Scan Magazine, Issue 138, January 2022

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The main exhibition tells the story of IKEA. For current temporary exhibitions, go to

KÖKET restaurant is a destination in itself. Light, fresh dishes combined with new interpretations of our classic meatballs

The museum shop sells gifts, souvenirs and newly produced design classics

© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2021

Come to IKEA Museum!

IKEA Museum is a destination for everyone who’s curious about how Ingvar Kamprad from little Agunnaryd created the global company IKEA is today. It also gives you new perspectives on design and life at home. Book guided tours of exhibitions, packages including lunch and tea/coffee breaks, or stay overnight at the cosy IKEA Hotell. For more details of opening times and all our offers, go to

Scan Magazine  |  Contents


Noomi Rapace has come a long way from her dragon tattoo past. This year, she returns to cinemas as the female lead in the dark, genre-defying drama Lamb. Scan Magazine caught up with the Swedish actress about the new film, returning to Iceland, and craving connection.

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strengthen that idea of the Nordics as a familyfriendly haven. Read on to explore our favourite Norwegian children’s brands.

Noomi Rapace: ‘I Crave Connection’


If the Nordics gave parents the world over Lego, Stokke and Brio, what did the world give back? We couldn’t help but highlight three extraordinary children’s brands that are adored by parents and their children throughout Scandinavia right now.


Vitrine Cabinets, ‘It’ Jewellery, and Staying Warm



Nordic Birthing Culture and Classic Designs If Scandinavia is a parenting and gender equality mecca, why are the midwives resigning in their droves? We spoke to two hypnobirthing teachers to find out. For a touch of nostalgia, we also decided to list ten Nordic children’s product classics you simply can’t live without.


Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark If you’re due to give birth in 2022, you’ve hopefully already heard of Anja Bay. Alongside her birthing courses, brands like Manostiles, Kong Walther and Filibabba help parents in Denmark and beyond to raise their children in fun but restful and sustainable ways. We spoke to some of the pioneers in the field.



Birth, Babies and Beyond – Norway With cosy, functional bunting bags, warming wool, fun and stylish sleepwear and an ingenious babycarrier, Norwegian brands are helping to

Top Destinations to Visit in Finland in 2022 Finland can sometimes seem like an afterthought in Nordic travel guides, but don’t underestimate this country of a thousand lakes. There’s world-class food just waiting to be enjoyed, alongside beautiful nature experiences all year round…


Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022 Whether you’re looking for adventures in the snow or lakeside thrills, or you’re more of a culinary traveller or culture vulture, Sweden is sure to tick all your boxes. Here are our top-ten destinations not to miss if you visit Sweden this year.

We’ve got a jam-packed design section this month, listing delicate jewellery creations, sturdy cabinets, scented candles, stylish interior items and more. We also help you stay cool while keeping warm and suggest some ways to bring brightly-coloured fengshui into your working-from-home new normal.


Birth, Babies and Beyond – Scandi Parents Love…


The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway Is it true that beauty comes from the inside? That’s perhaps up for debate, but feeling good is paramount, if you ask some of the beauticians we spoke to for this month’s beauty clinic special. Whether you simply need skincare advice or you’re opting for the full whack with fillers and more, these are the experts to speak to in Norway.

CULTURE 116 Mythical, Historical and Linguistically Complex Nordic Drama Viking legends, Old Norse and time migrants are just some of the things you’ll get to familiarise yourself with if you watch the Nordic drama Beforeigners this year. Read our interview with the lead actors, alongside this month’s music and culture tips in the culture section.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 6 Fashion Diary  |  8 We Love This  |  100 Hotel of the Month  |  102 Attractions of the Month 106 Museum of the Month  |  107 Restaurants of the Month  |  111 Design Studio of the Month 112 Architecture Profile of the Month  |  114 Artist of the Month

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  3

Scan Magazine  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. It’s comforting, then, as we enter a new year, to remind ourselves of the things we know – things we can cling to, which won’t change anytime soon. One such thing is the Scandinavian design heritage, the praises of which we love to sing. This month, we focus in particular on children’s and maternity products, reflecting on the birthing scene in the Nordics, listing some Scandinavian children’s design classics, and exploring a few of the brands Nordic parents love the most right now. Another thing we don’t see changing anytime soon is the breadth on offer for tourists visiting Sweden, from world-class eateries and stunning pistes to lakeside experiences and, of course, delicious ‘fika’. In this issue, like in every January issue, we list our favourite destinations to help you decide where in Sweden to go this year.

That Swedish Hollywood darling Noomi Rapace returns to the screen with another stunning performance appears to be another thing we can almost always take for granted, and for this month’s cover star interview, we got to find out about the actress’s need for connection, her links to Iceland, and the latest film she stars in. As a bonus, this issue features another star-studded screen feature, as we went to learn about Beforeigners, the linguistically complex, historically rich Nordic tale featuring a-listers from all across Scandinavia. In other words, whether you’re in for the biggest ride of your life with a new arrival in the family this year, you’re planning mountain-side thrills, or you prefer your adventures in fiction form on the screen, we’ve got you covered. And we bet that, by the time we write to you again next month, things will already have started to feel that bit more certain again. Until then, here’s something to cling to. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Linnea Dunne, Editor


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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… With puffer jackets and chunky tracking boots back in fashion this season, you’re encouraged to dress up for the great outdoors and embrace winter fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re an outdoorsy person or not, as long as the gear makes you feel and look the part. These Scandinavian outdoor winter garments work perfectly for skiing, sledging or hiking, and adapt easily to any urban everyday occasion. By Åsa H. Aaberge  |  Press photos

With a cropped, puffy silhouette, the lightweight Naos down jacket from Norwegian Fleischer Couture is a versatile jacket suitable for outdoor fun as well as daily life. The voluminous shape makes the jacket equally elegant over ski trousers as it looks with jeans. Fleischer Couture, Naos jacket, €320

Balaclava, snood, hat – call it what you like, but do consider wearing it this winter. You won’t regret it, as it’s arguably this season’s most warming and comfortable trend for all ages. Top off your skiing outfit with a cute and luxurious wool hat from Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen, and you are ready to hit the slopes. Cecilie Bahnsen, Gigi hat, €300

The long, ribbed endings on the cashmere mittens from Danish Skall Studio are perfect for tucking in under your coat sleeves, making glimpses of cold skin on the wrists a thing of the past. Cashmere Mittens, €70

The Solveig boots from Swedish Flattered are this season’s ultimate chic take on the practical hiking boot trend. The leather boots feature a solid yet flexible outsole and a soft wool lining ideal for all winter occasions. Flattered, Solveig Boots, €279

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Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary Trust a glossy puffer jacket to keep you warm with style. Norwegian brand WhiteSpace uses recycled plastic bottles and recycled down to make its products. The Bobby jacket is perfect for layering and can be worn with the Scott vest underneath on extra cold days. WhiteSpace, Bobby jacket, €699 WhiteSpace, Scott vest, €450

Supple and warm mittens made of leather – a superb all-round glove for winter from Swedish Hestra. Hestra gloves, Alpine Leather Primaloft mitten, €100

Knitted in pure wool, the Bylur high-neck jumper is going to be a warming winter favourite for years to come. The jumper from Icelandic 66°North is well-suited for hiking or skiing and is as functional as an everyday wardrobe staple. 66°North, Bylur sweater, €195

The Cryo boots from Swedish Axel Arigato offer a practical take on the classic Chelsea boot. The round toe and moulded upper sole give the wearer grip on slippery winter roads. The suede finish adds a touch of sophistication. Axel Arigato, Cryo Chelsea Low Boot, €350

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  We Love This

We Love This After December’s heady festive climax, January can feel a little drab. Yet, the New Year often ushers in a sense of rebirth and renewed focus. With the burgeoning work-from-home trend showing no sign of relenting, kill two birds with one stone by introducing some brightly coloured feng-shui. These five visual treats are guaranteed to energise your home and boost your mood. By Lena Hunter  |  Press photos

Reminiscent of the classic shapes of Grecian pottery, Ferm Living’s Verso Table Vase has an irregular, feminine form with abstract, artfully curved handles to add a modern twist. In bright blue, Verso is a playful, timeless objet d’art. Fill with your favourite flora or let it be a statement all on its own. Verso Table Vase in bright blue, €99

Louis Poulsen is the undisputed king of Scandi lighting. To celebrate the 60th birthday of one of its original icons – the PH5 pendant, created by the visionary Poul Henningsen – the design has been launched in a new range of bright, contemporary colours. Dubbed Nuances of Orange, this warm-toned statement fixture is an instant facelift for the home. Other colours include rose, rich blue, red, and pastel green. PH5 Pendant, Nuances of Orange, €845

Artist duo Campbell-Rey has teamed up with Nordic Knots on an exquisite range of distinctive, art-inspired rugs. Blending Art Deco with Gustavian style (the Swedish 18th-century take on French Neoclassicism), the patterns riff on motifs like the wreath, the folded ribbon, and heritage garden design. Garden Maze, with its lush, green tones and geometric shadows, pays homage to the formal hedged gardens of Russell Page. Each is handmade and knotted by artisans in northern India, using New Zealand wool. Garden Maze Plush Wool Rug, €695

Storied Danish design house Vipp was founded in 1939, when young metal worker Holger Nielsen designed a durable, elegant bin for his wife Marie’s hair salon. 80 years later, the Heritage Bin is a permanent fixture in Danish homes. Inspired by Nielsen’s beloved American vintage car, this limited-edition version sports an identical light-blue hue and soft lines that will brighten any kitchen corner, salon, studio or office. Classic black, white and green are also available. Vipp15 Heritage Bin, 14l, €400

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Silkeborg Uldspinderi’s candy-bright luxury throws are woven from pure baby alpaca wool at an artisanal countryside studio in the centre of Jylland, Denmark. Textiles are perhaps the simplest way to introduce a splash of personality to a room, and the stylish Lima throw in blood-red strikes a bold visual note, drawing the eye while maintaining an interior’s atmosphere of softness and security. Lima Throw, Blood Red, €214.99




Sustainable fine jewelry made in Sweden with recycled gold and your choice of lab grown or natural diamonds. Discover more in our online boutique

Made for you - made to last

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Lindebjerg Design

12  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Lindebjerg Design

Cabinets made from strong hands and a woman’s touch Lindebjerg Design specialises in vitrine cabinets, and it is their ideology of having close relationships throughout the production chain and never compromising on anything that has brought them their success. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: Lindebjerg Design

Close relationships. This term is often repeated, because it’s what matters to Lindebjerg Design – a Danish company founded in 2011 with a clear vision for their products. But it’s not just the fact that the company is run by Mona Henriksen and Annemarie Lindebjerg, mother and

Green triggers curiosity and hope. It celebrates creative minds with attitude. This dramatic petrol-green colour beautifully frames your objects and makes the cabinet truly stand out in your room.

daughter, that makes Lindebjerg Design say that family matters. “It’s true that it’s just me and my mum, but our partners in the production chain are also small, family-owned businesses,” explains Lindebjerg. “Our production COLOR COLLECTION

Henriksen and Annemarie Lindebjerg, mother and daughter.

“This is our newest edition. The eye for detail and quality are the same, but we wanted to try something new. The colours are specifically chosen from a colour palette that fits into the classic environment but still stands out and allows the cabinet to be the eye-catcher in the room. Framed in timeless, strong lines, they show your wealth of creative scenarios.”

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  13

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Lindebjerg Design

Make space for the small details that highlight the special touch of your home.

is located in Poland, where excellent carpenters perform their craft with pride. We visit the owner of the production facility and his family every year. Especially in autumn and winter, it’s a joy to meet them. That part of the year is full of cultural traditions that are fun to share with them, and it’s nice to get to wish the workers a merry Christmas.” All the production is kept in Europe, as Lindebjerg Design wants to be certain that everything lives up to their ethical codex. “Now more than ever, with the pandemic, that is important. Family matters – so why shouldn’t that reflect our products as well? We are never going to move our production elsewhere, because close relationships last a lifetime, just like our cabinets,” says Lindebjerg.


A piece of art for your porcelain, books and travel memories.

“Our first design and the beginning of Lindebjerg Design. We have refined and highlighted the expression in the design. The details refer to the traditional craftsmanship for the typical Scandinavian vitrine throughout the year.”

One-door vitrine - a timeless, classic look that fits into the modern home.

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Lindebjerg Design

DARK OAK COLLECTION “The cabinet is a stringent and upscaled version of our vitrine collection. The result is a texture and warmth that allows the delicate wood grain to show through. With this collection, we aimed for a more masculine look. The dark colour makes the details such that the brass hinges stand out.”

“When my mother came up with the idea for the cabinets, it was because she saw a gap in the market,” she continues. “She was tired of cabinets where the paint would come off, or it would quickly become outdated. It has to be the absolute right material for each cabinet, and we will never compromise on that. We pour our heart and soul into the production, and with each cabinet, whether it’s the choice of colour or the quality of the wood used, you can sense how strong hands and a woman’s touch made it all come to life.”

Left: The fine lines in the dark-stained oak structure goes hand in hand with the simplicity of the design that characterises the Nordic style. Right: Sophisticated cabinet that defines the room in which it stands. The Scandinavian tradition of working with wood comes into its own with the cabinet’s solid, yet simple expression.

Displaying yourself The cabinets are made out of the finest oak and pine, solid materials that can last forever. For Lindebjerg Design, the vitrine cabinet has always had a special place, and in recent years it seems like more and more people have realised just how significant a piece of furniture it is. “Our cabinets are defining the very room they are a part of. They break up lines and provide a feeling of recognisability with the Nordic colours and structure. We often hide stuff in our homes in cupboards or closets, but the vitrine cabinet is where we display the things that we are particularly proud of, or that have a deeper meaning to us. It’s where we display ourselves,” Lindebjerg reflects. Lindebjerg Design sells to customers and shops all over Europe, and they often receive photos through Instagram or other social media platforms, where clients post images of how they use the cabinets in their own homes. “That interaction is so precious to us,” says Lindebjerg, “and it says a lot about the close relationship we also have with our customers. We can see that our cabinets are used as a reference in the room. Given what is of-

ten inside a vitrine cabinet, it is equally important that the frame itself is also something you want to display to the rest of the world with pride.”

Web: Facebook: cabinetbylindebjergdesign Instagram: @lindebjergdesign

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  15

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  ADAMSBRO

ADAMSBRO founder, Lotta Lindsten, left a successful career in fashion to start her own interior decoration brand.

The pillow Blanket Horse is made with thick, soft velvet.

Interior decoration riding high Overnight success isn’t always the case. Unless you happen to be talking about Swedish lifestyle brand ADAMSBRO, that is. For equestrians, horse farmers and horse fanatics alike, ADAMSBRO exploded onto the interior decoration scene in 2017, with a particularly familiar theme. By John Sempill  |  Photos: ADAMSBRO

After a few trips around the fashion industry block, founder Lotta Lindsten was ready to leave it behind and challenge herself with a new business venture. It was a natural step in her career when she, in 2016, decided to swap fashion for home décor, Lindsten explains: “I had been working with fabrics for 35 years at that point and felt I should give this a go,” she says. “I put together a compendium and contacted several suppliers, basing the compendium on a specific concept. There was immediate interest, initially in China, where I was based at the time. I made a sample collection and displayed it at the trade fair Formex in February 2017. I had no product; my aim was simply to show a concept and see if it worked.” To say that it worked would be an understatement. The trade show resulted in upwards of 30 potential customers, with only a sample collection to offer at that 16  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Today, ADAMSBRO can be found all over the world. But why horses? Well, Lindsten happens to live on a horse farm and has been surrounded by horses all her life. And it so happens that Adamsbro is the name of her farm. Sometimes, the best ideas are right in front of you.

point. “So I just had to put my head down and get on with it,” Lindsten says. “Our brand is aimed towards people who are interested in horses, who are prepared to pay a little extra. We started visiting different horse events and competitions in Europe. We travelled to Holland, Germany, England, France and Dubai. It all went very quickly.” ADAMSBRO offers quality to the touch and well-thought-out design. The aim is to give a ‘wow’ feeling whenever a customer unpacks a new product from the equestrian-inspired lifestyle brand. “We always strive for perfection,” Lindsten continues. “And we try not to follow trends. The cycle in interior design is a lot longer than in fashion. In other words, it’s not possible to work like that. I get my inspiration solely from horses, the farm, and the colours around horses. I follow my gut feeling on what the consumer would like, and what I like.”

