Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design

The design is probably what Sweden is mostly known for – from Scandinavian design in general to Ikea in particular. To learn about Swedish design, we set off the Swedish Center for Architecture and Design neighboring the Modern Museum and indeed learned even more than we expected. The Center does not have an entrance fee which is why the experience is even more precious.

Probably the major idea of the design exhibition is to show the regularities of the design and the difficulties for those people who do not fall into the category of “regular” with it. The Center, however, provides the solutions for some of such cases.
What is certainly known to many is that the design is very gendered. Toys, home appliances, apparel – everything should be either feminine or masculine.
swedish design

Did you know that all the office chairs made by Ikea have traditional male names, while the textiles have traditional female names? Why the handles of kitchen mixers are so mild and the handles of drills are so brutal? What if a designer decides to exchange them?

This piece which seemed a bit too much at first made a lot of sense after reading its description.

medical examinations for men

This is a conceptual product for general medical examinations for men, designed on the principles of how women experience the gynecologist chair. It is not designed as a market object, but as something to generate understanding. It is cold, hard, rickety, and places the patient in an uncompromising examination position. It also highlights the absence of regular examination for men: andrology is much less known than its female counterpart gynecology.
More than that, we have never realized how racist people are in the design. All the nude-colored products are actually for white people – bandages, lingerie, cosmetics…

Did you know that if you search for “hand”, “leg”, or any other body part on google, you will get to see the images of white body first and foremost? The activist campaign is now encouraging people to click on the non-white images so that to influence the google optimizing mechanism to start showing that white people are not the first and foremost by including more non-white images into the top of what we see.

This installation tells about the action in the center of Gothenburg when the entire parking lot was marked as parking reserved for handicapped. The goal of the activists was to illustrate the injustice in that 60-90% of Sweden’s city centers are wholly or partially inaccessible and so that the drivers would experience what is inaccessibility.
handicap parking

A person who has the ability to walk does not know what it is like to wear regular jeans for a person in a wheelchair. The waist band presses the body in the front and creates a gap between the body and the jeans in the back. These jeans have been constructed and designed for the seating body.
jeans for a person in a wheelchair

These are the solutions for religious women employed at various positions requiring uniform. They were designed 6 years ago, first for the veiled Swedish police officers. Since then the aim of the designed uniform was to provide Muslim women who wear a veil with the opportunity to find employment in the professions not available for them, as the traditional working clothes does not meet their need to wear a veil.
religious uniform

This top is for all Swedish fire service personnel irrespective of their sexual identity. It does not only support breasts, but also has functions such as measuring pulse and body temperature.
Swedish fire service

Fashion can be a very effective way to criticize the political structures and symbols. The bomber jacket raised most of discussions since it was designed for the generation of children of migrants.
migrants bomber jacket

migrants bomber jacket

migrants t-shirt

This desk is supposed to show whether the object – the piece of furniture – can inherently represent resistance, articulate the criticism of norms.
design furniture

This installation is based on the idea of creating the meeting place for female friendship and feminist safety – a place of safety where experiences can be shared.
feminist safety

Designer Maja Fredin challenges both the images of the female body that she learned to relate to during her childhood and the underwear market as a power system driven by reproducing the image of women’s bodies as incomplete in themselves.
Maja Fredin

This piece challenges the dualism between people and machines. The human heart is a strong symbol that distinguishes humans from the machines; nevertheless, there are situations in which the heart cannot survive without the machine – the pacemaker.
dualism between people and machines

But let us finish here and let you enjoy many other objects in the Center yourself. It is so much about the principle of Swedish design, and more than that – Swedish society, that it may be more of a must that the National Museum.
Still, if you are up for a more traditional exhibition, have a look on the other part of the center – telling about Swedish architecture.
Swedish architecture

Finally, take a look at Hi-group of craftsmen exhibition: they were famous for the furniture design in 1950s. By the way, if you have not noticed, people are not obsessed by Scandinavian design as they used to be, and the design of the 1950s is now back to fashion. Check it out!
furniture design in 1950

No Comments

Leave a Comment