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Published: 2009-05-27

Design for the future at the Umeå Institute of Design

NEWS Economic crisis, global warming, catastrophes, sustainable development and accessibility. Great challenges must be faced by future designers. With this theme, the Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University will host an international event UID Design Talks on 3-4 June. On this occasion some thirty graduating design students will exhibit their degree projects.

– UID Design Talks is our contribution to the dialogue within society. Our aim is to create an arena where students, professionals from various design fields, business people, researchers and politicians meet to discuss the significance that design and designers will have in the future, explains Tapio Alakörkkö, head of department at the Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University (UID).
The theme of the third annual event is Design for the future – The future of design.

Six speakers with different specialist qualifications will take part: the British design historian and professor, Penny Sparke, who has written several books on twentieth-century design; the industrial designer Maria Bengtzon from the Swedish design consultancy Ergonomidesign, which has been one of the pioneers in the field of “Design for everyone”; Uta Brandes, German professor in gender and design; the interaction designer Ben Cerveny from Stamen Design, USA who has specialized in experience design; an expert on the history of ideas, Eva Friman, Uppsala University who is a researcher in ecological economics and sustainable production and consumption; and Lena Berglin, the Swedish School of Textiles Borås, who does research on the subject Interactive Textile Structures.

In conjunction with UID Design Talks, the projects of the Umeå Institute of Design’s graduating students will also be exhibited. Among this year’s degree projects solutions can be found for everyday problems and problems in the community, challenging thoughts about the automobile industry in the future and the consumer society of today, as well as how will we manage our identity when everything becomes public on the Internet.

The exhibition will present everything from prototypes with multi-touch technology for the next generation’s magnetic resonance imaging and aids for children with cognitive disabilities to design solutions for how to motivate increased cycling. Most of the degree projects have been conducted together with external sponsors such as Microsoft, Philips, the municipality of Umeå, HumLab, Electrolux, Husqvarna, Nishiki, the Association of Retired Persons in Sweden, Västerbotten’s County Council, and Norrland’s University Hospital.

Among the 38 graduating students there are 17 nationalities and several of the students have already received awards of achievement for their design work. At UID, students gain knowledge and receive training in the industrial designer profession and each year 15 students are accepted to the three-year Bachelor’s programme in Industrial design, and 10 to 15 students are accepted to each of the three-year Master’s programmes: Advanced Product design, Interaction Design and Transportation Design. These Master’s programmes are taught in English and students from all over the world apply. Over 60% of the Master’s students come from countries other than Sweden. The study programmes at UID are highly regarded internationally and 90% of those graduated gain positions in the field of industrial design upon completion of their education. Umeå Institute of Design was honoured with the prestigious distinction “Centre of Excellence in Higher Education” by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education in the autumn 2008.
– The Artistic campus at Umeå University which currently is being built up around the UID, the School of Fine Arts, the School of Architecture, HumLab and Bildmuseet will certainly be a unique and forceful artistic unit that is expected to resound internationally, states Bengt Palmgren, principal of the Umeå Institute of Design.

UID Design Talks: Complete program with speakers and titles at: http://www.dh.umu.se/designtalksDegree Exhibition 2009: A presentation of all the degree projects and image maps can be found at:

The exhibition is open to the public 8-17 June 2009Opening hours: Monday 2 pm to 8 pm, Tuesday 2 pm to 6 pm, Wednesday 2 pm to 8 pm, Thursday and Friday 2 pm to 6 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.Place: The Umeå Institute of Design, Östra Strandgatan 30, Umeå.
You can find a map at: http://www.dh.umu.se/default.asp?ML=10478

For further information please contact:Tapio Alakörkkö, head of department at the Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå UniversityPhone: +46 (0)90-786 98 35, +46 (0)73-620 51 51
E-mail: Tapio.Alakorkko@dh.umu.se

High-definition press photos for publication can be obtained by contacting: Fredrik NilssonPhone: +46 (0)70-633 53 57
E-mail: fiknon01@student.umu.se


Editor: Karin Wikman