Trays and decorations galore. Note the handles made to look like horse snaffle bits.

Web: Facebook: adamsbroequestrian Instagram: @adamsbroequestrian

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  MIELKO JEWELLERY

Left: Hydra rings/Gold (6.7 carat) with tourmaline, and white gold (8.6 carat) with aquamarine, 27,499 DKK. Middle left: Saturn Ring, 11mm, 18 carat gold, 42,000 DKK. Middle right: Saturn Light bracelet in silver from 7,300 DKK. Right: Ceres eardrops 24 carat gold-plated silver chain with blue saltwater Akoya pearls from Japan, 1,799 DKK.

The ‘it’ ring of Copenhagen: handmade jewellery by MIELKO You heard it here first: Charlotte Mielko’s eponymous Copenhagen jewellery label is one of the city’s best-kept luxury secrets. By Lena Hunter  |  Photos: MIELKO JEWELLERY

MIELKO’s unique collections of rings, bracelets and necklaces pay homage to celestial bodies – moons, asteroids, planets… and, in fact, borrow some mystique from their Elysian namesakes. Though each piece draws on our ageold reverence for the heavens, Mielko’s work is far from overstated. Melding bold lines with delicate details, MIELKO JEWELLERY enthralls without overstepping, exuding a quiet opulence that has drawn a close cult following from the local fashion community. The Saturn ring “I made the Saturn ring 23 years ago,” explains Mielko. “A friend’s silver ring had caught my eye when I was working in fashion design and living in Paris. It was beautiful. I wanted to make something of my own, from the heart.” The ring quickly drew the attention of designers and models. Formed of two bands locked together by a small loop, it’s heavy and tactile – a little rock and roll – and elegantly simple.

“Colourful gems with triangles came to the festive Calypso collection, and I introduced pearls four years ago in the Ceres collection,” says Mielko.

Through word of mouth, the design spread. Birgitte Raben, of Rabens Saloner, has a Saturn ring. Italian designer Angela Missoni, too. “It’s beautiful for men and women,” says Mielko. “It’s very meditative and holistic.”

MIELKO was the first in Denmark to use light-blue Japanese Akoya pearls. “They are unbelievably beautiful,” says Mielko. She herself wears the Hydra ring – a slender band clasping a fabulous green tourmaline in gold claws.

An expanding universe

From subtle to showcase Though MIELKO ranges from subtle to showcase, the maison itself is small – and the service uncompromising. “The cornerstones are quality, personal relationships and a tangible process, so every piece is handmade in Denmark,” says Mielko.

MIELKO’s collections are little universes. After Saturn came pieces in gold, silver, black diamond, opulent tourmaline and sapphire. A line of bejewelled pendant earrings called Cassini, sumptuous cuff bracelets, and tear-drop necklaces followed. Charlotte Mielko.

Many clients have had their rings for 20 years and come back to add stones or resize – and 2022 anticipates a new constellation of designs. Simply put: “Not one kind of person buys my jewellery. It’s many types of people who want something personal.”

Web: Instagram: @mielkojewellery

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  17

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Runewood

Baldur, Elixir Vault Series, €4,167.

Sip whisky like a Bond villain with Runewood’s beautiful high-security liquor cabinet There’s something seductive about a liquor cabinet. It signifies forbidden fruit, opulence and old-school charm. By Lena Hunter  |  Photos: Runewood

Encounters with furnishings that evoke those feelings are rare. It’s even more unusual, then, to find a modern design that marries decadence with innovation, while retaining that elusive magic. But the Elixir Vault Series by Danish design studio Runewood does just that. ‘Can I pour you a drink?’ Runewood’s collection of bespoke, wall-mounted whisky cabinets is crafted with classic Scandinavian design sensibilities: high-quality oak, hand-stitched leather and smoked glass, and finished in elegant tones of Rune Red, Barrel Black or Organic Oak. A casual observer might notice the Vault cabinet’s aura of mystique: the graceful, assertive form, interrupted by a darkened panel of glass. Certainly, they’ll wonder at its contents – their curiosity stoked by the sophisticated woodgrain, lack of keyhole, and twin fingertip-sized buttons inlaid on the lower right side. 18  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

But only the owner of the Vault cabinet can know what’s inside. The latest design, named Baldur after the old-Norse god of light, is smart-secured with a six-digit code and automatic door, operated via Bluetooth. Inside is space for 12 fine bottles, two decanters and six glasses, illuminated by app-controlled lighting. Maps of the UK, Ireland and Denmark are engraved in the wood panelling, with a small Viking longship carved between them in billet aluminium. It’s no stretch to say that this is the Tracy Island of drinks cabinets; the white Persian cat and ‘I’ve been expecting you, Mr. Bond’ of hospitality. It’s traditional ceremony meets high-security technology.

Driven by founders Nicholas John Noble and Josh Adams’ backgrounds in green engineering, the brand’s every cabinet is hand-made by local craftsmen on-site or, for US buyers, at the new American outpost on the coast of Connecticut. “We created the Vault cabinet to bring people together. It’s a conversation piece – sophisticated, secure, and locally, sustainably built,” says Noble. The Baldur design is even on display at renowned Danish whisky distillery Stauning, where it houses some of the label’s finer liquors. “But it’s perfect for apartments, cabins and compact houses,” Noble explains. At the heart of Runewood’s design principle is the Scandinavian touch: minimalism, innovation and community… That, and savouring a rich 30-year-old single malt.

A hand-crafted conversation piece Runewood was born in the small town of Hemmet, on the Atlantic coast of Denmark – home to the reconstructed Bork Viking Harbour.

Web: Instagram: @runewooddenmark

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Olsson & Jensen

Beautiful decor for soulful homes Olsson & Jensen is the furniture and home decoration company that knows how to build a comfortable and personal home with the right decor in a beautiful mix of vintage and new. Based in southern Sweden, the brand’s trendy traditions run deep and have a reach far beyond the Swedish borders, providing stylish and affordable living spaces for all.

– from candle holders to tableware, cushions and furniture. It’s about the feeling. It’s what makes a home unique,” concludes Albinsson.

By Nina Bressler  |  Photos: Olsson & Jensen

Olsson & Jensen, founded in 2006, was taken over by its current owners, Therese Suwe and Catarina Albinsson, in 2021. The company started out as a tight-knit family company, and the new owners are determinedly making sure that its traditions stretch into the future, as well. “We believe that the company was doing it right from the very beginning; they established a fantastic niche that we love, mixing the French rustic style with vintage and Nordic countryside style, and we are continuing on that track, but in a higher gear,” says Albinsson.

may have heard of IKEA – the takeover of Olsson & Jensen was born out of a desire to create something of their own. “Olsson & Jensen has always been at the forefront of new trends, and we will continue that legacy. We are making conscious choices about our collections; what feelings do our products create in the user? We believe the trick is to mix old and new for a unique style, and we love when we can reuse furniture, give it new life in a new context – not only because it’s a sustainable option, but also because it adds so much personality to a home,” adds Suwe.

The company distributes to retail shops in Sweden and around Europe, with products ranging from furniture to lamps and interior design details as part of the catalogue – things that the owners themselves wouldn’t want to live without.

Both the office and the showroom are located outside Helsingborg, currently housing a staff of ten. But the team is expected to grow; the company is expanding, and more countries will be added to its export lists. “Quality in combination with fair pricing is central to all our products. We believe that beauty can be found in the imperfect, and that shows in our products

After working full-time at another wellknown Swedish furniture company – you

Therese Suwe and Catarina Albinsson. Photo: Anna Lauridsen

Web: Instagram: @olssonjensen

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  19

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Swedenland

Function and style Meet Swedenland ceramics – an experimental studio offering bespoke and limitededition products, all handmade in Limhamn, Sweden. A fusion of countries, cultures, languages and experiences, Swedenland can be defined by three simple words: colour, humour and freedom.

Gassne-Jeckelmann also enjoys meeting clients to discuss new projects, not knowing what will come from it. The element of surprise can have a positive effect.

By Emma Rodin  |  Photos: Christoph Jeckelmann / Caroline Tengen

Always balancing practical function with abstract style, Swedenland brings something different to the world of ceramics. And the best part? Things are only just getting started for them.

A long-awaited dream come true, Swedenland is the brainchild of Eva Gassne-Jeckelmann from Sweden and Christoph Jeckelmann from Switzerland, who also co-own Aveva Design. Representing the creative side of the duo, Eva designs with both function and style in mind, using colours, shapes, clays and glaze and other natural materials to bring ideas to life. “Nothing is ever made in bulk and everything has a meaning,” explains Gassne-Jeckelmann. “Customers who come to us can either purchase an existing product they’ve seen on our website or on social media, or they can ask us to come up with something entirely bespoke. They might already know what they want, or they have a basic idea that I can help them develop. I do love a challenge!” Swedenland existed in theory long before it became reality. “I’ve always had an itch 20  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

to create, and a few years ago I found myself wanting to venture into new territory,” says Gassne-Jeckelmann. “Aveva was doing really well, and I wanted to do something where I could create using my hands, and not just by holding a pen.”

Eva Gassne-Jeckelmann.

The answer was clay, and after studying the art of ceramics in 2018 and 2019, she was eventually ready to turn on the switch for Swedenland. Working on both small-scale and bigger projects, including concepts for restaurants and other clients, GassneJeckelmann’s creations include plates, bowls, vases, sculptures, and plenty more. “The idea to challenge what’s possible spurs me on, and I really like being able to work without limitations,” says Gassne-Jeckelmann. “My ideal state of creating is to play around with different colour combinations and types of glaze, and to make something fun and daring that still connects with the earth.”

For enquiries and requests, you can contact Gassne-Jeckelmann through the Swedenland Instagram page or via email.

Mail: Instagram: @swedenland_ceramics

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Von Norten

Products that enhance your home and wellbeing Von Norten, a Scandinavian eco-conscious luxury brand, was created from the idea that a home should be filled with nature and kindness. Von Norten wants to offer luxurious candles, scents, and body products without paraffin, paraben and other harsh chemicals, without losing the luxury feeling. The brand is inspired by the Scandinavian heritage and offers sustainable, consciously made candles that burn 30 to 50 per cent longer because of their vegan wax. By Hanna Andersson  |  Photos: Von Norten

Cayla Johansson is the creator of Von Norten, and she has always been a fan of enriching her home with candles. “I invested in a lot of candles when I was on maternity leave, and it has always been something that I enjoy having around me in my home. However, I often felt poorly, and I started wondering if I was allergic to something. A friend of mine then pointed out that I had a lot of scented candles and that they contain a lot of chemicals and paraffin. That’s why I decided to create Von Norten – a toxic-free brand that everyone can enjoy,” Johansson says. Dubbed the best product Von Norten was founded two years ago and has since taken the market by storm. The products have been recommended by both The Independent and The Times

Magazine and were mentioned in Forbes as the best product to buy – twice! “The feedback has been truly incredible,” notes Johansson. “I knew there was a space in the market for us, as so many other brands still use chemicals in their products. Our products are also eco-friendly, 95 per cent of the candles are made of natural wax, and most of them are packaged in recycled glass and paper.”

are also made of natural ingredients, such as avocado, coconut oil and almond oil. “Our products can be bought by those who are allergic to perfume, and they make perfect gifts,” says Johansson. “This goes for all of our products. It’s important to surround yourself with things that are beneficial to you. We want to provide high-quality products that can enhance your home as well as your wellbeing.” Cayla Johansson.

The Scandinavian heritage The scents are inspired by Scandinavian nature and whisk you away to the mountains, the forest, and summers in the archipelago. They are made with ethical perfumes or essential oils and don’t include any alcohol. The body care products

Web: Instagram: @vonnorten

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  21

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Milayas Jewellery

Milayas Jewellery is heavily inspired by nature.

Owner Rikke Riise.

Small is beautiful Struggling to find her niche within the silver jewellery market, designer Rikke Riise decided to focus on more exclusive materials such as gold and diamonds. Making unique pieces by hand has opened the door to a clientele looking for contemporary style with a personal touch. By Karen Gilmour Kristensen  |  Photos: Milayas Jewellery

Riise’s business, Milayas Jewellery, employs two people – the designer herself and her husband, Jarl. Committed to using recycled and ethically sourced materials, the Riises have chosen to work with small but exclusive suppliers.

and made into rings for her daughters and herself. “Often, jewellery you inherit has a lot of meaning, but the design isn’t up to date,” explains Jarl Riise. “Re-melting the gold allows the story of your grandparents to live on in a new look.”

“This has given us the opportunity to get to know them on a personal level and ensure that they share our values, which for us is not just about money,” says Jarl Riise. “We use the same suppliers regularly, because we know they have the things we’re looking for.”

Originally, Rikke Riise’s focus wasn’t on gold but on a less expensive metal, silver. However, she quickly realised that it was too difficult to stand out in the crowded silver marketplace. She then decided to specialise in the more exclusive materials of gold, pearls, diamonds and sapphires.

“It’s the same with our customers,” adds Rikke Riise. “They return because they know the brand – and they know us.”

One of the benefits of gold is the fact that it can be recycled, which is something the couple is very passionate about. Almost any gold can be re-melted, and even the gold Milayas gets from suppliers is mostly recycled.

Milayas customers often ask for their inherited jewellery to be transformed into modern pieces. Once, a woman brought some gold earrings and bracelets from her late mother to have them melted down 22  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

“Extracting gold is a drain on resources,” explains Rikke Riise. “Recycling gold is

about taking care of our planet and creating beautiful jewellery from the materials we have at hand.” Caring for the planet is particularly important for Milayas, as Rikke Riise has a great love of nature. “In my work, I’m inspired by both the shapes and the colours of nature,” she says. “No two leaves or raindrops are identical. In the same way, you can’t find two identical pieces among my jewellery.”

Web: Facebook: Milayas Instagram: @milayas_dk

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Sølund Huse

Sølund Huse boasts Denmark’s largest exhibition of garden houses. The company is based in Hovedgård, where you’ll also find the exhibition.

More than houses: Dreams, stories and a slower way of living The family company Sølund Huse (Sølund Houses) sells pavilions, sheds, saunas, garden playhouses, wilderness baths and prefabricated annexes that are ready to move into. In 2021, the company won the prestigious Børsens Gazelle, a Danish award given to companies that have done exceptionally well. But Sølund Huse is about more than simply selling pavilions and sheds: it’s about dreams, people and stories.

garden house or playhouse successfully. Therefore, Sølund Huse delivers the houses with their own trucks and drivers, and they always offer full support over the phone.

By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Sølund Huse

Recently, Sølund Huse expanded their business to also include Sølund Living, a daughter company that sells prefabricated annexes that are ready to move into.

In 2002, Jørgen Nielsen built a pavilion for his backyard. Soon after, the neighbours wanted one too, and so he made them one as well. Fast-forward 20 years, and what started as one pavilion has turned into a successful family business that has sold more than 30,000 garden houses. “To us, it has always been about more than just a pavilion or a shed. It’s about stories and dreams. It’s about enjoying the present moment with a cup of coffee and without any electronics in a beautiful pavilion, or allowing the kids to just have fun and use their imagination in a playhouse,” says Mads Nielsen, marketing manager and co-owner of Sølund Huse.

al growth over a four-year period. The requirements are not for the faint-hearted: companies have to at least double their turnover in four accounting years, and they must produce positive earnings in each of those four years. “It’s a pat on the back, and we are very proud of the award, because it reflects how our customers feel about Sølund Huse. We have worked tirelessly over the last few years; we have listened to our customers and we have taken chances,” says Nielsen.

