Categories: All, Community design, Creativity, Design, Event

Hi! Just when you thought that I have disappeared from the blog world I am here again with a new post. It has been a long time since my latest post, I know. It has happened so much, and I have not had the time.

A lot of my effort has been focused on the Swedish Association of Designers, where I have been the Chairman since 2011. We have been developing the organization and I have been around at meetings with ministries and institutions, and representing in Sweden and abroad. Besides the nordic countries I have been to Hong Kong for the Swedish partnership in one of the biggest design conferences in the world – BODW – Business of Design Week. I was invited among the honored guests and participated also as one of the moderators; I was responsible for the sustainable design session with keynotes from Catarina Midby and Margareta van den Bosch from H&M, Hans Hassle from Plantagon, Kristoffer Hansén from Scania and C.L. Lam from Hong Kong based Green and Associates. The whole week gathered around two hundred swedes in Hong Kong and BODW had about 100.000 vistors. It was a huge success! Thank you General Consulate of Sweden and Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Read more about the Swedish partnership at and

I am also proud to tell that I am member of the board at Form/Design Center in Malmö since one year. During 2014 opened up to work in the Malmö-Öresund region. It is one of the most interesting and dynamic regions in Europe right now; a hot spot for design and creativity. I am very happy that we grasped this opportunity to live and work at another place, it is very inspiring and enriching. This doesn’t mean that the studio in Västervik is closed, I have kept my office and workshop there as well. At the moment we have a house in Västervik and a flat in Malmö.

Since beginning of 2015 I am more in Västervik again. The reason is that I had a new born that arrived in February! I have also accepted an offer from the municipality of Västervik to work half-time as project manager for urban development projects. It is very interesting and I learn a lot from being involved into these contexts. I can contribute with new perspectives, and I can have use from my skills within creativity management, design processes and sustainability. It is a lot about adding methods for co-creation and to enhance the dialogue and communication within urban planning projects. It is a lot of interesting projects going on. So far I have led the work for a new street and I am working right now on a square.

There has been so much happening so I can not write about it all here. As the last thing I will just briefly inform you a bit what is going on with me and Iceland. I have been there many times now, and the visits has become more often. During 2014 Design March I was a part of a group who exhibited the results from a design initiative in Utah, USA. We focused on design for Small Communities. We also held a seminar and a workshop in Hannesarholt in Reykjavik. It is an initiative from the group Designers & Forests where I am one of the co-founders, established in 2013. We were starting up an dialogue on how design can be used as a method and a process for sustainable development. We presented the work process that we have developed; EXPLORE-REFLECT-RESPOND. All the participants on the seminar was invited to take part in some exercises that we had prepared. This initiative will be followed by other projects with a similar approach; next one starts now in end of July and beginning of August 2015 in the forests and communities of upper State of New York. More info

Anyhow, it was Iceland I was about to tell more about. Since 2014 I have two new commissions connected to Iceland. One of them is to develop a couple of new series of lamps for a lamp company. I am working on this with my dear friend and colleague Kristjan Kristjansson who is a Lighting Designer and lives in Reykjavik. During Design March 2015 we were exhibiting the prototype af a new lamp – the Puzzle lamp. It will soon be out on the market. We also showed the conceptual Hollow lamp that is very much appreciated and we have got a lot of attention from. More info about the lamp designs will come during fall 2015.

The main project that I am working on in Iceland is Afangastadurinn Austurland – Destination Austurland. It is a destination design project where eight municipalities in east Iceland have agreed on collaboration for developing a common destination platform. Austurland is the region of esat Iceland. It is a spectacular region. Fantastic nature, fjords, wildlife, culture, a lot to see and do and very nice people. I am very happy to be involved in this initiative. The tourism is one of the new primary industries of Iceland, and a lot of effort is being put into the sector in national contexts. Austurland is now one of the regions who takes the lead are pioneers in many ways. The focus for the initiative is to strengthen the attractiveness and competiveness of the destination, and to create a framework for long term, sustainable and profitable growth for the tourism industry. The focus is also on regional development, and on the well-being of communities and residents. The initiative intends to establish a community movement and a framework for destination development. Everyone are invited to get involved. Methods being used aims for co-creation, dialogue and communication throughout the whole process. Áfangastaðurinn Austurland is initiated by FAUST – Ferðamálasamtök Austurlands, and run by Austurbrú.

