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Anna Engström, en svensk designer i USA


I dagens "Great Blogs" möter vi svenska Anna Engström som har bloggen Red house design. En skön blogg, med härlig mix. Tusen tack för intervjun, Anna! Ha en underbar sommar och må Du drömma om alla röda hus med vita knutar som finns på andra sidan Atlanten.

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Pethra: You are not only a blogger, but first of all a designer. Please describe your design style and what objects you design.

Anna: I work as a product designer for a small consultancy, meaning I design consumer products for whomever our client is. It can be anything from a toothbrush to a piece of furniture. That's the exciting thing about being part of a consultancy, you are constantly exposed to new companies, brands, products and new consumers. 

Pethra: What is your opinion about designtrends?

Anna: I have a very optimistic outlook on our future and much of it is related to design. Finally, I feel that we have gotten to a point where we understand the impact that we have on our surroundings, our resources, and others. And we are realizing that we can change our habits, and ways of being to become more considerate while still staying efficient and not compromising our end goal. Design has become a way of finding these new ways, of helping us change our habits....for the better. There is a lot of movement....and design will be a strong influencing factor. In fact, it will be a very valuable tool for us in the future, even more so than what it is today.

Pethra: Any favourite designers? Who inspires you?

Anna: Oh, there are so many, and they come and go. I am constantly searching for new sources of inspiration. no, there's not a big Hollywood designer of mine that I aspire to, I actually prefer to avoid the big names and look for inspiration on a smaller level, in every blog that I visit, in new artists I find, local talent, and in my heritage. recently I have felt particularly inspired by the Swedish heritage, there is so much there to mine from. And being a Swede and all, nature is probably the only constant source of inspiration.

Pethra: What is your education, how did you become a designer?

Anna: I was actually one of the lucky ones who realized already at age 15 what I wanted to do for a living. I've always felt that design is more just a part of who I am, rather than something I just do. At Polhemsgymnasiet in Gothenburg [Göteborg] there was an industrial design program available already at high school level. So, I moved to the city and started my second year of high school in that program. I knew from the start that it was the right thing for me.

After graduation, I took some time off to consider my options. I knew what I wanted to do, but wasn't sure where I wanted to go. There was HDK and Chalmers [two Universities in Gothenburg, with design programs] just around the corner, and other great programs north and south in the country. But I think I was looking for a different challenge. And I decided I wanted to study abroad. The options were wide open from the beginning, but it quickly narrowed down to a few schools in the US. I came to visit Boston, and felt very at ease and comfortable with the city.

I spent my four university years in the industrial design program at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. And have loved every day. Today I call this my home. This will be my sixth year in Boston, and I hope to stay. 


Pethra: Three positive things about Swedish design?

Anna: Three!! you're making this impossible for me! *smile*. My list could go on forever. Well, this ties back to future trends a little bit. I think our thinking in Scandinavia has always been a bit ahead of the rest. If I were to choose three words it would be thoughtfulness, resourcefulness, and innovation. We've always managed to create efficient and functionally innovative products, taking a very practical approach. Always keeping in mind, our environment, the user and considering the full experience, from beginning to end. This makes for very thoughtful and respectful products.

And the first word that comes to mind for most people when thinking of Swedish design is maybe simplicity? I think this comes from our resourcefulness of being aware of our diminishing resources, making the most of every part, always using only what is necessary. But still never have to compromise for the end goal and always delivering beautiful and functional products. I would like to see the rest of the world learn a bit from the Scandinavian thinking on design. 

Pethra: What is the common opinion of Swedish design in the US, according to what you have noticed?
Anna: I think we are very fortunate, Swedish design has a very good reputation in most corners of the world, and it is definitely no less present here in the US. And many people are familiar and somewhat educated about Swedish design. It has definitely been to my advantage to be Swedish, and sometimes I think I am believed to just have it in my blood, and maybe I do somehow, I don't think I would know that myself.

But growing up in Sweden where every element of our every day is so much more carefully thought through, where design is something that's on every ones mind, a part of every day, not just for designers and those in the business. I am, of course, aware of a what a great impact that's had on myself and my approach to design. 
 

Pethra: Do you have any current or upcoming projects?

Anna: Well there are always projects at work keeping me busy for most of the day. And at home my studio desk is covered with paintings, fabric scraps and much more, waiting for my attention. Oh, there's so much I would like to do! I dream up new projects every week, go buy the supplies needed and then never get to them.
 
But highest on my list right now, as I have shared a little bit of on my blog, is working on creating these patterns that would be a modern and personal approach to traditional Swedish kurbits patterns. I hope to share much of this process with my readers on my blog. The project is still in the early stages, and given that it is the summer time and most of my free time these days are spent at the beach....we'll see when there is an update for you on this. *smile*


Pethra, Thank you so much for letting me participate and be involved in your blog, you are one of my many sources of inspiration and particularly influential as I feel connected and updated on the Swedish culture through you. Thank you for a wonderful blog!


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Kommentarer
Postat av: Kix

Återigen en trevlig intervju. Kul att se att det går så bra att lyckas utomlands och att hon värnar om det svenska.

2007-07-03 @ 09:01:28
URL: http://kixkoll.blogg.se
Postat av: Hannele

Verkligen kul.

Postat av: art[e]fact

Kul att få läsa! Spännande!

2007-07-03 @ 18:40:00
URL: http://artefact.blogg.se
Postat av: Jeanette

Varför är inte intervjun på svenska?

2007-07-04 @ 13:20:20
Postat av: Pethra på Inredningsbloggen

Jeanette; För att Annas blogg är på engelska och även hennes amerikanska läsare skulle få kunna läsa den. Alternativet hade varit att ha både svenskaoch engelska, men det hade blivit så långt. Dessutom är de flesta svenskar väl bevandrade inom engelska språket och det är ju ingen svår engelska i intervjun.

2007-07-04 @ 19:51:00
URL: http://inredningsbloggen.blogg.se

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