I stick a space to things (and sometimes the reverse).
How do you think style and pop culture will change in 2015?
Janina Pedan: There will always be something interesting that raises its head above the surface of mediocrity, but from my personal experience, the political developments of the past few years have made it more and more difficult for truly creative young people to have a chance to engage in their craft. Without this life-giving source of underground culture, pop culture will just become even more pre-fab and empty than last year.
In 15 words, sum up what we can expect from you in 2015.
Janina Pedan: A greater focus on exploring colour, and hopefully some interesting side-projects in other disciplines.
Who’s an unsung cultural hero that you discovered this year?
Janina Pedan: I got quite into the female artists of the early Russian avant garde, especially as many of them were also set designers. I guess this isn’t a hero as such, but great women in general have been – and still are – in the shadows of their male counterparts, and it always takes a little bit of effort to dig them out. I also watched a really good documentary about the Swedish set designer Gunilla Palmstierna-Weiss, which really hit home on the systematic way in which women were denied authorship of their cultural contributions.
Who should have been at number one on the Dazed 100?
Janina Pedan: Hmm… A really hard one. I’m going to flatter you and say it is probably your fashion director Robbie Spencer. Like anyone who has worked with him, I know that he is a very talented stylist and is always able to bring his personal style across, despite the sometimes stifling conditions of the industry. He has the ability to fold things in from outside of fashion.
Follow Dominique Sisley on Twitter here @dominiquesisley