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Published: 2023-05-24 Updated: 2023-06-23, 01:16

Dancing smart homes and personalised diets at UID23

NEWS On May 30th, an international crop of young designers revealed 30-plus design concepts to the world. At UID23 | Design Talks & Degree Show, an eye-catching collection of innovations – ranging from dance-inspired communication with our smart homes, to neonatal support in refugee camp, to wearable tech for personalised diets – were unveiled.

Text: Jens Persson

Venture into the future, as up-and-coming designers from around the globe shared their visions for a different, and better, tomorrow. On May 30th, graduating students presented their degree projects during a live-streamed show at Umeå Institute of Design. The event saw students give bite-size talks on stage, showcasing their projects via 3D models and digital visualisations. The following exhibition allowed participants to engage with students and further explore their visions through physical models, installations, and video expositions.

Explore the grad projects in the UID23 | Project Gallery.

“Once again, the event is a demonstration of the strong values we hold based around collaboration, people, and our planet. Visitors and online viewers were able to join us in witnessing our students’ innovative work that stretches the limits of creativity and imagination. This year, they have embarked on a transformative journey, exploring the boundaries of sustainability and design as a responsible practice. With great pride, we unveil their ingenious proposals and profound perspectives on tackling the difficult challenges facing our modern society”, says Demian Horst, Head of Institute.

Preparing to make waves

As the world of design turned its gaze towards Umeå, graduating students prepared to make waves, intent on driving positive change through design. The visionary projects showcased during UID23 embody the essence of societal transformation, tackling both social and environmental challenges head-on. Visitors and on-line particpants alike had their curiosity piqued by a diverse range of captivating concepts, including the green digitization of small-scale agriculture, the reimagining of social encounters on sustainable ferries, and thought-provoking digital experiences that could pave the way for a fossil-free internet.

I wanted to move away from designers creating each interaction.

Amanda Wallgren, graduating from the MFA Programme in Interaction Design, used choreography and dancing in the design process to examine our relationship with our digital devices at home, with the aim to create more humanistic interactions.

“I wanted to move away from designers creating each interaction, to instead suggest that we might create the tools to empower users in utilising their own personal ways of moving. The proposal is a "Choreographic Interface" that, in different ways, turns the home into a place that encourages, empowers, and elevates personal movement languages by visualising opportunities for moving in fun, playful and creative ways”, says Amanda Wallgren.

Each year, the global reach of Umeå Institute of Design allows the school to attract students from all corners of the world. Along with an international network of collaborators within research, industry and civil society, the annual grad show has become a place where new trends are born, sparking discussions on where design is headed. For UID23, representatives from multinational corporations such as Nokia, BMW, PayPal, LEGO, and Huawei travelled to Umeå to follow up collaborations with students, to view demonstrations and portfolios, and to recruit the next generation of industrial designers.

Se the live stream.