Swedish Design Leaders on Startup Tour – Visited Companies Leveraging Design for Commercial Success

The design community visited three Swedish companies. Among them, the startup Stilride with their own tech for curve folding steel. Image credit: Emma Viberg/Techarenan.

Around 40 of Sweden’s most prominent designers connected to the tech and industrial sector met again for the first time since the pandemic broke in 2020.

The meetup was arranged by Teknikföretagen (the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries) and the program included three stops at three Swedish companies, in different industries and phases, with the common denominator of having design subtly built-in to the core.

First off, the participants headed to The Royal Institute of Technology’s estates in the outskirts of central Stockholm. Here Exeger is housing one of two production sites for its in-house developed solar cells, the Powerfoyle, possible to integrate with a broad spectrum of consumer electronics.

CEO and Founder, Giovanni Fili, greeted the design community with a walkthrough of the company and some product showcasing including self-powered headphones and remote controls among others.

The solution that has gotten widely recognized in form of awards and nominations, including Stora Designpriset 2020, now reborn as the Grand Award of Design. Something closely linked to the tour, as the jury members for the award had their first meeting in connection to the meetup.

First stop at Exeger. CEO and Co-Founder Giovanni Fili (to the left) showcased some of the products integrated with the company’s solar cells.

Next stop at Finnboda in Nacka, a 20+ minute bus ride through Stockholm, revealed the premises of sportswear company Houdini, imbued with a sustainability approach connected to a principled design strategy.

In the office, with industrial ancestry, the Head of Design & Product Jesper Danielsson manifested how Houdini works to become 100 percent circular in the infamous clothing industry, at the same time as maintaining durable and timeless design.

Jesper Danielsson, Head of Design & Product at Houdini, elaborated on the company’s large commitment of being a sustainable example in the clothing industry.

Swedish technology and design

The journey then continued in Nacka along the shoreline of Stockholm’s archipelago, to Swedish startup Stilride.

The company has developed their own technology for curve folding steel, Stilfold, conceptualized in a one-piece frame for an electric motorcycle. A childhood dream for Founder Tue Beijer and his Co-Founder, CEO Jonas Nyvang.

In the office with an in-house workshop the designer community got to touch and feel the potential of the technology, both in different areas of usage, and in design possibilities.

The design leaders got to try out Stilride’s self-invented machine for curve folding steel.

The day ended with a talk about the links between the music industry and design by the well-known music journalist, Jan Gradvall.

The presentation revisited some of the most (and sometimes least) famous album covers in modern music history with the conclusion that music and design, sound and vision, sometimes is the same thing.

Music journalist Jan Gradvall talking about legendary artist David Bowie’s different personas during his career, and how visual design was a large part of that development.

Johannes Lundberg

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