Ola Giertz - Månadens Formgivare - designer of the month - at Form Design Center

Thread Bench and Monte Carlo


Ola Giertz graduated from Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies in 2010 … the design school is a department of Linköping University but is based in Stockholm as part of the Department of Management and Engineering at the Institute of Technology.

In 2011 he established his design studio in Helsingborg. 

The exhibition includes a question and answer session which is published on the web site for Form and gives some interesting clues to motivation and inspiration for the designs shown here. A ‘favourite designer’ is Verner Panton and a declared mission is to “always keep the child in me and be playful” which would explain the strong shapes and use of strong colours in some of the pieces. 

Also in the exhibition are his candle holders Haus and Industrial Shine, the award winning Frame seating units and the House hanging rail system.


Bordus, Rocking Chair and  O-table




The exhibition continues at Form Design Center in Malmö until 30th September

Ola Giertz

Malmö Live


At the weekend, on a trip over to Malmö, I had my first look around the new concert hall, convention centre and hotel that has just opened on a large site to the west of the central railway station. The complex is by the architectural practice of Schmidt Hammer Lassen. I had seen the work at several stages when it was surrounded by cranes, scaffolding and construction sites but on Sunday the bright clear sunlight was perfect to show the new buildings at their best.

I have posted some initial photographs under galleries in the navigation bar at the top of the site but will write and post a longer assessment as soon as I can ... maybe after I have been to a concert there.

the Tomorrow Collective

ECCO CARRYING - Jingyi Zhang / TERRA urban root cellar - Ida Gudrunsdotter / YOYO BASKET - Nan Jiang


This is an exhibition by students from the Master’s Programme at the School of Industrial Design in Lund and is a collection of items, all well made, that question and challenge the assumption that any domestic chore must now be done by something plastic with a chip and a plug. And what is also clear here is that there is a sense of pride in the process of making ... so what is common to all the pieces is that they are made from natural materials using traditional craft skills.

It is a  brilliant and inspiring exhibition and even more important because it comes from industrial designers … or better still the next generation of industrial designers.

In part the designs take us back to the household items that you can see in the old town houses in the open-air museum in Lund or domestic items from the past that are displayed in the Danish open-air museums in Aarhus and at Frilandsmuseet north of Copenhagen but those items tend to be from old rural crafts and there is, in part, a sense there of people making do and making themselves what was not available to buy but all these items here in the exhibition could be produced commercially.

This is not nostalgia ... not a sort of romantic revivalist view of a cosy kitchen from our grandparents' past.

These designers have taken a very serious and realistic look at what we do and how and what we make and what we throw away. Sometimes it is useful and sometimes actually necessary to look at where we are, wonder if it is the right place and maybe go back down the road to a cross roads and explore if another road might be more interesting.



Basically they are saying take a step back and look at what you do and why and how and possibly, with ingenuity, sustainability can be very stylish and actually fun.

But they also make a very serious point …. “In a time when the single person is becoming more and more distanced from where things come from, how they are made, what they are made of and where they inevitably end up, it becomes increasingly harder to see the consequences of our lifestyles and choices. We depend on fossil fuel driven transportation systems, monocultural large-scale farming and non renewable, toxic energy sources. Our economies thrive on productivity and consumption and we live like there’s no tomorrow. The Tomorrow Collective is about exploring ways of enabling us to live a sustainable life in the future. Inspired by past knowledge of how to grow, make and be, the project presents concepts for modern tools and systems that can be used in a cyclic sense, within private homes or to share in smaller communities.”


M FOR MILK within one's reach - Judith Glaser


THE BURKS - Oskar Olsson


LITTLE THUMB save the crumbs - Elena Biondi


WOODEN IRON simple clothing care tool - Ausrine Augustinaite


FLAVOUR OF TIME preserve the unique feeling of daily food and seasonal flavour - Reo Letian Zhang


MICU smart choice for a healthy conscience - Andrea Müller


THE TOOTHPASTER nice and simple - Olof Janson


SHAVING KIT long lasting shaving tools inspired by the past & the present - Philip Andersson

Even now, electric gadgets with smart technology do not rule our homes completely … many people still have wooden spoons in the kitchen or one of those wooden lemon juicers and lots of cooks use a pestle and mortar to grind their own herbs but one of the points made here is that often a specific contraption for a specific task might be used once or twice and then confined to the back of a cupboard. Could there be a simpler way of doing some things? Is the purchase of a clever-clever time-saving devise our real priority? Whatever the cost in terms of the energy and the materials consumed? In that profit and loss account is a little time gained worth the loss from the satisfaction of doing something ourselves?

