Our research trip to Sweden is now reaching its conclusion. Its been an wonderful experience – enlightening, productive, and enjoyable. In preparing the grant application and subsequent research prior to coming over here, I knew Sweden was rich in industrial artifacts as well as thoughtful modern design. My experiences here have proven that design is pervasive, and valued by society as a whole. As people value good design, so good design, at any scale, values people. From a utensil to a neighborhood, it is clear that the way people engage the object or the space was deeply considered. This understanding includes Sweden’s industrial artifacts, which are often solidly constructed, well-proportioned, and carefully detailed, beautiful objects but valued even more due to their importance as physical evidence of Sweden’s industrial and cultural heritage. Preserving this heritage and the integrity of the building’s character is of equal importance to the contemporary reinhabitation of the artifact, creating public space that engages visitors with each other and with their shared history.
For more detailed information and analysis on the 4 primary projects, please read my report, produced for the Swedish Institute.