Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Report from Designboost

Digital Media student Johanna Boäng visited Designboost , that took place between the 17th and 19th of october in Malmö. Here is her story on the event:

As a student of Digital Media at Hyper Island in Karlskrona, I was invited to go to Malmö last week to take part in Designboost, a new, annual meeting between different types of practitioners within the international design industry.

It is a new concept on the Swedish design market, where participants spend day one on the boost meetings to discuss current issues (this year focusing on sustainable design), day two at the boost chats, and day three visiting the boost show. The boost meeting are open to invitation only, while the boost chats and boost show are open to the public.

Designboost is an initiative by David Carlson, who works as an consultant with design and brand development issues, and Peer Eriksson, who has his own communications agency, together with City of Malmö and Region Skåne.

- It’s important to look upon things from a new perspective and be given a push forward, which is exactly what the word boost means. When it comes to sustainable design it’s likely that things need to be questioned. Since the world is constantly changing and the maps rewritten it’s impossible to sit around and wait, says Peer Eriksson.

-There are plenty of design events in Sweden. We want to create a different and unique arrangement that will function as a creative arena and meeting point that gathers people, companies, organisations, institutions and schools that all work with design, in one way or another, David Carlson says.

Personally I had a very exciting three days, and I feel very fortunate I got the opportunity to attend. The first day, the boost meetings, were held at the top two floors of the Turning Torso tower in Malmö. We were 10 groups with 7 participants in each (though at least one person was absent in each group), having discussions in three rounds of 2 hours and 15 minutes each, changing groups for each round. My three groups got to discuss the following subjects:

” Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want. How can the consumers best use this power to take active part in the development of a sustainable future?”, “How can we use design to create a sustainable society?” and “How can we define sustainable design?”.

The second day took place at Europaporten, and consisted of a number of interesting lectures, most of them 18 minutes long, and some of them extended to about 40 minutes. It gave a new dimension to the meetings the previous day, especially as many of the people talking had been in my discussion groups. It was a day full of inspiration and interesting view-points.
The Thursday was concluded with dinner at the beautiful town hall of Malmö where we could continue conversation, before some headed back to their home countries and others to the after party at a nearby night club.

On the Friday the boost show opened at Fridhemstorget in Malmö, displaying different types of products that have been produced with a sustainable future in mind. Entrance to this exhibition is free, and if you happen to visit Malmö before its closing day November 17, you really should check it out.

What did I get out of this experience myself? Well, it opened up my thinking to new possibilities for the design of the future, rather than restrictions, and I feel highly inspired. I added to the philosophy of my own design work a kind of fourth dimension. Instead of as usual thinking in 2D or 3D when designing, why not think in 4D? Sustainable design starts with a sustainable thought process, and a long-term perspective.
Cheers to David and Peer for their work with Designboost!

Johanna Boäng

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