After looking at the exhibition I remembered that when I cleared my mother’s house, after she died a couple of years ago, I came across a butter knife that I had used at my grandparent’s house when I was a small child and some brushes my grandfather kept in his own drawer in the kitchen for when he came in from the garden and wanted to wash and they still smelt of the specific soap and and the tooth powder he always used … he was a late and reluctant convert to toothpaste. Memories suddenly came flooding back. If we chuck out and replace everything because it all has a short shelf life and the replacement is cheap, is it not just sustainability we should worry about but also the loss of our own sense of time and place?

There is a full catalogue of all the pieces on line with photographs and links to all the designers


The exhibition continues at Form Design Center, Malmö until 30 August 2015

Utvalt i Skåne - Form Design Center, Malmö

Gustaf Sörnmo - gustaf@centralasien.org + Petter Thörne - info@petterthorne.se


Utvalt translates as selected and this event is held every three years. About 400 works were submitted and the twenty-four pieces shown in the exhibition were chosen by the jury - Mårten Medbo, a potter, Anna Åhlin, from the association of crafts, and Katja Pettersson, an industrial designer and lecturer. 

All the artists come from Skåne - the southern part of Sweden - but what is striking is the diversity of styles and the different materials used showing clearly the strength and broad base of craft in the region.

The exhibition continues at the Form Design Center in Malmö until 23 August and then goes on tour to several venues including Simrishamn, Helsingborg and, at the beginning of next year, to Hamburg and then to Ronneby.

The works shown below were selected because they seemed most relevant to themes covered on this site but much more information about Utvalt and all the works can be found on their site … utvalt i skane.



Gunilla Maria Åkesson - www.gunillamariaakesson.se



Ola Andersson - Instagram: And_Nils / Luka Jelusic - cudodelubo.wordpress.com



Thomas Anagrius - www.tomasanagrius.com



Jonas Rooth - www.rooth.se



Petter Thörne - www.petterthorne.se



Per Brandstedt - www.brandstedt.se


Cabinet Luftig

Charlie Styrbjörn, Ludwug Berg + Olle K Engberg - www.cabinetluftig.se


Moderna Museet Malmö

Moderna Museet Malmö proves that to really succeed as an art gallery, particularly as a gallery of modern art, you really don’t have to have a blockbuster building on a harbour frontage designed by a starchitect … to use that awful phrase.

That is not to say that the Malmö gallery is boring or safe - it’s neither - but what it has clearly is a strong sense of being a community gallery. It is within the central area of the city but is slightly out to the east side of the centre in a long narrow square, rather more a wide street than a piazza, with apartment buildings around. When I was there this week it was a bright Spring day and people were sitting outside in the sun waiting to meet friends. Inside, in the entrance hall and cafe, local people were having lunch. The entrance from the street, through a relatively ornate archway into a small courtyard, is shared with a school and as it was a warm day; the door was open and you could hear the children playing. That’s good, he hastens to add.

The gallery also has a school room or children’s room that seems to have been well used. The main exhibition space, in a former turbine hall at an upper level, was busy despite it being a morning mid week and as I left a large party of what I took to be recent immigrants to Sweden of lots of different ages and countries of origin arrived with a teacher presumably as part of their induction course into the language and life of the city. As I say, the gallery has a really good and really strong community feel.

The architecture is good too. Clever and sophisticated. The main space is a large open top-lit hall - the guide book says the ceiling height is 11 metres - so there would seem to be a lot of options about what can be shown and how. The hall is on an upper level running parallel to the street and across the street frontage is a two-storey range which includes offices, services and so on along the ground level and a second, narrower, exhibition space with a lower ceiling height on the first floor.

The original industrial building dates from 1900 and is in dark red brick with pale stone for doorways, windows and decorative details. The main new addition is a bright orange steel box next to the entrance arch and across the front of the turbine hall to contain the entrance hall, book shop and cafe and services such as a staircase and lift. The steel sheet on the front is perforated and the lower level has hinged shutters that run across the full-height windows of the cafe but hinge right back to open the space visually to the street but also to allow the street to see in. 

The gallery opened in December 2009 and is a branch or regional gallery of the gallery of modern art on Skeppsholmen in Stockholm. The work was designed by the architectural partnership of Tham & Videgård from Stockholm.

Sculpture is also displayed in the public square outside … the present piece is a massive and dramatic X of cylinders with a spiral motif by Leif Bolter.

