Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Architecture and Design – Sweden
Light Bureau’s project Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant. Photo: Tomasz Majewski
A sustainable future – for generations to come With innovative design solutions for urban environments, workspaces and residential projects, to mention a few, AFRY helps accelerate the transition towards a sustainable society. By Malin Norman
AFRY is a global engineering, design and advisory company. In 2019, Swedish ÅF and Finnish Pöyry joined forces under the new name, with almost 17,000 experts covering infrastructure, industry, energy and digitalisation – creating sustainable solutions for generations to come. In architecture and design, the group has more than 500 designers, under a palette of brands within architecture, acoustic design, lighting design, product design, digital design, industrial design and user- experience design. The same year as the merger, AFRY commissioned YouGov to conduct a survey of more than 5,000 people aged 18 to 35 in six European countries to find out what they want in terms of future cities. During the autumn of 2021, a follow-up 94 | Issue 136 | November 2021
survey was conducted, showing the same result. “What was clear before the pandemic and is still true, is that the young generation prefers mid-size cities to mega cities,” says Helena Paulsson, VP and Head of BA Architecture and Design.
More than half of the respondents prefer to live in a community with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, and they value sustainability highly. One explanation could be that it’s easier to get the life puzzle to match up without long commutes and high living costs, and while being closer to nature. “This is a renaissance for smaller cities, and we are looking at how we can design and build future cities where people thrive and want to stay.” Inspiring acoustic design “Sound is such an interesting aspect in design and architecture. The aim is not to simply reduce noise, but to use sound as a design feature to enhance visual experiences, increase awareness of functionalities, or improve a physical space,” says Paulsson. “And our audio-branding services help companies to use the power of sound to add meaning to their products or services and increase brand awareness.”
Helena Paulsson, VP and Head of BA Architecture and Design.
Efterklang, a part of AFRY, delivers award-winning work within acoustics,