Sølund Huse is currently in the process of a generational shift, with Mads Nielsen taking over from his dad, Jørgen Nielsen, who has been running the business for the past 20 years.

The customer should feel proud when they look at their finished house, and it’s important that they assemble their new

The garden houses provide a space to disconnect to reconnect – that time to just be in the moment, without having to do or be anything. Extraordinary growth Last year, the family company was awarded with a Børsens Gazelle, an award given to companies that have shown exception-

Web: Facebook: Sølund Huse – Naturens eget håndværk Instagram:

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  23

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Hestra Gloves

Sweet dreams with fluffy clouds Born out of a desire to get a good night’s sleep, new Swedish brand Happy Fluffy Cloud provides duvets that feel softer and fluffier than you could imagine – reminiscent of traditional down duvets in the Alps, like a warm hug easing you into a comfortable and dreamy night. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Happy Fluffy Cloud

Behind Stockholm-based Happy Fluffy Cloud is daydreaming duo Stina Barkow and Martin Åqvist. “Between us, and based on our different personal experiences, we were talking a lot about the importance of sleep,” says Barkow. “Even though people have different sleep cycles, most of us long for a good night’s sleep. Our vision was to be able to fall asleep comfortably warm and tucked in like a child.” The duo were dreaming of a fluffy duvet, a cloud to embrace you in a big hug when going to bed. At the time, Sweden 24  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

did not have the pillow-like duvets without channel seams that they were looking for. Instead, they searched abroad and eventually found what they were looking for in the Alps: the much-loved traditional duvets with fantastic qualities that then became the inspiration for Happy Fluffy Cloud. High-quality goose down Down is nature’s way of keeping ducks and geese warm, like a thermal insulator and padding. The loose structure of down feathers traps air, which helps to insulate the birds against heat loss.

Goose down is often chosen for its warmth, softness, resilience and insulating properties and is popular in, for example, jackets, sleeping bags, pillows and, of course, duvets. “Down is an incredible insulation material that also breathes and transports away moisture,” Barkow explains. “A high-quality duvet will keep warm during cold nights without losing that lovely, soft feeling.” The duo learnt about the traditional duvets and the importance of getting the mix of down and feathers just right. Happy Fluffy Cloud uses 50 per cent down and 50 per cent feathers from geese, a mix that makes the duvets warm yet soft and fluffy. Only European poultry is used, and production is strictly regulated with traceable farms and suppliers. Animal care is important for the team at Happy Fluffy Cloud, and they have made sure to use

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Happy Fluffy Cloud

feathers and down from birds that are to become food, which means that the whole bird is being used. At the end of last year, the brand’s first product was ready and received a positive response and plenty of orders straight away. Containing more filling than most other duvets on the market and with a weight of five kilogrammes, the duvet from Happy Fluffy Cloud is like a big, soft pillow, which brings a sense of comfort and relaxation – and ultimately better sleep. “It feels like being tucked in and going into hibernation,” smiles Barkow. “We have the duvets in our family, and nowadays nobody wants to get up in the morning!”

lot of purchases were made during the night, as people with sleeping problems came to us in search of a solution. So sometimes we keep our customer service open during the night too,” Barkow says, and concludes: “Customers have come back and told us that they have finally found the solution to good sleep,

and others love the duvet for the stylish look and the fluffy feeling it adds to the bedding.” Web: Facebook: Happyfluffycloud Instagram: @happyfluffycloud

Dreaming of the perfect sleep When we sleep, our pulse goes down, we breathe more slowly and our energy consumption goes down, which makes our temperature drop, too. So-called heavy duvets have become trendy recently, for their claim to improved sleep. This impressive duvet from Happy Fluffy Cloud is a unique product on the market, naturally heavy with five kilogrammes of down and feathers, making it super soft without any added materials. A duvet from Happy Fluffy Cloud is an investment. If taken care of properly, it can last a lifetime. You can wash the duvet in 40 degrees and tumble dry with a few tennis balls. The duvets from Happy Fluffy Cloud are available in the web shop, which is open 24/7. “Early on, we discovered that a January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  25

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Made in Norway

At work in the studio.

A Norwegian textile designer’s adventure When people think of textiles, the first thing that comes to mind is often curtains, blankets and table cloths. But in addition to being decorative and insulating, textiles can transform a room from sterile and impersonal to calming, soothing and harmonious. By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Ia Torgersen Tekstiler

Ia Torgersen was still a child when she was first introduced to the art of fabric print. A visit to a textile artist, performing what seemed like magic with paint, frames and stencils, left a lasting impression both on the fabric and on Ia. The smell of the cotton, wet paint and the transformation of the fabric stayed with her, shaping her road ahead. Having finished her broad education in textiles in Oslo, Ia got accepted onto a four-year programme to study industrial textile design at the College of Textile Design in Sweden. The same month, she met her soon-to-be sculptor husband. Five months later, they married, putting an abrupt end to Ia’s plans of moving to Sweden. Curious by nature and eager to learn more, Ia dove head-first in at the 26  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

deep end. She went to the Oslo offices of iconic Norwegian textile factory, Høie Fabrikker, with no appointment scheduled, to try her luck. “I told them I had a vision that they could start printing patterns on their bed linen,” she says. “They laughed at first, but I persisted and told them that I could draw up some patterns, which I felt could be successful and could be produced right here in Norway.” The laughter silenced when a half-shut door opened and the sales manager of Høie came in and said, “give her 14 days”. “The thing is,” Ia laughs, “if you make promises, you have to stay true to your word and deliver what you claimed you could.”

Ia kept her word and presented finished sketches. Høie decided to launch one of her patterns and hired her as a freelance designer. The first printed bed linens designed by Ia were a huge success. She spent the next few years learning the industrial printing trade at the Høie factory hands on.

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Made in Norway

Production eventually moved abroad, and Høie Factories closed. Ia decided to step away and start her own company, Ia Torgersen Tekstiler, producing beautiful fabrics that shield and decorate. Ia and her husband moved to an old 600-square-metre school building in a mountain village, setting up studios and a small outlet. Combining industrial design and hand printing, Ia got more and more assignments. Eventually, the couple moved to a small farm near Oslo, where they built studios, a storehouse and a head office. They also bought a house by the sea in Lofoten. Battling visual noise using fabrics Where curtains were once the norm when insulating and decorating a room, current Scandinavian industrial trends, with a minimal look primarily consisting of glass and concrete, leave spaces bare, noisy and cold. Pleated curtains, horizontal or vertical blinds and window film are commonly used. But while they shield from view and sunlight, they do nothing for the acoustics, environment and temperature of a room. “I’ve created a term,” says Ia, “‘Visual noise’. The eye, shaped like an orb, takes in much more than we realise. Everything that happens in our peripheral vision triggers warning signs in our brain and tells us to pay attention in case of danger. It’s a visual disturbance, which in open-plan office spaces is a constant. As soon as

someone moves or walks through the room, that’s visual noise. This can cause health issues like migraines.” To counteract this, Ia produces flame retardant curtains and window panels, background panels for video conferences, acoustics solutions, and curtains – which divide rooms into office landscapes. Whether thick fabrics or sheer, see-through panels, they help the brain to separate the impressions throughout the day. “Textiles should never be just pretty to look at, but should also have a function,” says Ia. “The quality should also be high, and each type of fabric suitable for its purpose. We aim to make it easy for customers to find exactly the type of fabric they need.”

coast of Lofoten – ever-changing, depending on how they’re drawn. Another, Morgensol (‘morning sun’), has golden shades reflecting the first rays of the sun, while Blåtimen (‘the blue hour’) has shades of frosty blues, mimicking the hour just after sunset. To see the aforementioned textiles and other collections and products, you can visit Ia Torgersen Tekstiler online.

Web: Instagram: @iatorgersentekstiler

She adds: “Creation has always fascinated and impressed me. Nature is uniquely inspiring and constantly gives me ideas for new designs.” A certified Eco-Lighthouse company with eight employees, Ia Torgersen Tekstiler also produces theatre drapes, curtains and bed linen. Inspired by nature, the fabrics’ colours and patterns reflect wind, water, places and seasons. In 2021, they celebrated 40 years as a company, with a collection inspired by Lofoten and the light and colours of northern Norway. One of the curtain textiles, Himmellys (‘sky light’), has sheer panels with varying shades of grey reflecting the sky and

Silkefuru, nature-inspired prints.

Bodø Town Hall project. Horizontal and vertical lines combine to make squares.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  27

Scan Magazine  |  Top Ten Feature  |  Classic Scandinavian Children’s Products

Ten classic Scandinavian kids’ products that all children and parents love Known as somewhat of a family utopia with a child-centred society, a legendary design heritage, and a love of the great outdoors regardless of the weather, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Scandinavian countries have produced quite a number of renowned, coveted children’s products. From classic toys to practical must-haves, here are ten brands and products most Scandi parents swear by. Press photos

1. The Brio wooden train set Show this to any Gen X:er from Scandinavia, and a generous wave of nostalgia will likely wash over them. The classic Brio train set has been knocking around for a long time now, and as a testament to its genius, you’ll still find it installed everywhere from airport lounges to community-hall toy corners, as well as indeed in many private homes. It doesn’t come cheap, but then again, if it lasts for generations, perhaps it’s worth the price tag? Photo: Unsplash

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Stokke’s Tripp Trapp high chair Danish brand Stokke is behind many popular children’s products, but this one must be their most-loved creation. The Tripp Trapp high chair is both beautiful from a design perspective and incredibly practical, growing with your child from the very first baby weeks and all the way up through primary school. Use the safety baby set accessory for as long as you need it, and move the steps as your child grows. There’s a reason why these seats keep their value on the second-hand market too.

2. The IKEA toy kitchen

4. The BABYBJÖRN bouncer

This popular toy was also first made a Scandinavian play-room staple by the legendary Brio brand, but IKEA’s affordable version has become hugely popular across the world. It’s great from toddler age and up to the early primary school years, helping to grow the child’s vocabulary and providing plenty of opportunity for that insatiable toddler desire for moving things from one pot to the other and back again.

Also in the seat department, the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is another of those products many parents swear by. This one’s definitely a case of less is more, simpler in both style and function to some of the occasionally convoluted creations out there. The snug fit and soft bounce of this bouncer is very hard to beat, whether to help your baby nap or simply to keep them contented while you make a cup of coffee.

28  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Scan Magazine  |  Top Ten Feature  |  Classic Scandinavian Children’s Products

5. The Birth Poster 6. Lego

The Birth Poster arrived on the market with a boom a few years ago and took parents and their friends by storm. The simple drawings double up as a stylish work of art and a memento detailing your baby’s name, date of birth and birth weight, alongside a 1:1 scale drawing to show just how small your child was at birth. With new designs regularly added to the collection and a range of framing options, The Birth Poster will suit the interiors of most modern homes and makes a great gift for new parents.

Is there a more legendary toy than Lego? Based on the simple joy of building blocks but with a never-ending stream of new, clever solutions and sets, not to mention a brand that really knows how to talk to people, this is a classic that we can say with confidence will never ever go out of style. Photo: Unsplash

7. Micki of Sweden dolls and doll houses Originally known for its beautiful quality doll houses, Micki of Sweden’s brand Lundby is now behind an entire universe of creative play, including characters and families of all shapes and sizes, ticking both inclusivity and representation boxes and making children’s imaginations fly. If you’re not sure whether a doll house is for your child or not, why not start with a family of characters to see how they go? 8. Polarn o Pyret 9. Petit Nord

Polarn o Pyret, sometimes lovingly called PoP outside of Scandinavia’s borders, probably needs no further introduction. Most people, Scandi fans or not, will be familiar with both the signature stripes and the almost magically durable shell coats. There are stories of pyjamas and jackets being passed down as many as 13 generations. Urban legends or not, these tales say something about the faith parents have in these colourful, cosy garments.

Based on a Scandinavian design heritage with sustainability at heart, Petit Nord’s quality shoes are hand-crafted in Portugal using ecological materials. Durable, comfortable and easy on the eye, the boots and sandals live and breathe the proverb that says that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. With a pair of Petit Nord, your child will play happily – and comfortably – ever after.

10. Kay Bojesen’s monkey

Photo: Amanda Westerbom,

Originally created in 1951, this toy and design collectible is made of limba wood and teak. Its creator, Kay Bojesen, is still to this day heralded as one of Denmark’s biggest designer names, which is saying something. The monkey, meanwhile, is a sustainable toy that doubles up as a symbol of design taste as it dangles off the edge of your shelf.

Photo: Shutterstock

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  29

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  Childbirth in the Nordics

Photo: Shutterstock

Childbirth in the Nordics

– the safest place in the world to give birth, or a land that feminism forgot? In the autumn of last year, more than 100 midwives in Stockholm, Sweden, resigned all at once. They’d had enough. At the same time, midwives marched in the UK, and a digital solidarity demonstration was organised by birth rights organisations in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. But Scandinavia is known as a haven for gender equality with near-perfect healthcare systems – so where did it all go wrong? By Linnea Dunne

“I guess people generally think about Swedish healthcare in a positive light. I’m not sure they know a whole lot about our maternity care though – like the fact that it’s pretty much only hospital care that’s offered, while our neighbouring countries have midwife-led units that work with normal birth and home birth,” says Asabea Britton, a Stockholm-based midwife whose blog and Instagram Q&As have a huge following.

been in crisis for as long as I can remember, but it’s been getting progressively worse,” she explains, saying that last year’s developments were simply a case of midwives having had enough and putting their foot down. “It’s sad to have to do something as drastic as that, but I’m proud of my colleagues; I think this is what’s needed to affect real change.”

Asked about the recent wave of resignations, she maintains that the crisis is old news. “Sweden’s maternity care has

For Norwegian writer Line SloperSvanevik, that same conviction grew out of her own experiences of pregnancy

30  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

‘Norwegian women have lost faith in their bodies’

and birth. “Like most people, I’d grown up under the impression that birth was undoubtedly going to be a painful, traumatic experience. Based on the accumulation of stories I’d heard and seen on TV, it seemed to be the general consensus that birth is awful and there’s not much you can do about it,” she says. When she got pregnant, however, something told her to dig a little deeper. “I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that birth had to be like that,” she says. Then based in the UK, she asked a midwife and was told about hypnobirthing – a conversation that became the start of a long journey of discovery and passion. Convincing her husband to get on board with what she jokes sounded a little “too hippy-ish” wasn’t easy, “but after his first hypnobirthing class, he was sold”, she says. Her first birth went almost exact-

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  Childbirth in the Nordics

ly as she had hoped. “I was able to use the birth pool, I felt really strong and supported. 27.5 hours out of 28 were exactly how I wanted,” she says. “Then the plan went out the window and I ended up needing forceps, but I felt I coped really well because I had the information to make the decisions I wanted to make.” By the time Sloper-Svanevik got pregnant again, she had returned to her native Norway. Entering the maternity system there was, she says, an eye-opening experience. “I stuck with the hypnobirthing because I’d benefited so much from it the first time, but none of the healthcare practitioners I met in Norway had heard of it,” she recalls. “I remember, at my 18-week scan, the midwife saying to me, ‘This sounds like something we really need in Norway, because Norwegian women have really lost faith in their bodies’ ability to give birth’. That really stuck with me.”