In the main exhibition area, the current show is Nils Dardel and the Modern Age. 


Moderna Museet, Gasverksgatan 22, Malmö

Nils Dardel continues until 6 September 2015

Tham & Videgård

Bästa Cykelstad!

There wasn’t a major exhibition at Form Design Center in Malmö last week … they were setting up the next big exhibition in the gallery … but in the courtyard there was an interesting exhibition that is part of an ongoing campaign to promote cycling in the city. This display is mobile and has been seen at several sites around the city.

There are early photographs of cyclists in Malmö from the late 19th century through the “golden age” from 1930 to 1950. There are curious and interesting facts and information about cycling and the current campaign to encourage more people to use a bike. Free maps were given out showing cycle routes around the city marked with useful things like places to get tyres inflated and the position of public toilets with practical information about the traffic laws for cyclists, advice about repairing bikes and recommendations about training for young cyclists along with funny cartoon drawings of hand signals

The city are seeking opinions and ideas for a public bike ownership scheme that has been proposed and that will be tied in with park and ride schemes. A new bike is being awarded to the best suggestion.

The Design Centre has a snazzy bike rack for visitors to use that spells out the name of the city and there is a clever bike rack set up on a parking bay on the large square to the south that has an outer frame forming the outline of a car to show just how many bikes fit into a single car-park space.

So this is a story about using good striking graphic design and in a clever and light way to promote a serious planning issue.

Cycling, Form Design Center Malmö, 4 November to 30 November 2014

Västra Hamnen - the redevelopment of the west harbour in Malmö

A good starting point for a visit to the west harbour in Malmö is the central railway station (even if you do not arrive by train) because if you stand at the main south entrance to the station and look south, towards the historic centre, then everything behind you and in fact the railway station itself is on land reclaimed from the sea. 

Until the 19th century buildings along Norra Vallgatan, on the far side of the bus station and the canal, would have looked out to open sea and Malmö castle, to the west, guarding the city, was on the foreshore. It was only with the rapid expansion of Malmö in the late 19th century, and with the growing importance of the docks here, that extensive areas of new land were created for wharves, warehouses and commercial buildings. In contrast Copenhagen started to expand out onto reclaimed land from early in the 17th century.

The topographical view shows the historic centre of Malmö protected by water and by the castle to the west. The map of 1871 shows the first stages of the quays and wharves constructed on new land and the current map shows the area of the western harbour immediately above or north of the castle and the huge area of commercial docks to the east.

The great period of growth for the port of Malmö lasted about a century and its decline, or at least serious changes to the economy and the role of the docks, presented the city with problems that could only be resolved by intervention and required a plan that not only covered what was to be done with the derelict area but made decisions about how this redevelopment could be part of a broader economic plan for the city. 

Following the closure of Kockums ship yards, the west harbour, an area of 175 hectares, was bought by the municipality in 1996. The aim was to develop a new city district. Construction work began in 2001 and is ongoing.

Very much ongoing. Although the surviving commercial wharves and industrial buildings are now concentrated towards the east end of the docks, there are still areas of derelict buildings and buildings in partial use between the railway and the new buildings of the west harbour and that gives the residential apartments of the west harbour a slight feeling of isolation or at least a sense of separation from the rest of the city. But such extensive schemes take time and the area immediately west of the railway station is now being redeveloped with the construction of extensive new office buildings that are beginning to fill that break between the west harbour district and the centre of the city.

1 The dock between the railway station and the west harbour
2 Walking from the railway station, The Turning Tower of the west harbour beyond dock buildings
3 New office blocks under construction, west of the railway station and developing the area between the west harbour and the centre of the city
4 The most recent apartment buildings under construction at the south end of the west harbour as you approach the district from the south


For planners, the clearly-stated aim for the west harbour development was to provide high-quality and permanent housing with architectural diversity so, although infrastructure and the overall plan of the site was set out by the city, there was no rigid control for the design of individual buildings. 

From the start there was a strong emphasis on sustainability … not just environmental sustainability but also economic and social sustainability for the area.

Wind turbines in Norra Hamnen produce power for the new district and solar panels provide 20% of the heating. All the new homes have sophisticated meter systems linked to information panels where the residents can monitor their power use and, for instance, assess information about the relative costs of peak and off-peak electricity so they can decide when they want to use appliances. There are also charging points for electric vehicles; extensive waste management schemes and buses serving the district use biogas fuel. Cycles were seen to be the best forms of transport to encourage over private cars so bike routes to cycle into the city were provided from the start.