As I already said, it is hard to update about everything that is going on. This is enough for now. I promise that next blogpost will come soon.


Categories: All, Community design, Design, Design Management, Event, Meeting

Design that engage people and develop communities – that was the heading when Daniel Byström from DBD/Design Nation was invited as key note speaker at Business Swedens event; Scandinavian Light and Design in Vienna November 7th 2013. Arranged together with the Swedish and Norwegian Embassies. About 500 registered guests was attending the event that was held in fantastic Semperdepot – Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. The guests was architects, designers, purchasers. Among the other speakers were norwegian designer Vibeke Skar and  Sweden’s Ambassador to the United States 2007-2013 Jonas Hafström. Participating exhibitors was Swedish and Norwegian producers of furnitures and lightnings.


Except of showing the characteristics of nordic design aesthetics, Daniel talked about our way of design thinking, the reasons and methods when working in design processes. He explained what community design is about, and how it always must be a sustainability focus in several layers in every design project. In his role as chairman of the Swedish Association of Designers, Daniel also showcased good design examples from contributed from Swedish design studios. There were 65 examples containing everything from sustainable products, concepts, fashion, graphic designs, packaging, services. The speak was focusing on the question – What can design do?  The question isn’t what design is, but what design can do. Designers are practitioners of an applied process of creative skills; researching, analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing and then conceptualizing, testing and communicating solutions. We live in a world full of opportunities. Design can be used to connect to people, engage and develop communities and regions. How do we utilize the creativity of the community? How do we create shared visions? How do we make real sustainable products and environments?

Categories: Community design, Creativity, Design, Design Management, Meeting

Daniel Byström Design / Design Nation participated on the conference – Make it Happen 25-28 September 2012. Daniel was one of the keynote speakers on the topic Destination Design and he also lead a full day workshop for the community of East Iceland. The audience was creative thinkers from East Iceland and also many international attendees, well renowned specialists within design and regional development. More about the project – and

Here is a film about the conference by Alice Masters:

Make It Happen – Creative Thinking Conference in East Iceland from Disegno magazine on Vimeo.

Categories: All, Community design, Creativity, Design, Meeting

It has been a lot focusing on Scandinavian Design for me lately. Last week I was in a article in Svenska Dagbladet, a national newspaper, answering some questions about the Scandinavian Design Alliance. It had an immediate ripple effect with a lot of positive feedback! Here is the article - And also one more from another newspaper -

Also last week our friends from east Iceland visited us at Nässjö Lärcentrum. Creative Communities, is a project where we exchange knowledge and learn from each other. This time we were focusing at the school in Nässjö and the eductions in design and product development, also sharing knowledge about wood manufacturing.

We visited A2 Design in Husqvarna, STANDARD Design in Jönköping and the Master’s Design program at Jönköping School of Engineering. Some of the group were visiting other wood related industries and small saw mills. To end up with we had this workshop about identifying East-Icelandic design.

Here is a video clip from the visit broadcasted by the Swedish Television.

Categories: All, Community design, Design

In the beginning of this year I was working with destination design in Dalarna aka. Dalecarlia – a very nice place to visit. I was working together with Lisa Hellberg, landscape architect from Grontmij and Sara Tunheden, designer from Interactive Institute. Together we made a pilot study and some design proposals.

It is nice to see some of the concepts has been implemented. I have not been able to visit the area since I made the design for this sign, but a friend of mine was passing through Leksand recently and kindly enough sent this photo from the car.



