The Norwegian Cancer Society raises money for lifesaving cancer research every Christmas through its Christmas Star Campaign. In 2022, the campaign celebrated its 10th anniversary, and Snøhetta is honored to have designed the stars.
For the 2022 campaign, Snøhetta has designed a collection of three new stars to give hope and represent the concept of time. The smallest one is a paper star that can be used for decorating the Christmas tree but also functions as a to and-from note for Christmas presents. A larger paper star is mainly meant to decorate the windows at hospitals but can also be bought for businesses and private households, and the third is a limited edition handmade candle holder in brass – made by the traditional and highly skillful artisans at TH. Marthinsen's factory in Tønsberg, Norway.
Reflecting time and materials
Named the Christmas Star Campaign, the objects naturally must be stars – at least conceptually. Snøhetta's designers approached the design process with a desire to re-interpret what a star means. Rather than creating a version of a traditionally shaped star, they have created objects that portray specific aspects of stars, like reflection, movement, and presence. The general concept of time has been a central part of the project and has been used to connect the three objects together, as it is also connecting people. It is also a concept that truly represents the campaign's goal.
When you are in the hospital, the notion and experience of time tend to be different, it can often feel as if time is standing still, and it is not always easy to relate to the people outside the hospital. For that reason, the hospital star is designed to create a connection to the outside world. This was achieved by creating a shape that moves when it catches the wind from its surroundings and how the surface reflects and spreads light from outside, embracing the surroundings with its soft shape.
Relating closely to the hospital star, the small paper star shares both the form expression, material, and construction. For this star, the aim was to create something beautiful in its purpose and accessible to everyone. This translated into a paper star you assemble by yourself, requiring you to spend both time and care to put it together. The thought behind the approach is that giving attention and time to something is more important than the object itself.
The third star is represented by a handmade candleholder crafted in highly polished brass at TH. Marthinsen’s in Tønsberg. The concept of time is here shown through the ritual of remembering, repeated in time. The candle's flame is in many ways like a star – it lights up when everything else is dark, can create an emotional connection, and is beautiful in its nature.
In the process, Snøhetta explored other aspects that convey the meaning of a star. These aspects make the objects represent stars more subtly and with more welcoming and inviting shapes. Each star is constructed from flat circles bent and put together to form a three-dimensional shape to create a presence in space. Two of the stars are made of paper to ensure that they are lightweight, recyclable, and accessible to most people that would like to support the campaign.
From the beginning of the process, Snøhetta had clear sustainability goals, to produce all objects locally in Norway, avoid any use of plastic in both the stars and the packaging, and source material as locally as possible. By choosing paper as the material for the stars; they are lightweight and recyclable and can be shipped flat, which also brings down transportation and storage emissions. In addition to selling the star in stores and online, Snøhetta has also created an online template of the star that is available to download with instructions on how to assemble it.
You can read more about and support the Christmas Star Campaign at www.kreftforeningen.no. 100% of the income generated from the sales of the Christmas Stars goes to the Norwegian Cancer Society's lifesaving cancer research.