I didn’t know, that the people I wanted there maybe wouldn’t be let in – all these things related to giving birth in a hospital, where someone else calls the shots. I was also sent home once, and that was so difficult for me mentally. Yet I couldn’t settle and find peace at home when I knew that wasn’t where I was going to stay.” For her second birth, she decided to plan for a home birth. “It absolutely couldn’t have been a better experience. I knew exactly who would be there, I trusted them, I was allowed to labour in peace. I knew

that I could give birth in water – just the feeling that I didn’t have to go anywhere, it was all so quick and easy. It’s the most life-changing experience a person can have,” she says. And yet, looking back at her first birth, she knows a home birth wouldn’t have been right. “I wouldn’t have felt safe with it then.” The latter is an important distinction, which she returns to, and which SloperSvanevik echoes: “For me, the most important thing is that women have the information they need to make informed decisions. Whatever happens, you need Asabea Britton, midwife, blogger and hypnobirthing teacher. Photo: Wilma Orr for Studio Emma Svensson

Her second daughter was born after “a straight-forward dream water birth” at a midwife-led birth centre, and SloperSvanevik’s mission was suddenly clear as day. “Two minutes after the baby was out, I was like, ‘Why does no one in Norway know about hypnobirthing?’” she laughs. ‘The most life-changing experience a person can have’ Britton went on a similar trajectory to Sloper-Svanevik in terms of birthing preferences. She gave birth to her first child in hospital with a number of different forms of pain relief, which went well, she says, “but I struggled with the fact that I might come across midwives Asabea Britton is a midwife, blogger and hypnobirthing teacher. She writes about life as a midwife and mother in Stockholm and answers questions and shares tips through her popular Instagram account.

Web: Blog: Instagram: @asabea

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  31

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  Childbirth in the Nordics

Line Sloper-Svanevik is the founder of the biggest hypnobirthing course in Norway, Positiv Fødsel. She recently published her first book, by the same name, which can be found in all major book shops in Norway.

Web: Facebook: Positiv Fødsel Instagram: @positivfodsel

Lise Sloper-Svanevik, founder of Positiv Fødsel and author of the book by the same name. Photo: Celie Nigoumi

to know what the benefits are, the risks and the alternatives,” she says. “The most important thing is that women are supported in the choices they make. We’re all different – not everyone will want the same type of birth.” Putting her time and effort where her passion is, Sloper-Svanevik decided to attend hypnobirthing teacher training in the UK in order to bring the methodology back to Norway. With a small baby at home, she then started by creating 32  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

an online course – something that she is thankful for now, with pandemic-related lockdowns having struck only months later. Now permanently back in the UK, her online course is flying, more than 3,000 women have taken the course in the last two years, and she has midwives offering follow-ups with students in a Facebook group. And in August last year, she was offered a publishing deal.

Positiv Fødsel (‘Positive Birth’), the book by the same name as the online course,

is for any pregnant woman, whatever type of birth they might want, offering practical hypnobirthing tips as well as lots of information on what happens to the body during labour and birth. “I guess the book was born in my head before I even decided to start my company, because I had this intense urge to get this information out to as many people as possible,” Sloper-Svanevik says. “For many, many years, women have been led to believe that they have to do certain things because it’s what the midwife tells them, but we can say yes or no to whatever we’re being offered – that’s a choice you make. To a lot of people, this is mind-blowing.” Her passion is unmistakable, but she is careful to stress that she’s not trying to sell a certain ideology or birthing preference, or to make other women feel that one type of birth is better than another. On the contrary, Sloper-Svanevik herself felt confused when it was insinuated to

Scan Magazine  |  Feature  |  Childbirth in the Nordics

her after her first birth that it wasn’t a positive one, just because it ended up with forceps. “I was confused by the narrative that a positive birth has to be a water birth or a natural birth. In my head, it didn’t add up. I felt good despite not having had that experience,” she says, adding that the same goes for many of the women she’s worked with through her course. “I’ve got countless stories on my website of women who have had C-sections, home births, more or less medicalised births – and the reason they’ve had a good experience is that they’ve had good information; they feel like they prepared well and were supported, and that’s a positive birth experience.” Breaking the trend In Sloper-Svanevik’s experience, birth rights activists in the UK are surprised, even shocked, that somewhere like Scandinavia hasn’t caught onto the conversation about consent in childbirth. She quotes Milli Hill, author of Give Birth Like A Feminist, who says that birth is the land that feminism forgot. “In Norway, there’s such a strong movement for equality, but women still go into labour thinking they’re not allowed to do this or that,” she says. “Take vaginal examinations to check for dilation, for instance.

People get really angry because I say that it’s a choice, and people feel that you have to have them when you give birth, but if someone’s putting their fingers inside you, that’s a question that needs to be asked first or it’s obstetric violence.” Britton can relate and says that there’s a sense that women who give birth put themselves entirely in the hands of the maternity system. “Within the system too, there’s sometimes this sense that we’re saving someone from their birth. I wish more people would feel that it’s not something you need to be saved from – that it can be a fantastic, empowering experience,” she says. “The body is well able for this, but we’re not used to listening to the body and its intuition. Granted, that’s hardly surprising if you don’t have any references other than the odd anecdote and whatever you’ve seen on TV, where labour is always awful, the woman is screaming, the full lights are on – just awful.” The protests in Sweden might just be working, with a new maternity ward opening up in Stockholm in 2023. That’s after a decades-long trend of maternity wards being shut down continuously, with only 44 remaining in Sweden today compared to 95 in the 1970s. That trend

is mirrored in Denmark, where there are currently 23 maternity units, down from 42, as well as in Norway with its 45, down by 60 in as many years. And while the conversation about units and beds is more about budgets and staffing than it is about active consent, it’s hard to imagine that improvements can be made to the latter without the space provided by the former. A week before our chat, Britton attended a Google Meet with more than 400 midwives – something that moved her to tears, she says. “We love our work, and we’re doing this for ourselves and for the families that are coming in to give birth. I didn’t become a midwife to try to manage three births simultaneously, just monitoring CTGs, never being able to go to the toilet and simply just feeling awful. It’s not worth it, and it’s not worthy.” Join the conversation on Instagram: Birth Rights Sweden: @birth_rights_sweden Birth Rights Norway: @birthrights_no Forældre og Fødsel: Barselopprøret: @barselopproret Bunadsgeriljaen: @bunadsgeriljaen_

Photo: Shutterstock

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  33

D AN RK lT ES MA I a i ec AB EN Sp B D H, D – T R BI YON BE e:

m he

Anja Bay (left) hosting one of her popular antenatal courses.

Anja Bay: ‘Giving birth can be an incredibly empowering experience’ A pain-free labour with you in full control – does that sound too good to be true? Perhaps it isn’t. According to Danish birth guru Anja Bay and the 40,000 people who followed her antenatal course Smertefri Fødsel (‘pain-free labour’), delivering your baby without artificial pain-relief and yet without uncontrollable pain is absolutely possible. Talking to Scan Magazine, the mother of three reveals some of the secrets to turning labour into a reaffirming and confidence-building experience. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Anja Bay

When 47-year-old Anja Bay first became pregnant in 2005, she had no qualms about giving birth. As a yoga practitioner, she felt confident in her body, and after a traditional prenatal class she went into the hospital feeling happy and confident. “Then I was just completely dumbstruck by the miserable pain I went through – I was in complete agony from the very first contraction,” says Bay. 34  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Despite the pain, Bay went through the labour quickly and without complications. After the birth, the midwife noted how well everything went. Still, Bay left the hospital determined that if this was how labour was to be, she wouldn’t have more children. A year later, however, she was pregnant with her second child – a pregnancy that

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

became the beginning of her quest to find and develop methods and tools to take control of the labour and reduce pain. “I’m from a generation where we’re used to practising and preparing in order to perform our best, not to just surrender and accept that we can’t control anything, so working to prepare my body for the pain and practise methods to reduce it made complete sense to me,” she says. It has made sense to numerous other Danish women, too. Having sold 15,000 copies of her book Smertefri Fødsel and taken 40,000 women and their partners through her prenatal course, Bay is today one of Denmark’s leading voices on childbirth. An empowering experience

was walking or galloping at full speed, I was on top of it.”

Working with breath and visualisations, and learning about the body’s reactions to external factors, has become among the key elements in Bay’s prenatal classes. “During my first labour, I felt like I was thrown onto a wild horse and just had to do everything I could to stay on it, clinging on. The second time, the labour was the same, maybe even more intense as it was faster, but the experience was completely different. I had this feeling that I was holding the reins, that I was in control of the pain; whether the horse

After that, says Bay, she wanted the world to know how different giving birth can be. “It’s not that I’m against pain relief. By all means, if you end up having a four-day labour, go for it! But when some feminists say, ‘it’s my right to get an epidural’, what I think is that, yes, it is, but what a shame it is to miss the experience of what your body can actually do. Going into labour prepared and with the right tools can be an incredibly empowering feeling.”

FIVE TIPS FOR A PAIN-FREE LABOUR: The secret to taking control of the pain? In short, says Bay, it can be summarised by five key tips: 1. Breathe Breathing techniques are your key to control. If you are aware of your breath, you will always remain present and in control. 2. Relax Making sure that you can relax is the key to recouping energy and strength between contractions. In theory, relaxing sounds very easy, but if you don’t practise relaxation exercises, it will be impossible when your body tenses up during contractions. 3. Push and let go Learn how to control your muscles to push where the contraction is and let

go at the right time. It’s important to practise because the body’s immediate reaction is to move away from the pain instead of pushing. 4. Get to know ‘your body’s pharmacy’ When you are familiar with the cocktail of hormones that your body will release during labour, you increase the chances of using that pool of natural resources to promote a spontaneous labour. 5. Manage the panic While the first four points are about the physical body, managing panic is about the mind and mental practice. One way to do it is through visualisation exercises, for instance visualising your contraction as something with a beginning and an end.

Anja Bay’s book, Smertefri Fødsel, is available in book shops. Anja Bay offers prenatal classes in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense  (Denmark) and Stavanger (Norway). Her course is offered as a standard course of five classes – four before the birth and one after – or as a compressed one-day workshop. The course is also offered online for home study, with an e-book and a number of sound and video recordings. In the spring of 2022, Anja Bay is launching a new postnatal course.

Web: Facebook: smertefrifoedsel Instagram:

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  35

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

Sustainable, functional and creative – children’s products made with passion and love Do you want a nappy bag that can also be used as your work bag? Toys and products that help with your child’s development? Of course you do. With Manostiles, this is exactly what you get. The products are designed for everyday life with kids and can be used again and again. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Manostiles

When asked what inspires her, Mette Lindeberg does not give the standard answer, like magnificent nature or grand architecture. “I am inspired by my daily walks and runs. All the animals of the forest inspire me: hedgehogs, deer, ladybugs… The trees, the sky, and the ocean. Nordic nature really shines through in my designs,” says Lindeberg, founder of Manostiles. A mother of six children, Lindberg knows first-hand how important it is that products are multi-functional and that they can stand the test of time. “My nappy bag can also be used as a work bag. So, when you’re done using it as a nappy bag, you can use it for your laptop,” she explains. Manostiles was also the first on the market to create a baby nest that can be used until the child is 2.5 years old. You can easily unzip the baby nest and bring it from the stroller to the bed. 36  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Products that speak to the senses At Manostiles, you’ll also find a collection of children’s dining products. They are made of silicone and sort of stick to the table. Should they be dropped on the floor, there’s no need to worry; they will not break. “This collection is made so that children can touch, taste and see the food themselves. It is crucial that children use their senses and the parents don’t take

over, as that hinders children’s development,” says Lindeberg. You’ll also find bed linen made from organic cotton that has a cooling effect, which improves sleep, and it can be washed again and again. In addition, Manostiles makes an abundance of toys that will help with the development of your child. To avoid waste, Manostiles only produces a limited number of each item, to avoid over-production. “I work with small productions in India, and I visit the people I work with often to make sure that everything is of the highest possible quality. I want to make sure that I can vouch for every single product I sell,” Lindeberg asserts.

If you are a retailer and interested in exclusively stocking Manostiles, you can contact Mette Lindeberg directly.

Web: Facebook: Manostiles Instagram: @manostiles

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

Rainwear SS2022.

Rainwear and thermals SS2022.

Reste-pus i stalden: let the children play With an emphasis on children and playfulness, this independent retailer puts customer service and high-quality products at the very centre of their business – and they make sure that everyone involved has fun in the process.

but regularly add new ones to keep things fresh and fun, for their customers as well as for themselves.

By Trine Jensen-Martin  |  Photos: Mikk-Line

Margit and Peter Emil both have other jobs alongside running Reste-pus i stalden, so this is very much a labour of love, which they both continue to enjoy. “It is so important for all of us to have fun,” Margit explains in earnest. And perhaps that’s exactly why Reste-pus is so successful; they have a genuine understanding of children and their need for playtime and playfulness – and they still understand how to have fun themselves.

Based in Engesvang in central Jutland, Margit and Peter Emil Sørensen sell children’s clothes and shoes with a firm focus on their main customers. They want each child to experience that they can have fun when trying on clothes and shoes, and that they can be a part of the shopping experience. Each item has been handpicked by Margit, who cares deeply about her customers – parents as well as children. “It’s really important for us that we level with the children when they come to buy clothes or shoes from us,” she explains. “We need to get down to their actual physical level and engage with them, make eye contact.” Margit’s husband, Peter Emil, whom she lovingly describes as “part-time breaktime clown”, is particularly adept at making those perhaps slightly more shy chil-

dren they encounter feel at ease. “Often, customers will send me photos of their children wearing our clothes, and that is a wonderful feeling,” Margit says. A focus on children and an honest, personal touch are at the heart of this business, where customer satisfaction is all-important. A large proportion of their sales now, in a post-Covid world, is via their web shop, but meeting customers remains hugely important to them. Margit and Peter Emil are often found at trade fairs to maintain the face-to-face contact with younger as well as older customers. While fun is crucial to the identity of Restepus i stalden, there is no compromising on the excellence of the products they carry. They prioritise high-quality merchandise, and one of their most popular brands is the Danish company Mikk-Line. They continue to carry the most popular collection

Wool wear.

Web: Facebook: Reste-pus i stalden Instagram: @restepusistalden

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  37

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

The Østerbrohandske comes in different colours. Bottom right: Tine Land designed the Østerbrohandske after becoming a mother.

Handy gloves Pushing a pram around Copenhagen at night, once again freezing her hands after forgetting her gloves, Tine Land suddenly had an idea: what if you could make gloves that stay on the handle of the pram all the time?

designed the Østerbrohandske (‘the Østerbro glove’), named after her neighbourhood in Copenhagen.

By Karen Gilmour Kristensen  |  Photos: KongWalther

The surfaces of the gloves are made of wind- and water-resistant materials, allowing you to leave them on the handle when parking the pram or buggy – all year round. To place the gloves on the handle, you unzip both sides of each glove. Having put the gloves on the handle, you zip up the zips to make them stay in place.

In September 2019, Land had her baby, Walther. As it got colder, Walther didn’t sleep much, and before embarking on frequent walks at night, Land struggled to always remember the dummy, the bottle – and gloves for herself. At the same time, she found it quite awkward when 38  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

she had to take off her gloves, hold them, give Walther his dummy and, finally, put the gloves on again. Drawing upon her years of experience within the clothing industry and her knowledge of quality textiles, Land

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

sage of the housewife who started her own business.

she reflects. “It fits on pretty much anything with handles.”

What began as a hobby project quickly gained success as the orders kept coming. Last year, a significant number of orders were placed, and to start the production of gloves, Land and her husband had to raise the necessary funds.

Functional and sustainable

After getting rejected by several banks, the couple made a radical decision. “We are Jutlanders, after all,” explains Land. “When the banks wouldn’t lend us the money, we agreed to sell our house and rent a flat instead.”

Tine Land is supported by her husband, Mathias.