Categories: All, Community design, Design

From the workshop, City Move Interdesign in Gellivare Sweden, where I was involved earlier this year, the work has continued and I have now some uplifting news. The City Move is in progress!

This Monday the municipality formally decided to begin the Vision and planning project ”New Gellivare”. The project is the result of the municipality and LKAB deciding to work more jointly on the future of Malmberget and Gellivare. The project itself however is of course owned and controlled by the municipality.

The project will have two phases. The first is a vision phase, where a clear image of the future city will be developed. Citizens, local business will be brought into this process, beginning this fall. This phase can be thought of as co-design of a programme. The second phase is the more traditional planning process of taking the consequences of the vision and programme. The vision phase is scheduled to finish during fall of 2010. The whole project will end in 2012.

The City Move Workshop made two very important contributions in making this happen. The first was to show a vast number of possibilities, which helped people realize that there are far more options than they thought earlier. The other was the strong emphasis on the need for more collaboration between the municipality, LKAB and other parties.

Icsid congratulates the participants involved in the workshop, these are some of the fastest and most impressive results they have seen from an Interdesign since these events started in 1971, City Move is a real benchmark for future Interdesign events.

I am very happy and proud for being one of the participants contributing in City Move. Please, take a moment and have a look at these videos from our time in Gellivare/Malmberget, earlier this year!

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Categories: All, Community design, Design

During 22 of Mars to 4 of April I was participating in the City Move Interdesign in Gellivare, Sweden. Read more about the outcomes and result on this link from ICSID’s homepage.

Picture showing me and my groupmembers. From left Mr Nils Tvengsberg – Mexico/Norway, Rita Engler – Brasil, Sara Tunheden – Sweden, Daniel Byström – Sweden (me), Filippo Salustri – Canada and finally Widianto Utomo – Indonesia. Together we were ”the magenta goup”.

Instead of focusing on moving a city, our group focused on Citizens in Movement. Our findings dealed with how the people of Gellivare/Malmberget can get included and engaged in the moving process, and also engaging as well as forcing the municipality and LKAB to take a larger responsability. A united vision of tomorrow can create a positive spirit, and make the people moving forward together.

If you are interested, you can read more about the outcome from our group on this blog.

Categories: All, Community design, Design

After two weeks on ICSID interdesign in Lapland in the north of Sweden, I’m now back catching up the ordinary work. It has really been interesting collaborating with other designers, architects, engineers and experts from all over the world.  I have met a lot of new friends that I’ll keep in touch with and visit.

The project of transforming Malmberget and Gellivare has deeply engaged me. Specially when meeting the community and all the thoughts, visions and ideas. But also from understanding the needs and the problems, from the municipality, LKAB and the inhabitants.  It is a very important project, with complex problems to be solved. The work has just begun…

It has also been a visit filled with experiences;  the visit to LKAB and the  mine 1000 m below ground, Aitik with the open pit and the giant machines, the sami storytelling under a starlit sky, the visit to the icehotel, the skiing and of course – the fantastic food!!!

I want to thank everyone responsible for making this two weeks to some of the most memorable in my life…

In the long run, the result of the workshop will be used as a base for City Move Innovation Center, where Swedish and international specialists can exchange knowledge and experiences. Read more about City Move Interdesign here.





Categories: All, Community design, Design

And so, it has finally started! One of the greatest and most extraordinary design projects in Swedish history. A group of 38 people with different design competences and other professions, participants from 17 countries, 26 months of planning – now it’s time for the workshop! A city, Malmberget, Gellivare must move. The result of the workshop will be used as a base for City Move Innovation Center, where Swedish and international specialists can exchange knowledge and experiences.

The welcome in Gellivare has really been great. There are huge expectations for this project. And it should be. I am very much exited of being a part of this workshop. Everybody are excited and inspirited, and with all the expertise gathered, it will be interesting to see the ideas and visions that will come out of it.

To read more about the project see and


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