That broad approach to sustainability is now being extended across the city and a formal report for a socially sustainable Malmö was commissioned in May 2010 and published in the Spring of 2013

The study for the report has collated and analysed some significant new data: planners were aware of the problems of overcrowding and homelessness in Malmö but the research undertaken for the report revealed some startling findings .… for instance health inequalities meant a reduction of up to 5.4 years in life expectancy between different social groups living in different areas of the city. 

Ambitious objective have now been set by the city to reduce energy consumption for the whole municipality by 50% by 2030 and for 100% of that power used by the city to come from renewable energy.

The initial phase for the west harbour was for 600 homes for 4,600 residents and with jobs within the area for 7,000 workers - more people than were employed at the ship yard - and eventually, as the redevelopment progresses, the area will provide housing for 30,000 people.

More than in Copenhagen or Oslo, the redevelopment of the harbour is driven by the need for social housing in the city. In part the new development was a response to economic problems with the closure of ship building yards but it was also a response to a growing housing shortage as the city grew in size and a response to problems with a deteriorating housing stock. There had been a massive programme for the building of new homes in Sweden between 1965 and 1975 under the One Million Dwellings Programme and there were 30,000 homes in Malmo from that period. Inevitably many of those homes now require some level of refurbishment or replacement …. because of their age, but also because of changes in building standards and evolving expectations from residents and because, it s now admitted, some were badly built. These factors also had to be taken into account with the planning and ongoing building work in the west harbour.  

Everything has not gone completely to plan. For instance the cost of houses in the west harbour is above average so the aim to achieve a social mix of occupants has been difficult to realise but the more recent phase building apartments across the north part of the area have included a larger proportion of social housing. The report acknowledges problem with selling public housing to the private sector and accepts that to recoup investment, rents have to increase by between 40% and 50%.

The development was actually launched with an international housing exhibition Bo01 (Live 2001 or City of Tomorrow) that was also the first stage of building. The exhibition was the idea in 1995 by Svensk Bostadsmässa (Swedish Housing Exhibition) with support from the European Commission and the Swedish government.

At the centre of the new development is the Turning Torso or Turning Tower by Santiago Caltrava which is 190 metres high and has 147 apartments. It was completed in 2005 and with its distinct shape, as each floor is offset to form a pronounced spiral, it has become a popular tourist sight and a symbol for the regeneration of the city.

The layout of the west harbour conforms to a grid with a central spine road running north south that seems rather wide and does seem to divide the area. There is a large central open space or park and the main apartment blocks face out either to the north towards a triangular park or promenade or west looking across a broad area of gardens and promenade with views to the Oresund Bridge and Copenhagen in the distance.

If I have any real criticism of the apartment buildings it is that they are rather flat in colour and in relief and mainly rely on the colour of facing panels and the arrangement of windows and balconies to provide pattern or decoration. The courts and smaller houses at the centre, flanking a canal and with individual gardens are much more attractive and seem to at least reflect something of the local historic buildings found around the courtyards in Malmö.

However, there are extensive areas of park and planting which are extremely attractive and the hard landscaping is constructed to a very high standard but the larger proportion of car-owning families than allowed for in the initial plans means that there are large car parks in the centre, a new multi-storey car park and in some areas a high level of on-street parking.

There is a large supermarket and some smaller stores and cafes and restaurants though they seem to cater more for visitors than the local community. On the day I walked around the area, on a Saturday, it was very very quiet which many residents would see presumably as a good thing but actually it seemed slightly bleak with one small boy rather sadly playing football on his own. 

There were more people walking along the west promenade and along the north shore but these appeared to be visitors from the numbers taking photographs or were joggers who seemed to be coming up from the city through the park between the wets harbour and Riborsborg.

It may be that the apartments appealed initially to young adults without children although there is now a school on the edge of the north park although that appears to be in temporary buildings. Maybe that is never-the-less a good sign … if it means that the neighbourhood and its residents are settling in and becoming more established. 

One clear problem about large scale redevelopment at a relatively fast speed is that one feature that people respond to is when a town or city has a sense of growth and development … a sense of story … and of course that is impossible to simulate in just over a decade. The real test will be to see how many families stay over the coming years and what people say about the buildings and the environment created here in twenty, thirty or forty years from now. Sustainability is also about surviving and about new housing not in its turn being torn down for something newer.

earlier apartment blocks by the water

Of course the idea of building large blocks of apartments overlooking a harbour or the sea is not new to this century and nor is the idea of building large expensive apartments to drive economic revival. 