“At first, I wasn’t sure if the idea was too weird,” Land admits. “But my husband loved the design, so he ordered a couple of boxes and convinced me that I should try selling them.” A business was set up, going by the name of KongWalther (‘King Walther’), and soon enough, the orders started coming. A crucial platform for the brand is Instagram. Using her profile as a sort of diary, Land invites the followers to join “the universe of KongWalther”, as she puts it. “My profile is quite personal,” Land says. “All photos and videos are shot by me, including a video of myself wearing the Østerbrohandske while it’s snowing. I think people are captivated by my storytelling, and that’s a feeling I recognise; if I feel drawn to someone, I’ll definitely want to support them.”

The name, Østerbrohandsken, might suggest otherwise, but Land hasn’t forgotten where she came from. “I make sure to tell people that I’m originally from Jutland,” she smiles. “In fact, I mostly ship to Aarhus, the city I grew up in.” But KongWalther’s products are sold all over Denmark – so why name the glove after a Copenhagen neighbourhood? “Essentially, it was a way of taking the mickey out of the people living here,” Land explains. “It’s an inside joke in Copenhagen that all families with young children move to Østerbro. And it’s true; you do see a lot of prams here.” With hindsight, Land is quite satisfied with the name. Originally intended for prams and buggies, the Østerbrohandske has proved itself useful in other contexts too. KongWalther has sold gloves for rollators, golf carts and cargo bikes. “I’m pleased I didn’t name it ‘the pram glove’,”

All KongWalther products have been designed to make the everyday life of parents a little easier. For Land, it was important to create products that could remove at least one of the challenges that parents with young children face. “If I have to create something, it has to be a product that is truly helpful to parents – not just another bodystocking,” Land declares. “Our society mass-produces everything. As a consumer, you can get a thousand different versions of the same item.” Rather than participating in mass production, Land sought to create a sustainable product. “The Østerbrohandske is made from recycled polyester,” she reveals. “We use cola bottles from the oceans in our production. In this way, we can help reduce marine plastic pollution.” Sustainability has become particularly significant to Land since becoming a mother. It’s no coincidence that KongWalther was named after her son. “Your perspective changes when you have children,” she says. “Suddenly, it’s even more important to you that the world is still spinning 20 years from now.” Web: Facebook: KongWalther Instagram: @kongwalther

Jutlandic determination From the beginning, Land realised the importance of showing rather than telling. “When I phoned potential buyers, they didn’t understand what I was talking about,” she recalls. That’s why she decided to meet possible customers in person to demonstrate the product. Occasionally, she would bring Walther on her arm, reinforcing the mesJanuary 2022  |  Issue 138  |  39

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

The deluxe baby nest with kapok filling. Kapok is moisture-transporting, so neither dust mites, bacteria nor fungal spores can live and multiply in it. The outer fabric is made of 100 per cent organic cotton.

Filibabba: Creating a child’s universe Made with a child’s perspective in mind, with parental experience and an acute eye for design and quality, this environmentally and socially mindful GOTS-certified company aims to engage children in the world they live in: both the physical space of their own rooms, and the materials they encounter every day. By Trine Jensen-Martin  |  Photos: Filibabba

In 2015, Filibabba founders Christian Bendtsen and Lasse Rolighed Olesen introduced the baby nest to the Danish market: a pillow that lets newborns feel as safely nestled in the outside world as they did when they were inside the womb. Since that first collection launched, the company has gone from strength to strength. They continue to design and develop baby products and children’s interiors that are sustainable, resilient and beautiful, all of them ideal items with which to frame the first few years of a child’s life. 40  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Filibabba helps to create a space where a child can grow, play and learn, making the whole room a place in which they feel at home. And everything they do, and the way they do it, is done out of a profound love and respect for the environment and the people around them. From a child’s point of view “We create our designs from the children’s point of view, based on how they see and sense the world around them,” explains Henny Møller, brand manager at Filibabba. “But we also want the parents to enjoy our designs.”

While quality is crucial for the products to endure being handled repeatedly by children, they are also beautiful to look at, too. The key for Filibabba is to create striking and durable items that children can relate to; things that inspire, soothe and entertain them, and perhaps educate them a little in the process. Great care and consideration go into every piece they design, ensuring that they stay The Little Sailor baby nest from the spring/summer ‘22 collection.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

playful and inviting to the children, embracing the curiosity of tactile youngsters and their imagination. A child’s room is its world, and Filibabba wants to make these worlds beautiful, enduring and fun.

Filibabba makes its products both sustainable and multifunctional, never compromising on quality, always placing great value on the production process.

to continue to bring to life their designs, without compromising on what they so firmly believe in.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

A more sustainable world

The ecological and social responsibility that lies behind the GOTS certification is crucial to Filibabba and the company’s core values, and it is a constant challenge for them to ensure that they keep the certification. The process is time-consuming, involving ongoing scrutiny of their products, the working conditions in the production line, the raw materials, and the production process.

“It is very important to us that the children feel in touch with our designs,” Møller says. The significance of recognition plays a big part in not only their designs and their products, but also in the values at the heart of Filibaba. It is far from just a business; they genuinely care about their products, the planet, and the people they work with – and, crucially, they want the customers and their children to care too.

The world is growing increasingly aware of the importance of recycling and upcycling, and creating items that are reusable is crucial to this company. “The quality and durability of our products is of great importance,” Møller says. “Our designs spring from our own experiences with young children; we create items that really do work and really do last, so you don’t have to replace them when baby number two or three comes along.” In this way, the designs from Filibabba become a part of a child’s upbringing – not just items to be discarded and disregarded. “We want to support sustainability and enable parents to reuse our products, but we also want our creations to be multifunctional,” says Møller. Making products that are not only reusable and will stand the test of time, but which also have more than one use, is another brilliant approach to increasing the sustainability of their products. Why buy three different items when one will do?

“Many of our customers are not necessarily aware what the GOTS certification means, and they don’t always realise the high-quality products this yields as a result,” Møller reflects. “One of our challenges is to show our customers, via our products, what this means.”

Because they care

For more information about GOTS certification, visit:

Web: Facebook: Filibabba Instagram: @filibabba_denmark YouTube: @Filibabba

To continue to receive the GOTS certificate, they must ensure that they tick all the correct boxes. They are keen to help their customers understand the value of the certification and, in doing so, are trying to do their bit to help the world become more sustainable. Being granted this certificate allows Filibabba

Left: GOTS-certified, organic satin woven cotton bedlinen in the calm and beautiful Balanced Stripes print. Comes in blue mix and rose mix. Middle: GOTS-certified, organic satin woven cotton bedlinen in the beautiful Collection of Memories print. Comes in a full series with bedlinen, bed bumper, baby nest, changing mat and nursing pillow. Right: “Mum, my air balloon flies me to my dreams,” said Sonja, five years old. The iconic air balloons from Filibabba are available in a variety of colours for children’s room décor.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  41

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

The natural choice for a perfect night’s sleep Imagine drifting off to dreamland wrapped in a chemical-free and allergy-friendly duvet and soft, natural bed linen night after night. Thanks to Cocoon Company, both you and your family can do just that. Made from natural resources like kapok, merino wool and peace silk, this bedding will make your bed your new favourite place. But beware: you might develop a habit of hitting snooze that bit more before being able to drag yourself away from your new duvet… By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Cocoon Company

On average, we spend about 30 per cent of our lives in bed. It follows that you should be paying attention to what you and your family are sleeping in. Perhaps you are already aware of what you are putting into your body, but are you aware of the quality of your mattress, duvet, pillow and bed linen? Since you are spending almost a third of your life in direct contact with these products, you might want to start giving them a second thought. 42  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Cocoon Company is a family-owned company, whose mission is to take responsibility for our environment and help make the planet greener by producing high-quality bedding made from chemical-free, natural and organic resources, all in a sustainable way. The green butterfly is your guarantee

“Since we founded the company, we have witnessed a real shift in the mentality among the customers. In the beginning, our customers were the eco geeks like ourselves, but now our clients range from new mums to vegans, grandparents and young people. Today, we have ecoconscious customers everywhere from Hong Kong to California, from Greenland to New Zealand,” says Torben Dahlmann, founder of Cocoon Company.

The name, Cocoon, comes from the idea that a small, green and eco-conscious

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Denmark

business transforms – just like a cocoon – into a green and sustainable butterfly. On each product, you’ll find the little green butterfly, which is your guarantee that your new bedding product is sustainable, natural, chemical-free and hypoallergenic. “We have made a conscious decision not to pursue the more traditional certifications. We have created our own standards, which are higher than most certifications. The green butterfly is our quality stamp that symbolises our high standard of sustainability in the products we produce,” says Dahlmann. “We find it interesting, fun and challenging, to push the boundaries and keep developing. As a company and a family, we do not have the conscience to go halfway: we want to go all the way.” Invite nature into your home The idea for Cocoon’s natural bedding products started many years ago, with two parents trying to find the perfect sleeping products for their youngest son, who tended to wake up hot and in a sweat. After trying everything from down to foam, Jane and Torben Dahlmann tried to look for alternatives to the more traditional choices, which is when they came across natural kapok fibre – a fibre that has, they found, been used for generations. “It all started with kapok, a fibre growing as seed pods on tall trees in the wild forests. We use this natural fibre in duvets,

“Our new programme, Peace Silk, is a groundbreaking project, where the silkworm reproduces, the silk is produced in a humane way, and the silkworms can finish their life cycle and transform into silk moths,” explains Dahlmann.

pillows and mattresses. The kapok fibre is vegan, naturally hypoallergenic, organic and wonderful to sleep in. Kapok has so many fantastic natural qualities with regards to regulating temperature and moisture,” explains Dahlmann. Cocoon Company is constantly pushing the boundaries for what it means to be a green and sustainable company. In recent years, they have done a major overhaul of their packaging. Since 2018, they have reduced their use of plastic by more than 80 per cent. They are solely using natural tape made from natural rubber, and 99 per cent of their cardboard boxes are recycled. They don’t use stickers; instead, they use stamps with natural colours. They even separate the rubbish and drive it to the recycling stations themselves.

Cocoon Company is committed to taking social responsibility, and all their products are safely handmade in a way that is kind to both people and the planet. Animal welfare is also at the heart of the company, which is why their Peace Silk is produced following the ideology of Ahimsa. The word ’Ahimsa’ originates from Sanskrit and means ’doing no harm against any other living things’, and it is exactly this way of thinking that is the basis for all of Cocoon’s products, which are made in a 100 per cent cruelty-free and animal-friendly way. “We work with small productions, primarily in India. It is important to us that we have a close relationship with the people that work for us and with us, which is exactly why we visit them as often as we can,” says Dahlmann. “All our raw materials are carefully selected with the greatest care for both the Earth and everyone involved in the process.” Web: Facebook: Cocoon Company Instagram: @cocoon_company

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  43

D AN AY ES RW lT I a i ec AB NO Sp B H, D – T R N BI EYO B e:

m he

Lillelam offers soft and warm children’s wear in merino wool.

The Lillelam shop in Oslo.

Wonder wool Lillelam has for some time now excelled in the area of durable and warm merino wool clothing for children. Recently, the brand also added merino linen to its assortment. By Eva-Kristin U. Pedersen  |  Photos: Lillelam

When Pernille Siem became a mother, she struggled to find safe, sustainable and warm clothing for her baby. Thanks to her French mother, Siem had been dressed in soft merino wool herself – but that was nowhere to be found on the Norwegian market. Siem decided that the best way to fix that was to set up her own company. In 2004, Lillelam was born, and the company now employs five people in the head office and four in the brand store in

The first is still Lillelam’s bestselling collection.

Oslo, doing everything from design and production to sales. Designed to last “Our products are designed to withstand the test of time. We use the cleanest possible treatment processes, as well as ethical and sustainable production methods,” Siem explains.

“A customer recently told me that she had one of our dresses, which had been passed on 11 times – a sign that we’ve really managed to achieve our ambition to produce sustainable quality clothing,” says Siem. Like sleeping in a cloud

The result is a collection of clothes in 100 per cent merino wool for newborn babies and children up to six years of age. “It’s really the softest wool available,” stresses the entrepreneur.

More recently, Lillelam developed a unique product: bedlinen for adults in soft merino. These sheets and duvet covers are sold online and in selected shops in Oslo under the brandname Baylon.

No need for frequent washing

“It took us more than three years to develop them, but it was worth it. My daughter told me that it was like sleeping in a cloud,” Siem smiles, adding that merino linen has health benefits: “Even patients with ME or chronic fatigue syndrome have told us that the quality of their sleep greatly improves with our linen.”

Merino wool comes from the merino sheep, whose long and soft fibres are very well-fitting for clothing. Because Lillelam employs a very careful production process, any of its garments can be broken down into compost when, eventually, they wear out. In addition, merino wool is self-purifying and hardly needs washing, The original collection designed in 2004 is still Lillelam’s best-selling – after 17

44  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

years. The design and material were purposely made flexible to allow for a child’s movement and growth. Moreover, the high quality means that Lillelam clothes can be passed down from one generation to the next.

Web: / Facebook: /

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Norway

Lilleba: Sleeping made fashionable, unique and soft Beautiful patterns, high quality and softness that could put any child or adult to sleep – Lilleba is bringing a brand-new take on PJs. Even after 16 years on the market, the brand is determined to make not only the most comfortable, but also the best-looking pyjamas and lounge wear out there.

for everyone, including those allergic to standard wool clothing. Additionally, bamboo is grown without fertilisers and can absorb carbon dioxide, making it a greener alternative.

By Celina Tran  |  Photos: Markus Johansson

In 2006, a mother in Stavanger, Norway, found herself making clothes for her little baby son. What began as a single item of clothing quickly turned into a collection, and thus, Lilleba was born. “We spend a third of our lives sleeping,” says Aleksandra Dudek, head of design at Lilleba. “It’s an incredibly important part of life, and therefore we want to make sure that our clothes and bedding help you sleep as well as possible, in addition to being appealing and looking good.” Originally, Lilleba only produced underand sleepwear for children, and so the quality and fabric needed to be soft and long-lasting, but also suitable for those with sensitive skin. It didn’t take long before they widened their collection and began developing clothes for adults as well. Dreams, starry skies and Nordic nights In their most recent collection, Nordisk natt, which is Norwegian for ’Nordic

night’, Lilleba’s team has truly tapped into their childhood for inspiration. “My main inspiration for this was the Nordic nature and culture. There’s something about animals and the night sky that’s almost dreamlike, perhaps even a bit childish,” Dudek chuckles. Dudek’s personal favourite from the collection is Polarnatt, ’Polar night’. The pattern depicts a glittering Nordic night sky and Arctic animals, and provides a sense of airiness, reminiscent of a distant childhood dream.

“Quality is a priority because we want our pyjamas to be passed down from sibling to sibling, maybe even generations,” Dudek says. “Today’s world is dominated by fast fashion, but we aim to produce fashionable wear with the least possible harm to our planet.” Lilleba continuously works towards making the products greener.

“Our patterns aren’t limited to children. The entire family can be comfortable and fashionable in their matching pyjama set,” Dudek explains. A slumber to last generations The Lilleba team prides itself on the quality of their clothing. The clothes are made up of bamboo viscose and cotton, so the collections are soft and inclusive

Web: Facebook: Lilleba & Herremann Instagram: @lillebaogherremann

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  45

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Norway

A family of three walking through Frognerparken.

