Sweden: land of salted liquorice, less Viking paraphernalia than one might expect, and clean, sleek design.
We spent last Monday and Tuesday working in Linköping, a municipality in Sweden about two hours by train from Gothenburg (or in Swedish, Göteborg), with colleagues at Junedalsskolan to explore how our app might support the young people that they teach. The Swedish educational ethos of independence pairs well with our mission to empower our users to do more for themselves. Translating our “How to make a bed” video into Swedish with help from students and staff was the highlight of our visit.
After school, we toured the local community, got to know the locals and took Instagram-friendly shots of inspirational architecture, perfectly formed objects, and other examples of Swedish creativity and minimalist design. Tom’s fascination with design began in Year 4. The lucky winner of a raffle prize, he chose How Stuff Works out of a pile of possible prizes. He took it on every holiday. It was all about design, and kicked off a life of scanning his surroundings for examples of functionality in an aesthetically pleasing package.
For us, if it’s not functional, it’s not fashionable; this is how Tom’s justified buying 11 jackets, but that’s for a different blog post. We like simple solutions that are driven by functionality; when you wonder why something hasn’t always been made that way, you’ve got a good indicator that you’re looking at a piece of soon-to-be classic design. We hope that we’ve created that experience in How Do I?.