Scan Magazine, Issue 105, October 2017

Page 110

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Sweden

Architecture with a higher meaning If thinking outside the box would be a literal term, Codesign would be a very good example of its meaning. With a tireless focus on inclusive architecture, a not-forprofit research studio digging deeper into the human values, and a recently launched brand studio, Codesign could be the architecture firm of the future. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Per Ranung

“We talk about ourselves as an architecture firm – not an architect firm. It’s architecture we’re concerned with, not the profession as such.” Elin Lervik is candid and incredibly focused as she talks about Codesign, her place of work for the past five years, where she is now head of marketing, communication and PR. “I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I ended up here, and I’ve found that there’s a very specific reason why I started working at Codesign. It’s all about a higher meaning.” 110  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

Growing up, Lervik started working early on for pocket money. With hindsight, she says, it is clear that the entrepreneurial spirit was always there. “There were Shetland ponies on the neighbour’s farm, so I walked over and asked if I could set up a pony riding school. From the age of 12, I ended up running weekend classes for a number of years, splitting the profits 50/50 with the owner,” she recalls. Upon graduating from Kalmar University with a degree in media management, she applied for two jobs and was offered both.

“I managed to convince the first start-up in Sweden to offer experience gift cards in shops to take me on as head of marketing,” she explains. “It was all about realising this new vision, building the brand from scratch. I was sitting in this tiny basement office, we had no money and I barely knew what I was doing – but I learnt loads.” After three years of fighting off competitors with massive marketing budgets, Lervik was ready to move on. “I started at Struktur as a marketing assistant, and in just seven years, we grew from 29 staff to 140.” That was when Peter Ullstad called. He had a dream of a new kind of architecture firm, and he was adamant that a good head of marketing would be essential for his new venture to attract the right kind

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