MiniMeis: Connecting with your child from day one No matter where you go, there are toddlers perched high on shoulders, small hands gripping their parents’ heads, and big eyes taking in the bright, new world they’re still discovering. Making this activity easier is what MiniMeis, a foldable shoulder carrier that securely and ergonomically supports the perched child (and parent), is all about – and the three Norwegian dads who invented it have achieved remarkable success. By Lise Lærdal Bryn  |  Photos: MiniMeis

The root of MiniMeis’ invention and its subsequent success is as simple as this: a father’s desire to connect with his young child. This is what sparked Julius Winger’s, Marcus Martinuzzi’s and Tarjei Espolin Johnson’s imaginations and led to them developing a way to engage with children on a more meaningful level in day-to-day life. It started in 2011, when in46  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

dustrial designers Winger and Martinuzzi went on paternity leave and spent every day with their children. Although there are other baby-andtoddler-carrying solutions, hanging both on their parents’ fronts and backs – and indeed the name of MiniMeis derives from the Norwegian word for these

carriers, ‘bæremeis’ – the fathers found them limited in their practicality in everyday life. “These traditional carriers are good if you’re going on long hikes, but it’s not that often you do that with these young children,” Johnson, who now serves as CEO, remarks. Freeing up your hands – and your child’s view Traditional carriers also are much more restrictive for the child, who has limited mobility and often can’t see much more than the parent’s neck. “We once walked around Disney World with a GoPro camera, fastening it first to a pram and then to my head, and it was amazing how different the view is, how much more of the

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Norway

world your kid can see on your shoulders,” Johnson adds. “Our goal is for it to be easy and fun to involve your kids in your life. For example, if you’re mowing the lawn, rather than them lying in a pram or on the lawn, they’re part of the activity, you can talk to them, point at things and so on,” Johnson explains. The greatest advantage is that it really frees up everyone’s hands. Rather than clutch your toddler’s legs, you can hand them a grape and hold someone’s hand. It’s a remarkably simple idea, and it’s no surprise that the product has taken off since they launched it publicly with a global patent in 2015, after four years of playing around with it for personal use. “Things really exploded especially in the US from day one,” says Johnson. “We sold two MiniMeis a day, then five, then ten, and suddenly it was a 100 per day. It grew very, very quickly.” By dads, for dads – and their families No doubt, part of this success is thanks to Time Magazine naming MiniMeis one of the Top 100 Inventions of the Year in 2019, a fact that MiniMeis proudly displays on their website. They are also efficient marketers with a personal touch, as they are all involved in making their

The MiniMeis G4 comes in five colours.

own promotional material, and they feature stories of people using the MiniMeis all over the world. The company has now sold over 100,000 MiniMeis to over 150 countries. “We’re quite certain that a reason we’ve made such a breakthrough internationally is that it’s been developed by and for dads, and so few products in the for-children industry are made by dads. It’s mostly focused on mothers,” Johnson reflects. “And so the recent trend of fathers taking on more responsibilities has worked well for us.”

The increased role dads are taking in childrearing is something that some consider as typically Scandinavian – it perhaps comes as no surprise that this company was created by three Norwegian dads – but Johnson is quick to emphasise that this is a world-wide trend. “Dads are taking more responsibility everywhere, and we think it’s great to help push that – we’re really focused on the father being present from a young age.” Web: Instagram: @minimeis

Petting horse. The MiniMeis makes it easier for the child to interact with the world.

Co-founder Tarjei Espolin Johnson with wife and head of marketing, Nina, and son.

The MiniMeis can easily be carried when the child wants to walk.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  47

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Norway

RisaRosa: Knitting with love Passion, love and knitwork are three of the most important ingredients in RisaRosa’s recipe for the perfect bunting bag. Despite being Norway-based, the brand’s products have made quite a name for themselves and are helping children across the globe to settle. By Celina Tran  |  Photos: RisaRosa

Having always had a passion for crafts and needlework, and with an education in sewing and design, Hilde Widding started making bunting bags for her own children and at the request of family and friends in the late ‘80s. In 2011, she was awoken in the middle of the night by a clear vision of an idea she had been developing. Unable to go back to sleep, Widding ran to the shop first thing in the morning and returned with a basket of yarn, and soon, the first RisaRosa bunting bag was born.

posted Widding’s work online. Overnight, the bag’s popularity skyrocketed and suddenly, Widding found herself receiving requests from everyone from expecting mothers to bloggers and influencers.

What started as a work of passion suddenly gained attention after someone

In fact, the name RisaRosa came from her own nicknames for her twin daugh-

48  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Knitted with love “Whether it’s for a client or simply for my own pleasure, I feel like I’m always working on these bunting bags,” Widding explains. “RisaRosa is my little baby. From knitting to sewing, I put so much love into these products.”

ters, and thus the brand has always been a very personal project for her. “I’m very hands-on and knit many of the bunting bags myself. There’s something incredibly rewarding and emotional about being able to partake in such a big part of someone’s life,” she smiles. “Often, mothers or those who want to gift the bunting bag will contact me a few months before the baby’s arrival and we’ll start discussing the product. Sometimes, people want their bags to have a unique touch or an untraditional colour, and as every product is handmade, we can happily add personal touches or changes to the baby’s bunting bag.” Widding says that she can prioritise an order if the baby is already born, and RisaRosa is always in close contact with the customer throughout the process. “The most rewarding part is to see how happy the customers are when they re-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Norway

ceive their product, second to seeing all the adorable photos they send us of their babies in the footmuffs, of course.” Sustainability, quality, and locality RisaRosa has made the decision to keep production local, as it is more sustainable and allows the team to continue creating personal products. “Keeping the brand here also provides that personal, human touch to the product. We put our hearts into making these, and that is something I want us to continue,” Widding explains. “There are no limits to personalisation, because the products are handmade rather than mass produced.” The local production also allows the team to ensure that every product is of the very best quality. In the past, Norwegian parents have found themselves having to dress their children in endless layers in order to keep them warm, but RisaRosa has removed this hassling obstacle.

“We only use natural materials, such as wool, down and cotton. This is to make sure that the products breathe and regulate temperature. That way, the child doesn’t need to wear loads of clothes to stay warm.”

get through their colic, allowing them to sleep through the night. “It’s hard to say what gives it that magic touch, but I do think the combination of the materials, their abilities and the design creates a very comforting and safe feeling.”

Widding also wanted the product to be washing-machine friendly, but down and wool are washed at two different temperatures. RisaRosa’s bunting bags are therefore detachable, making them more innovative and user friendly. As the down pouch is removable, it can also be used throughout the year and not just during the cold seasons.

The bags’ popularity in Norway may be expected, but RisaRosa has produced products for beautiful infants all across the world. The bunting bag continues to comfort young children until they no longer fit in prams and are ready to take their next, or perhaps first, steps. About the RisaRosa bunting bags:

A bunting bag that works wonders

Measurements: 50x100cm

“We’ve been told by many customers that their children calm down when they’re put in our bunting bags. Some even bring the bag to bed,” she chuckles.

Zippers on both sides of the bag

Some customers have also claimed that the product has helped their child

Bunting bag and inner duvet are detachable, and can be washed separately Can be produced with holes for the pram’s straps/harness Alternative materials for those with allergies or sensitive skin Thinner duvets available for other seasons

Web: Facebook: RisaRosa Instagram: @risarosadesign

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  49


S … IE VE B T D i A O in B ON S L M , Y TH BE NT R BI ND ARE A IP ND A C –S m he

A 1950s car. Photo: Joanna Forsberg

A wooden doll.

A family business committed to creating hand-crafted heirloom toys The Polish toy-making company Wooden Story was founded a little over 50 years ago. Its ethos is still the same as it has always been: to make meticulously hand-crafted wooden toys that can be passed from one generation to the next. By Linda A. Thompson  |  Photos: Marek Zawadka

It was Władysław Borowy who founded the company over five decades ago, and today, the family business is run by Borowy’s grand-daughter, Gosia, and her husband, Wisiek, with help from their three children. According to the third-generation toymakers, the secret to the company’s long history is its devotion to family and tradition, a passion and love for the craft of making toys, as well as each generation’s respect for what their predecessors left them. The ethos of the company – which is based in the Beskid mountain forests of Poland – is the same today as it was all those decades ago: to apply the greatest degree of care to every stage of the toy-making process, from choosing the perfect wood to create a new toy, to a toy’s final packaging. “We’re not trying to compete with other brands. We simply work and create in alignment with our Wooden Story philosophy and our personal values,” Gosia Borowy explains, adding that their toys are 50  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

meant to be passed from one generation to the next, like an heirloom. It’s an approach that has appealed to parents, relatives and friends shopping for children’s gifts. “A repeat comment we get from customers is that our toys take them back to warm moments from their childhood and their cherished memories of spending time with their grandparents,” Borowy says. “We are proud that so much warmth and love is associated with our craft.”

especially appreciated the pared-down elegance of the wooden toys. “In our aesthetic, we emphasise our love of simplicity and try to express the beauty of minimalism as well as the philosophy behind our toys,” Borowy explains, describing Wooden Story’s key values as tradition, family, love and respect. “With our toys, we hope that children will absorb the beauty of the world around them and care for this world as much as we do.” The company’s toys are made with wood from FSC-certified suppliers.

All the company’s toys are made with wood from FSC-certified suppliers and coloured with natural, eco-certified paints that are free from harmful chemicals. The Wooden Story toy range – which includes everything from teethers, dolls and cars, to stacking towers and block toys – can today be found in many children’s stores across the Nordics. According to Borowy, Scandinavian customers have

Web: Facebook: WoodenStorypl Instagram: @woodenstory

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Scandi Parents Love…

Banwood’s nostalgic kid’s bikes are what memories are made of Everyone remembers their first bike. Founder of Spanish-based Banwood Bikes, Frida Jonsby, is no exception. “Mine was a red, Swedish-designed Crescent bicycle from the 1970s,” she says. “It was a real little bicycle, with straight lines and classic colours.” By Lena Hunter  |  Photos: Banwood

So, when Jonsby and her partner, Juan Manuel Torralvo Castro, decided to design a line of children’s bikes, they drew on their own memories of endless summers playing outside until sunset. “We wanted something simple that evoked a nostalgic, vintage Scandinavian style – with a basket, so it would feel like a miniature adult bike.” The Banwood family The signature Balance Bike was born. It’s made of aluminium stainless steel, with a little rattan basket for teddies, pebbles and snacks, and a vegan leather saddle and grips. The Pedal Bike followed – lightweight, fully adjustable, with 16-inch tires and unique rosewood pedals. In a dreamy rainbow of cream, pale mint, pink, green and blue, the design recalls a Californian summer gone by. So, too, the latest member of the family: a candy-pink three-wheel scooter for kids up to age five.

aesthetics of the French Golden Age, with an exquisite, curved golden frame and pure, white Michelin tires. “It’s really unique. It’s a piece of art,” says Jonsby. A simple mission

“We spent three years designing our tricycle,” says Jonsby. The trike’s attention to detail is the stuff of childhood dreams: crimson, with a padded oak deck and steel bell. “It’s important that our bikes look beautiful in 20 years, so kids can inherit them from generation to generation.” Bikes imitating art As Banwood has grown, design brands such as Liberty London, Anthropologie and Bonton have collaborated on collections inspired by fashion and art. “I love Liberty’s floral prints. It was a dream when we collaborated with them,” says Jonsby.

All said, Banwood’s mission is simple: get kids active. “We love the way kids play,” says Jonsby – and therein lies the core of Banwood. They believe that your first bike isn’t just a bike – it’s made of many moments: the smell of fresh rain, ‘look mum, no hands!’, and reluctantly parking it away for the night, excited to come back to it in the morning.

Likewise, Banwood x Marest sees the classic Balance Bike wrapped in artist Antonyo Marest’s ‘espacio vital’ motif – a pattern he exhibited at last year’s Madrid Design Festival. Iconic French lighting maison, Rispal Paris, was next. Rispal x Banwood’s Balance Streamline bike draws on the

Web: Instagram: @banwoodbikes

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  51

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Scandi Parents Love…

Making friendships.

Fall in love with these Italian-style toy scooters – an award-winning, active toy for toddlers that screams style, quality and value Making dreams come true doesn’t happen overnight. No one knows this better than Elisha Ruesch and Nguyen Nguyen, joint founders of Ambosstoys. Developing the prototype of their child-sized scooter, the award-winning PRIMO Scooter, took them eight enduring years and heartfelt determination. By Karin Blak  |  Photos: Ambosstoys

Nguyen and Ruesch began working together when setting up their workshop in Vietnam, restoring motorbikes and classic cars. Their showroom in Switzerland provided the outlet for their craftsmanship. In the years that followed, both became parents and, as happens with many parents of toddlers, they noticed the poor quality of toys and how easily they broke. The plastic was not durable enough to 52  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

last longer than a season, nor were the toys recyclable. They turned their disappointment into a success story. They had the skills and craftsmanship to produce toys in materials that would last long enough to be passed on from sibling to sibling, perhaps even creating heirlooms that would be adored by generations. Having restored many scooters in their work-

shop, they decided to model their first toy on the classic Vespa. From idea to reality Developing a new product without investment money or experience from a similar project proved to be a steep learning curve for the pair. But Ruesch and Nguyen persevered; their energy, time and, most of all, their desire to create quality toys in timeless and affordable designs, were all they needed to make this dream come true. Shaping the clay prototype with their bare hands, they didn’t stop until they were both happy with the result. Eight years after they first began to design and

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Birth, Babies and Beyond – Scandi Parents Love…

Nguyen Nguyen and Elisha Ruesch, founders of Ambosstoys.

Sleek and sophisticated PRIMO Classic.

mould their idea, the PRIMO Scooter was born.

member the process we went through. It was such an emotional moment.”

These brightly coloured, ride-on scooters are solidly made of sheet metal, powder-coated for protection, and in the timeless style of 1960s Italian scooters. Who could resist falling in love with these cheeky little metal movers?

MOMA had placed the scooter in a large window at their SOHO Manhattan NY shop, standing on its own, a shining example that spoke for itself: this was a design that possessed longevity, quality, craftsmanship, and value – exactly what the two entrepreneurs wanted the name of Ambosstoys to stand for.

Packaged to be easily assembled on arrival, these small three-wheel scooters are a dream for any toddler, aged around one and a half to three. The success story In 2019, Ambosstoys attended the New York Toy Fair and, as Ruesch says, it was a matter of “either go big or go home”. They wanted to stand out so chose a large booth in a position where they would be seen. But that wasn’t all. They cleverly exhibited examples of their old collection of full-size Italian scooters, some of which had been modified, or “pimped”, with electric motors, made into sidecars or three-wheeled vehicles. Among these, they placed their cute and colourful toy scooters. Their eye-catching stand caught the attention of retail stores as well as bigger suppliers, and orders began to come in. The most exciting order of them all came from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, who adored the PRIMO and wanted it as part of their design collection.

Adding to their success, the PRIMO scooter won the Best Toys for Kids Award 2019 and later the Toy of the Year award 2021. From that moment on, the scooter became a must-have for suppliers of toys and orders began flooding in. Resilience through the pandemic As the pandemic hit retail throughout the world, orders were cancelled, and a different kind of challenge presented itself. Setting up as a provider to the smaller retail stores no longer proved a viable option. Again, these inventive entrepreneurs found a way through. Switching their

sales to online only, they created partnerships with bigger companies, making this delightful scooter available throughout the world, including Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, UAE, Taiwan, Asia and Australia. Ambosstoys: the vision With this level of success, Elisha and Nguyen have already got the next toy lined up and due out in 2022. This time it will be with a focus on children three to six years of age: a two-wheel balance bike using the same philosophy of taking a classic design and turning it into a quality toy. Ruesch cannot reveal the design before the patent has been registered, but watch this space: with Ruesch and Nguyen’s vision of converting classic designs into quality, long-lasting toys, Ambosstoys could before long become a household name. Web: Facebook: Ambosstoys Instagram: @ambosstoys YouTube: Ambosstoys LLC

Paint the rainbow with PRIMO Classic.