In Stockholm large prestigious apartment blocks dating from 1880 onwards were built along Strandvägen overlooking the harbour in an extensive new area to the east of the historic centre of the city and in the 1930s in Malmö, as the city expanded to the west, large apartment blocks with balconies looking out over the beach were built along Limhamnsvägen as the then new area of Ribersborg was developed.

Strandvägen, Stockholm

Looking south from the new development of the west harbour in Malmö towards the 1930s blocks of Ribersborg

View over the north harbour in Helsinki towards the apartment buildings on Pohjoisranta

In Helsinki, again around 1900, expensive new apartments were built along Pohjoisranta looking east over the north harbour and as the city expanded to the south there were new apartments built along Merikatu looking south across a park to the islands and the open sea.

The situation appears to have been slightly different in Copenhagen where, in the late 19th century, the harbour was dominated by not only commercial docks but by naval dockyards so less land overlooking the sea or the harbour but close to the centre of the city was available ... or at least not available until the late 20th century. In Copenhagen in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the most exclusive new apartment buildings were constructed looking across parks and squares although of course in an earlier period, in the 17th and 18th century, many large houses were built facing onto the broad canals that were then commercial quays so ostensibly a similar idea.

The impetus for these new developments of apartment buildings was clearly the emergence, in the late 19th century, of a large, wealthy, urban middle class - families who not only wanted large, well-lit apartments to rent but wanted to move out of the crowded and tightly-packed buildings in the centre of these cities.

Blidah Park, Hellerup

Bellavista, Charlottenlund

Perhaps the most influential apartment buildings in the Copenhagen region from the early 20th century, in terms of the more recent developments around the harbours in Copenhagen, are Blidah Park, a housing scheme of 1933-34 at Hellerup on the north edge of Copenhagen and that of the contemporary development of Bellavista by Arne Jacobsen slightly further north and overlooking the beach. The clean, uncluttered lines; the large windows; the flat roofs and prominent balconies set a style and the standards for quality of design and building emulated in many of the new apartment blocks being constructed.

Summer sunshine and dark clouds

A new exhibition opened in the castle in Malmö on the 11 October 2014. Called Summer sunshine and dark clouds, it marks the centenary of the Baltic Exhibition that opened in Malmö on the 15th May 1914 and ran through that summer until early October. 

A new park, Pildammsparken, out to the west of the old city and a couple of blocks south of the castle, was created specifically for the 1914 exhibition, with substantial temporary buildings and pavilions as well as fountains and sculpture. It was primarily a trade fair but, like most trade fairs of the period, contained exhibitions of art (in this case some 3,500 artworks) and there was music, a Baltic Games with swimming events over 12 days, fairground attractions including a roller coaster and three large lakes with boats and pleasure steamers. The park is still there but few of the buildings survived.

A contemporary film of the Baltic Exhibition shows the visit by Gustaf V, the Swedish king, with the citizens of Malmö, dressed in smart hats and their best clothes, seen walking around the park. Then, of course, the motor car that the king arrived in and the film camera itself were relatively novel and were, clearly, the subjects of much interest. 

The aim of the exhibition was to promote the manufacturing companies of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Russia, the main countries around the Baltic, and there must have been a strong sense of the promise of a new age and a new future with the new century well on course. What makes the film sad and poignant is that all those people would be thrown, just two months later, into the turmoil of the First World War. All that finery of top hats and elegant summer outfits were not celebrating, as they probably thought, the start of a new future but marking the real and complete end of the previous century and its sense of order. By the end of the war Europe was a very different place.

One of the biggest single displays of art in 1914 came from Russia. The paintings were bright and novel, and probably, at that time, seen as slightly outrageous and certainly challenging. At the outbreak of the war in July 1914 both German and Russian officials withdrew from the Baltic Exhibition but the Russian art remained and with the upheavals of the war and then the revolution in Russia in 1917 the works were not reclaimed and still form a substantial and important collection in Malmö city art gallery. 

The present exhibition includes the Russian art that remained in Malmö with displays highlighting the novel attractions of the Baltic Exhibition, including a passenger lift that took visitors up to an observatory, and there are costumes and displays of furniture and household items that show how different levels of society lived in Malmö in 1914.

The exhibition in 1914 came at the end of a period of rapid growth and rising prosperity in Malmö. Between 1900 and 1915, the population of the city increased from 60,000 to 100,000 people and the wealth of the city then can be seen in the large number of imposing buildings from the period around 1900 that survive in the streets and squares of the city now.