Seeing the PRIMO at the museum shop touched Ruesch deeply. “It was amazing,” he says, “to see our product in the window of the MOMA shop and then reJanuary 2022  |  Issue 138  |  53

Photo: Lenita Visan

54  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Noomi Rapace

Noomi Rapace: ‘I crave connection’ “Film is really, for me, the most beautiful form of communication and storytelling. I wish politicians, and leaders, and the people that sit on the big money and make the big decisions would give more support to the arts, because it’s medication for the soul… and that’s something we can totally see now during this pandemic.” By Paula Hammond

Noomi Rapace’s love affair with the arts began when she was seven, living in Iceland with her family. “My mum and my stepdad, who is Icelandic, were both part of a film called In The Shadow of the Raven,” she says. “I basically tagged along and got a small part as a kid in the crowd. I was dressed up as this Viking – and it changed my life. I felt like I had discovered a paradise. A place of total freedom – and I didn’t want to leave. I remember that I refused to take my dirty Viking clothes off at the end of the day. That was the beginning of the journey, and it’s been my longest love story.” It’s a journey that’s taken her around the world, from her native Sweden to the high-pressure red-carpets of Hollywood. “I think,” she laughs, “that I always knew I was going to leave Sweden. I felt that the world was mine and I belonged to everything and everyone. I’ve never had a specific place or country that I considered ‘I am’, and I’ve felt like that since I was a child.”

ent countries” and unable to get back home to see her son. Her most recent trip took her to Iceland, where she’s been filming the dark, compelling fable, Lamb. The genredefying film tells the story of a couple, María (Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), whose life on a remote farm is shaken by an unexpected arrival. When the couple decide to keep the newborn, they find themselves pitted against family, nature and forces that are far more elemental. “I grew up on a farm in Iceland,” Rapace explains, “so I’m no stranger to that life:

to hard work, the outdoors, getting my hands dirty. Everyday life on a farm is quite intense. Life and death is always present. You see animals get born and you see them die, but I’ve never delivered a baby lamb before and I’ve never driven a tractor, and both happened on my first day on set. It was full on, and it really felt like the birth of the movie because, after that, María moved in and she stayed in me for the entire shoot.” The film is a homage to wild, untamed places. Valdimar Jóhannsson’s deft direction puts the still beauty of Icelandic scenery at the heart of the story, while evoking a sense of wonder and belief in the impossible. But, as Rapace reflects, while the story may surprise many, Icelanders have always had a deep connection to old places and old beliefs. “When I was growing up, my mother always spoke about the elves and the fairies. She always said ‘they’re here’. So, from an early

Something old These days, Rapace lives in London, but her work takes her all over the world — something that’s been hard during a pandemic, when she’s occasionally found herself “trapped on set in differ-

Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Lamb.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  55

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Noomi Rapace

Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Lamb.

age, I was very open to the idea that there are things that are present but we can’t see. I think a lot of Icelandic people have that view and that kind of belief, but it’s very matter of fact. There’s nothing mystic or strange about it. It’s just everyone knows – don’t cross that field because the elves will get angry.”

Lamb couldn’t be more different from films such as A Game of Shadows and Prometheus, which propelled her to international stardom. “It felt,” she reflects, “like a great gift had been given to me. A beautiful opportunity for me to go back to my roots and reconnect with the side of Noomi that used to do arthouse films. It was just pure acting. No fighting. No green screen. No wires. It felt like emotional oxygen.” Something new For Rapace, acting is all about emotions, connections and getting to the heart of what makes people tick. As a devoted people watcher, she’s always been interested in knowing how people become the way they are — in “putting the puzzles together”. It’s something that feeds naturally into her craft and can make switching off, and finding Noomi again, quite difficult. 56  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

“I haven’t really figured out that part yet,” she admits. “When I shot Lamb, María was living in me for the entire shoot. It’s not like I think I’m the character. You don’t need to call me by the character’s name. But she did take over my dreams, and my thoughts. My entire being was occupied by the character. I guess I just embrace it and let it happen.”

she says. “I’m very interested in people and, when I have too much attention on me, that takes that away. It’s communication, the connection with someone else, that I crave.”

While she’s better known these days for her film work, theatre is also very close to her heart. “The last time I was on stage, I played Medea and I did 50 shows. Coming home from killing my kids on stage every day, every night, was really brutal, so I had to take a proper break,” she says. “That was 14 years ago, but I feel like the urge to go back to the stage is starting to creep up on me. But, it needs to be with the right people. For me, acting is never about the role. I don’t want to play Macbeth or Blanche in A Street Car Named Desire. It’s all about collaborations. Who I’d love to work with. Who I would like to be on stage with. Who I would like to play with. Who I want to spend all those hours with.” Listening to Rapace chat, it’s clear that she cares more about her art than about any incidental fame or fortune. “I don’t really find the fame part that exciting,”

Valdimar Jóhannsson’s striking debut feature film, Lamb, will be available exclusively on MUBI from 25 February 2022.

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Noomi Rapace

Photo: Lenita Visan

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  57

S ON EN I AT ED lT a i N ec TI SW S Sp DE T IN 022 I N 2 TE VIS IN TO e:

m he

Photo: Sandviken

From fabulous ‘fika’ to lush landscapes – our top destinations to visit in Sweden in 2022 Go north or south, to a city or the wilderness – Sweden boasts cold, stunning winters and sunny, relaxed summers. Here is our guide to the places not to miss if you want to visit Sweden in 2022, be it for wintery landscapes and skiing or a summer on the beaches around lake Vänern. Sweden is exceptionally beautiful in winter. Woods appear to be covered in mini crystals as the sunshine breaks through the branches of snow-covered trees, and fields get a soft, thick, powdery white duvet. Add cosy cafés with candles aplenty and beautiful lighting in every window, 58  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

and you will see why a visit to Sweden in the winter can be not just different, but incredibly soothing for the soul. But as the light returns and the temperature creeps up, Sweden sheds its winter wonderland costume and turns into a

summer haven in full bloom. From buzzy city festivals and cultural treats to endless untouched islands and cool cliffs by the wild sea, a summer in Sweden can be everything Astrid Lindgren wrote about and more. Season and weather aside, a visit to Sweden is sure to boast the best in design and modern comforts in addition to efficient transport systems, locals that are happy to help, and world-class

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

cultural experiences. The countryside is vast and varied, while the urban regions boast multiculturalism, innovation and fabulous architecture.

Photo: Paul Björkman

Come for an active holiday full to the brim of sporting adventures and waterside fun or explore the native traditions up north, the cultural heritage, and the new, exciting food scene. Whatever you choose, you are bound to leave satisfied – with that spark ignited. For information about accommodation options, transport, key destinations and more, please visit:

Sunset over lake Vänern. Visit Värmland. Photo: Lars Fredriksson

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  59

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Sweden’s grandest lake and new pilgrim route Neighbouring cities Trollhättan and Vänersborg team up as a popular holiday destination filled with exciting history, nature experiences and waterfalls, good food and much more. This year, the region presents a new pilgrim route and initiatives around Sweden’s grandest lake. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Visit Trollhättan-Vänersborg

Water has always been central to both Trollhättan and Vänersborg. In the case of the latter, an old marketplace, the waterway was key to the shipping and collection of iron found throughout the county, and the long beaches around Vänern – Sweden’s largest lake, technically an inland sea – made it a beneficial place to stay from both agricultural and safety perspectives. The importance of the lake for the position of Vänersborg, which got its town privileges in 1644, as a meeting point and trading hub cannot be underestimated. A regional capital boasting generous 60  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

nature and wildlife, it is sometimes described as a miniature Sweden. In Trollhättan, it was the narrow water passages of the river Göta Älv that eventually led to what was to become the town’s pride. These passages caused more than a few headaches, as goods had to be reloaded to continue transportation on land. But it was not until 1800, after a range of different ideas and more than a few failed attempts, that the first sluice in Trollhättan was completed. The creation was dubbed the world’s eighth wonder

and immediately became a popular place to go for a combination of technical enlightenment and a romantic setting. “Every day at three o’clock in the summer months, the floodgates open and 300,000 litres of water per second is released. It’s quite spectacular,” says Maria Engström Weber, CEO of Visit Trollhättan-Vänersborg. “People come here to experience this alone.”

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

The trail of insights and prospects There are two new adventures for visitors to the region this year, Pilgrimsleden (The Pilgrimage) being one of them. The Göta Älv pilgrimage is a 140-kilometre trail of insights and prospects. “It’s an internal and external journey that you complete on your own or together with others,” says Engström-Weber. The pilgrimage in three stages combines nature experience with history. Each of the stages – Gothenburg-Lödöse, LödöseHålanda and Lödöse-Vänersborg – has its own character, and you can find your favourite or do all three. Route Trollskogen is the longest stretch, at 22 kilometres from Utby to Trollhättan, through the enchanting deep forest and up and down the steep hills. You will pass Åkerström Nature Reserve with some of the best views on the route, especially around sunset. Just don’t forget to bring a packed lunch along on this little adventure. Kärleksstigen (‘the love path’) is the last stretch of the Göta Älv pilgrimage, from Trollhättan bridge to Dalbobron in Vänersborg. It passes the grave of Karl, an almost four-kilometre-long water channel built so that ships could avoid the falls at Vargön. When you reach Vänersborg, enjoy some well-deserved rest, and remember to fill up on energy

if you plan to continue the pilgrimage towards Norway. This is Sweden’s grandest lake The other new initiative is Lake Vänern Grand Tour, a nature tourism pilot aimed to connect Vänern as a destination, with the help of activities on and around the lake. Lake Vänern is one of Europe’s largest lakes, with heaps of activities regardless of season and weather. It’s a fishing paradise, naturally, and has lots of worldclass hiking and cycling routes, as well as fantastic cultural experiences. The new bike route, Vänernleden, around the lake makes the backbone of the initi-

ative, passing beautiful beaches and nature phenomena such as the eco parks Halleberg and Hunneberg, and other activities including paddling, boat tours and hiking are available too. You could say that this is a place for good quality of life, for both locals and visitors. “Lake Vänern offers something for all the senses, all year round,” concludes Engström-Weber. “Nature, culture, food and activities that fill you with joy.” Web: Facebook: VisitTV Instagram:

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  61

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Evening in the guest harbour. Photo: John Persson

New paths uncovering hidden gems There’s something brewing in the small town of Kristinehamn. Idyllically located in Värmland, next to the largest lake in Sweden, Vänern, it is gearing up for an exciting new year. Activities are set to be boosted with new and exciting trails, where unique nature combined with local culture is destined to create an unforgettable fusion of enchanting experiences, perfect for locals and tourists alike.

long hikes and picturesque cycling trips. Five mountain bike trails, quality checked by Biking Värmland, serve as supplement for those who prefer a speedy challenge.

By Nina Bressler

The proximity to Vänern creates an environment rarely found anywhere else. With spectacular sunsets dropping behind the horizon in the west, it’s easy to think that you’re standing in front of a vast ocean, rather than an inland lake.

The news is out: the Vänern cycling trail is officially here. A 630-kilometre-long trail that stretches all the way around the lake will open its doors to visitors who want to experience a unique environment with the best views. “We are so excited that we can finally announce that the Vänern cycling trail will open in 2022. This has been in the works for a long time, and it’s been a passion project for everyone involved. Not only does the trail provide beautiful views of the lake, but it will also open up for the exploration of places off the beaten path – 62  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

previously hard to reach, but now restored back into a greater context. It will provide an incredible cycling and hiking experience, and we can’t wait to see what it will bring to the area,” says Ulrika Ganterud Evermark, head of tourism for Kristinehamn municipality. The trail is divided into four parts, and along the way there will be cafés, swimming spots and a range of destinations brimming with history – equally exciting for local inhabitants as for visitors from afar. The Vänern trail will be an addition to the numerous existing trails, perfect for

Freedom to roam

Fine dining at Ölme Prästgård.  Photo: Ölme Prästgård

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Vänern consists of 5,650 square kilometres of freshwater and holds a tight grip on the number-three position of the largest lakes in Europe, providing ample space for enjoyment on the water. The lake also houses an archipelago of 22,000 islands, and there’s an abundance of water activities to choose from. “There’s so much space to roam and so many hidden jewels awaiting to be discovered. Due to the monumental size of the lake it’s easy to find your sense of freedom; your spot, your own island, far away from other people,” says Ganterud Evermark. “We have many different ways to explore the water: there’s a number of touring boat lines running regularly between the bigger islands. You can rent a boat, kayak or canoe, or travel here on your own boat and anchor in our popular guest marina, where people tend to gather for barbecues and other social events.” There’s also a popular pirate tour on an old wooden boat, a replica of the original that was built for iron transportation. The tour passengers are taken on an exciting treasure hunt around the islands under the governing of, most of the time, benevolent pirates. Local culture and cuisine Despite the town’s relatively small size, there’s no shortage of world-class food and interesting history to delve into in the Kristinehamn area. Local produce, ranging from wild meat to locally

Järnleden. Photo: Bettina Johansson

Pirates in charge of the ship. Photo: John Persson

brewed beer, is widely cultivated by the restaurants for visitors to enjoy. Two restaurants, Oliveriet and Ölme Prästgård, are top ranked on TripAdvisor, and the latter listed in the White Guide. The fact that Kristinehamn is host to Smaka på Värmland (‘Taste Värmland’) every September is hardly surprising. In addition to top-class food, the town is also home to an exciting cultural scene. Ever wondered where the world’s largest Picasso sculpture is located? Look no further; thanks to a local artist, Bengt Olsson, said sculpture found its way to Strandudden, located seven kilometres from the town centre, and is now proudly overlooking the soothing swells rolling in across Vålösundet. The art museum, meanwhile, is a popular spot for contemporary art lovers, where thoughtprovoking artists are taking turns to exhibit their awe-inspiring art to the public.

The town’s historical importance for the iron shipping business is honoured in a number of inventive ways. The historical museum exhibits the history, while the IronTrail Marathon is literally following in the history’s footsteps: the popular marathon runs along the same tracks as where the iron workers were loading and transporting their goods from the mines in the 17th and the 18th centuries. So whether you’re looking for a challenge, the next destination for your cycling trip, a hike in historical environments, a culinary experience, or island hopping on one of the largest lakes in Europe, Kristinehamn is the destination for you. Web:  kristinehamn/en Facebook: Visit Kristinehamn Instagram: @visitkristinehamn

Sunset over Vänern. Photo: Lars Fredriksson

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  63

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Sandviken offers something for everyone.

Where more is more If you’re looking for a nature haven with lots to do, you’ve just struck gold. Sweden’s Sandviken offers an abundance of activities and great culture, attracting both families and adrenaline seekers alike. By Emma Rodin  |  Photos: Sandviken

Sandviken has always enjoyed global attention, much thanks to hosting the world-renowned engineering company Sandvik. Naturally, visitors have historically travelled here for business over pleasure, but that’s not the case today. Although the Sandvik group still plays an important role for the area, Sandviken has in the last few decades experienced a spectacular transformation – with business now taking the back seat. Made in Högbo A magnet for tourism is Högbo Bruk, known as the beating heart of Sandviken itself. The epicentre of iron forging for hundreds of years, it took a pioneering role 64  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

in the industry of the 1800s. Fast-forward to today, and Högbo Bruk is an outdoor paradise, loved as much for its beautiful nature as for its craftsmanship and food. “There is enough to see and do here to never get bored, and I think people real-

ly value that variety,” says Eva Hofstrand, head of tourism at Sandviken. “You can stroll around and visit little farm shops selling quality vegetables and cheese, or head to the glass-blowing workshop if that takes your fancy. All of this wonderful, local produce and talent sits under the brand Made in Högbo, which we are incredibly proud of.” Högbo Bruk also boasts great mountain bike tracks, a picturesque lake for swimming, canoes for rental, high-quality forest tracks for running and skiing, and a gym – to mention just a few. There’s also Högbo Brukshotell, which should not be overlooked. Head to the hotel spa to enjoy a relaxing treatment after a day packed with activities. Or sit down in the restaurant for a gourmet dining experience made with local produce, perhaps finishing off with a taste of the restaurant’s famous dessert buffet.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

In summer, visitors are likely to be seen soaking up the sun by Lake Storsjön. In winter, however, the skiing slopes of Kungsberget are the place to be. This is Sweden’s fastest-growing ski resort, boasting an impressive 22 slopes, 12 lifts and nearly 2,500 beds. “Kungsberget gives people the quality skiing they crave, but without much hassle to get there,” explains Hofstrand. “The resort is just under two hours’ drive from Arlanda airport, which is hugely convenient for a lot of people.” The sound of Sandviken Another establishment that has put Sandviken on the map is Göransson Arena. This venue can hold up to 10,000 people and is regularly used for events ranging from musical concerts to big sporting acts. Previous happenings include shows with Bryan Adams, Britney Spears, 50 Cent and Scorpions, as well as the Sandvik Group’s 100-year anniversary and the 2017 World Cup in bandy. “Göransson Arena has been a marvellous addition to Sandviken, drawing national as well as international visitors,” says Hofstrand. However, the arena is not the only place to enjoy music in Sandviken. The region is well-known for its musical talent, hosting a popular jazz and blues festival annually and housing its own symphony orchestra.