There are also important parallels to be made with the situation now … with the apparently strong growth of middle class wealth in the city: just look at the new apartment buildings around the west harbour and the major office buildings under construction west of the railway station.  There is the potential for sustainable growth in Malmö based on a growing population and the revitalisation of the city's infrastructure with the building of the road and rail bridge to Copenhagen and the extensive upgrading of the railway system. That growth is or should be reflected in a new demand for more housing and for furniture and household goods to fill all those new apartments. 


Buildings in the centre of Malmö from around 1900


Summer sunshine and dark clouds, Malmö Museer, Malmöhus Slott 

11 October 2014 until April 2016 - for opening times go to the city web site

designcity Malmö

Norrgavel in Engelbrektsgatan, Malmö and a designcity poster displayed on their door

Design shops and furniture stores in Malmö have joined together to promote the city as a destination for finding and buying good design. There are maps displayed in major shops participating in the scheme and advertisements in newspapers. 

Many of the streets in the centre or inner city are now pedestrianised and the major squares landscaped so a map showing that you can walk from shop to shop is an extremely good start. The tag line of the campaign is “Beauty comes from the inside.” 

Perhaps the Design Museum Form should be promoted as the starting point, so that it is number one on the map, to reinforce a link with high-quality and innovative design and, following the example of the very successful design quarter in Helsinki, the scheme should be expanded to include local architects, graphic designers, crafts people and possibly book shops with sections on design and architecture. There already appears to be an attempt to link the promotion with the idea of sustainability.

As heavy industries such as ship building have closed the city is reinventing itself to focus on universities, design and tech businesses. Despite wider economic pessimism, Malmö has major building works in hand with a large area of new apartments as part of the redevelopment of the west harbour and north dock and extensive new office buildings under construction west of the main railway station. The city really does seem to be benefitting from the opening of the bridge, linking the region to Copenhagen, particularly the train link to the airport at Kastrup, and from the major remodelling of the railway system through the city.


New apartments in Västra Hamnen that look out over the Öresund 

Form Design Center Malmö

Form Design Center in Malmö opened in 1964 and is run by Svensk Form … the Swedish Association of Crafts and Design that was founded in 1845 and promotes Swedish design through their eleven regional associations. 

The Malmö gallery, shop and cafe are in an industrial building, a former grain store, in the centre of the city on the south side of Lilla torg.

Known as Hedman yard, timber-framed buildings on the square and on two sides of the courtyard date back, in parts, to the 16th century but the grain store, across the south side of the yard, was built in 1850. The cafe is on the ground floor of the grain store with a large exhibition space on the first floor with smaller areas for displays and information in the lobby. The extensive shop is on the second floor with offices and meeting rooms above.

There are some twenty exhibitions a year here as well as lectures and meetings and the shop sells a range of Swedish design and books on design. Their aim is to promote “a better life through good design” and to stimulate the development of design and “increase respect for the value of design.” It is important that their activities are directed equally at both design professionals and the general public.

new exhibitions in Malmö

This weekend two exhibitions opened at the Design Center in Malmö and there could not be a better illustration of just how diverse the design world is and how different the works and styles of professional designers and artists can be.

Industridesign, Hur Svårt kan set vara? - Industrial Design, How hard can it be? - marks the anniversary for the industrial design practice Zenit that was formed in Malmö in the Autumn of 1994 by four young designers who had recently graduated from the Institute of Design in Umeå. Zenit is now one of Sweden’s largest independent design studios.

Above all, the exhibition focuses on the importance, often not widey acknowledged, of the designer as technical innovations progress rapidly. The design focus of a company like Apple is clearly recognised and widely appreciated by the general public but the crucial role of designers in collaboration with engineers to produce a blood analysis system or a cash recycling machine is less obvious to the patient or the customer or even the staff who, through the quality of the design, can use the machine efficiently and easily. 

On display are more than 20 examples of the studio’s work, including the sewing machine for Pfaff, with interim stages in the design process to show how a final design is developed and graphic information panels setting out that design process.

Till en älskad vän - For a beloved friend - shows paintings, film and sculpture by Karin Auran Frankenstein including Akt 1-17, a painting with crystal glaze on porcelain and sculptures incorporating clocks.


Industridesign, Hur Svårt kan set vara?

Till en älskad vän

Both exhibitions from 27 September to 2 November 2014

Form Design Center, Lila torg 9, 211 34 Malmö