Sandviken also recently became home to one of the biggest names in IT – Microsoft. Three new data centres have opened, with hopes to become the world’s greenest. “This new establishment goes hand in hand with Sandviken’s overall sustainability approach, and we’re all very excited about it,” comments Hofstrand. All in all, Sandviken has a great deal to offer within proximity of many key transport points. Now all you have to do is decide when to visit. Web:

A sight for sore eyes Another Sandviken treat is Färnebofjärden National Park, a unique river landscape in a remarkably beautiful part of the lower Dalälven river. Here, lakes, rapids, wetlands and forests form a mosaic of special environments that has been rewarded with UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), due to its high biological and cultural value. It is a stunning area where marshlands and evergreen forest meet the southern deciduous forests with hints of oak and linden trees, while also encompassing more than 200 islands and skerries. The national park is rich in birds and fish, and from a nature conservation standpoint, there is no question why this area is one of the most valuable of its kind in the country.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  65

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Playful gaming hub and recreational paradise With plenty to do and see, Skövde is a great destination to visit at any time of year. The popular recreational area Billingen continues to develop, the town centre is buzzing, and the gaming community here is on fire. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Tobias Andersson/Next Skövde

Located in Skaraborg between Sweden’s two largest lakes, Vänern and Vättern, Skövde is built partially on the slopes of the low mountain ridge Billingen, and the town centre lies at the foot of the mesa. “It’s ridiculously close to both nature and urban pulse,” says Charlotte Backman, marketing director of Next Skövde. “It’s one of the many advantages of a mid-size town in the middle of a beautiful landscape. Actually, this is one of the main reasons for visitors to come to Skövde – sports and outdoor activities. And us locals, we really love our recreational area Billingen!” 66  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

First-class training centre Billingen is an official Vasaloppet training centre for cross-country skiing, cycling and running. In addition to its 35 kilometres of cross-country skiing tracks, Skövde has extended its track with artificial snow to ten kilometres, using a new technology for creating and storing the snow. “The arena is fabulous for training all year round, and great for beginners as well as all the way up to the very elite,” confirms Backman. Last year, the centre opened a new building serving as a hub with restaurant, sports shop, changing facilities, club

rooms and more. A new ice rink with a roof has premiered too, providing opportunities for sports on ice as well as exhibitions, concerts and other events. And the outdoor swimming pool with magical views has been renovated, more trails for mountain bikes have been established, and recently, new owners have taken over the hotel in Billingen and will continue to invest for the future.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

In 2023, Skövde will host SM-veckan, a week of sports activities organised by the Swedish Sports Confederation every summer and winter by one chosen city. Preparations have already begun in Skövde, and lots of activities will await, leading up to the big event taking place between 30 January and 5 February 2023, including the Swedish Championships in cross-country skiing. It’s expected that SM-veckan will attract some 50,000 visitors. Skövde is easily accessible, only an hour by train from Gothenburg and two hours from Stockholm. In December 2021, a new bus line between central Skövde and Billingen opened, with buses running every half hour, to ensure easier and more sustainable access to the recreational area. Join the gaming community What many might not know is that Skövde is also an important gaming hub, with initiatives run under the banner Sweden Game Arena. With its seven educational programmes, the University of Skövde has the widest and most cutting-edge range of courses in computer gaming in northern Europe, as well as international research with around 30 professors and PhD students.

Sweden Game Arena also organises Sweden Game Conference in Skövde every October, for professional and aspiring game developers and start-ups. “Skövde is a great example of how the proximity in a smaller city can provide great benefits. Here, we see fantastic collaboration between the University, the Science Park, the gaming companies, the municipality and support functions, all creating an attractive hub where people can connect, explore and enjoy gaming.” Backman foresees more exciting business prospects, with more than 200

professional game developers and plenty of work opportunities. “We also have a lot of new start-ups in connection to gaming and several have become international successes, such as Valheim, which has sold millions of copies worldwide.” Skövde is waiting for you – ready, set, enjoy! Web: Facebook: upplevskovde Instagram: @upplevskovde

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  67

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Båstad harbour. Photo: Louise Nordström Pettersson

First-class activities all year round There’s something about Båstad and its surrounding peninsula, Bjärehalvön, that makes people return year after year. You could guess that perhaps it’s the breathtaking sunsets, setting into the Kattegat horizon every night, or perhaps the world-class nightlife and restaurant scene, entertaining tennis stars and funloving visitors every summer? Or maybe it’s the unique, diverse natural landscape? Perhaps quality local produce and numerous farm shops? Whatever the reason, Båstad stands firm as a year-round provider of unique experiences, equally loved by locals as well as visiting tourists. By Nina Bressler

History runs deep in the town of Båstad. Steeped in royal connections, this area has turned into a hub for pleasure seekers as well as nature lovers from near and far, never lacking things to do, regardless of the season. The small town, conveniently located in southern Sweden, only an hour from Copenhagen Airport, will be premiering new and exciting events throughout 2022; not only is the region home to the prestigious tennis week in July, Nordea Open, but with the launch of youth padel tournament 68  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Bullpadel Explosion, it is on track to become a hub for this popular sport as well. “There is something for everyone in Båstad. Whether you’re looking for relaxation in nature, luxurious spa and restaurant visits, or a sport, swimming and beach holiday, we have it all and we do it well: our constant focus is on providing quality experiences, wrapped in beautiful surroundings. The small-town charm in combination with big-city entertainment, with the sea close at hand while the gor-

geous inland landscape offers stimulation for all senses, is hard to beat,” says Annika Borgelin, CEO of Visit Båstad. Natural trails through wondrous landscapes Båstad and Bjärehalvön are home to a diverse landscape: forests, open fields, sandy beaches, cliffs stretching down into the sea, and winding roads embracing the soft hills make the foundation to nature experiences beyond the ordinary. There are many ways to explore the area: country road cycling is one popular activity, and there are plenty of locations for mountain biking, with Vallåsen Bike Park being one of the largest. The annual autumn hiking event, Båstad Hiking Festival, takes nature lovers through luscious trails when autumnal colours reach their peak, while Båstad Outdoor is a new concept that provides adventure packages in various forms.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Exciting activities – like open-water swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, country-road cycling, trail running and kayaking – are superbly tailored into an action-filled getaway led by experienced guides. Hoka Torekov Båstad, a half marathon that runs between the two towns, is in its second year and takes its participants through beautiful trails overlooking the sea. The numerous beaches are another obvious component in the area’s attraction. Sandy beaches for sun seekers and tucked-away swimming spots, providing moments of calm connection between the swimmer and the sea, will always remain good reasons to visit. Norrvikens Trädgårdar is another prime destination for botanics as well as history buffs. Founded by Rudolf Abelin during the early 20th century, the destination makes for a beautiful day out in one of the largest fruit gardens in the Nordics, boasting more than 5,000 fruit trees, a beautiful park, a restaurant, a café and exhibitions. The theme for 2022 is Passion, a word aptly Hallands Väderö. Photo: Karl Olsson

Vallåsen bike park. Photo: Louise Nordström Pettersson

encapsulating the sentiments of the area. “Båstad and Bjäre are intrinsically beautiful, and we simply work hard to provide the activities that will help you explore the area to the fullest,” says Borgelin. Cultivated enjoyment and gastronomic getaways There’s no shortage of comfortable places to stay, from luxurious hotels to countrystyle guesthouses. Hotel Skansen, Torekov Hotel and Hotel Riviera Strand are the established choices, while Soeder Country House, Torekov Guesthouse and Rammsjögård Hotel are new alternatives for visitors looking for stays in unique surroundings and off the beaten track. Craving culture? Ravinen is a newly opened cultural centre where art exhibitions, musical events and interesting talks provide a dynamic addition to the arts scene in Båstad. Foodies, fear not, as the area is amply scattered with choices stretching across numerous cuisines and beautiful locations. Båstad harbour may be the obvious choice, where famous Trail between Torekov and Båstad. Photo: Alexander Neimert

establishments such as Pepe’s Bodega go hand in hand with new and exciting choices – Boathouse being one example, providing a supreme location in combination with quality food all year round. But there’s more to explore around the peninsula. Thanks to its unique climate, the area has become famous for its high-quality local produce, available to buy in farm shops and more often than not used by nearby restaurants. “Locals are proud of their home and want to give visitors the best experience, which is why I believe that Båstad and Bjärehalvön repeatedly attract tourists year after year. The serenity, the excitement, the gastronomy, the nature, and not least the people, are all pieces of the beautiful puzzle we invite visitors to be a part of,” concludes Borgelin.

Web: Instagram: @visitbastad

Båstad harbour. Photo: Karl Olsson

Norrvikens trädgårdar.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  69

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Photo: Feras Jarghon

The culinary destination with a big-town buzz Helsingborg is an interesting mix of cosy and vibrant. The culinary hub has several vineyards, renowned restaurants and something for the sweet tooth – and, for balance, plenty of cycling routes and opportunities for sea bathing.

International Chocolate Awards. Centrally located, it tempts with luxurious ‘fika’ and pralines, as well as chocolate tastings and a sneak peek of the production.

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Visit Helsingborg

Helsingborg has a beautiful centre with small alleys and cobbled streets, yet with the buzz of a big town. It’s renowned as a culinary hub, and you can find a broad range of restaurants here, several of which are listed in the White Guide. “Helsingborg has developed a lot over the last couple of years,” says Evelina Johnsson, sales and marketing manager at Visit Helsingborg. “It’s a fantastic destination with lots of culinary experiences awaiting; it’s a bit of a gastronomic mecca, actually.” It might surprise some that there are a number of vineyards here; however, 70  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

northwest Skåne has a mild climate, which is beneficial for vines. One of the successful vineyards is Lottenlund Estate in the small village of Allerum. Inspired by the vineyards of Tuscany in Italy, Lottenlund Estate was established by Tina Berthelsen in 2016 and offers wine tasting and tours, but also an apple farm, a honeybee farm, and a culinary garden – a dream for wine aficionados and foodies. Delicious culinary experiences and sweets For anyone with a sweet tooth, Chocolatte is a must. This small chocolate boutique and café has won several medals in the

Continuing on the sweet theme, Lakritsfabriken is a gem for lovers of liquorice. Here, you can taste, smell, touch and experience liquorice like never before. You can see how it’s made and also enjoy a liquorice coffee with some – you guessed it – liquorice treats. “It’s a fabulous place,” says Johnsson. “And they’re

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

actually growing liquorice root themselves, which is quite unusual and a first in Sweden.” Fredriksdals open-air museum and botanical garden is a lovely destination for the whole family. Here, time has stood still; animals graze in the fields and hay is harvested in the meadows. You can visit the old farm, stroll through the old neighbourhoods and enjoy a tasty ‘fika’, brunch or lunch at the café. The mansion’s kitchen garden is quite special, too, and not to be missed. Cycling north, south and among the vines The region is great for cycling, whether for day trips or longer adventures. Sweden’s first national cycling path, Kattegattleden (‘the Kattegatt trail’) starts in Helsingborg, covering 390 kilometres along the beautiful coast, all the way up to Gothenburg. You can cycle parts of it, or why not attempt the whole route? If you feel like heading south instead, Sydkustleden (‘the south coast trail’), with its 260 kilometres, stretches from Helsingborg along the coast, passing some of Sweden’s most beautiful beaches, down to Simrishamn and Österlen. Along this route, you can explore historical environments and yellow rapeseed fields, and stop at one of the local gems for a well-deserved break. And returning to wine, you can even go on a cycling tour among the vineyards. It’s a superb combination of spectacular nature, beautiful coastline and tasty wine

from six vineyards, including Lottenlund Estate. “Visiting the vineyards brings the mind to Tuscany in Italy,” says Johnsson. “You can stroll among the vines, deepen your knowledge of wine production in the Nordic climate, and taste fantastic wines.” One of the vineyards also offers glamping, so you can spend the night among the vines, if you wish.

Kallbadsveckan (sea bathing week), 26-31 January Helsingborg hosts Kallbadsveckan, a week wholly dedicated to the culture around sea bathing, including sea baths, lectures and sauna experiences. Photo: Lisa Wikstrand

An old distillery and some sea bathing Another must-see highlight is Spritan, an old distillery in Ödåkra built in 1897, now turned into a creative space for arts, fashion and food. The historical building houses boutiques with a focus on interior design, as well as a restaurant and a café, an art gallery, and even a local microbrewery, Ødåkra Brygghus – all with an entrepreneurial community spirit. “It’s a great day trip with something for everyone,” confirms Johnsson. Another popular activity in the area is sea bathing, a tradition with great health benefits dating back to the 1800s. There are plenty of opportunities to go for a dip in the sea, with no less than three popular sea baths: Rååbaden to the south, the brand-new Kallis right by the beach in the town centre, and Pålsjöbaden slightly further north.

H22 City Expo, 30 May to 3 July With H22 City Expo, Helsingborg invites the world to explore the newest innovations and the smartest ideas for a city that puts people and the planet first. Experience the town with your senses and open up for new tastes, encounters, music and adventure.

Getting to Helsingborg By air: Ängelholm Helsingborg Airport (34km), Copenhagen Airport (97km), Malmö Airport (87 km) By car: highways E6 and E4 By train: Skånetrafiken and SJ

Web: Facebook: visithelsingborg Instagram: @visithelsingborg

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  71

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Photo: Paul Björkman

The capital of fika – with a whole lot more to offer Alingsås is a small town in the western part of Sweden, about 45 kilometres east of Gothenburg, and is known to the rest of the world as the capital of fika. The town has a long fika and café history, which is still prominent in the town’s traditions and ways of living. The concept ‘shop and fika’, meaning that you stop for some coffee or tea and, for example, a cinnamon bun when you are out doing your shopping, is still a common and popular thing. By Hanna Andersson

“The fika tradition started in the 18th century. Alingsås was industrialised early, and women had to go and work in the factories. They didn’t have time to stay at home and bake for the men anymore, and a number of local bakeries opened up, creating this long-standing tradition,” says Frida Rydenskog, tourism coordinator in Alingsås. The Fika Tour Because of the town’s many cafés and love of fika, the Alingsås Tourism 72  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Association has created the very popular ‘Fika Tour’. On this tour, the participants are taken on a guided walk through the town, visiting popular cafés and hearing about the history. The tour includes, among other things, a visit to the oldest café in town, which is still up and running, as well as a sit-down fika session at Grand Hotel. The baked goods you’ll enjoy during the tour include classics such as cinnamon buns, a Swedish smörgåsbord, and ‘sju sorters kakor’ – or ‘seven kinds of biscuits’ – a tradition from the late 19th

century, which indicates how many different biscuits it was considered appropriate to offer your guests. “The pastries are made by local bakeries, which guarantees a high quality. Three of the cafés you visit on the tour are listed in the White Guide, and the common thread is definitely Sweden: Swedish classics and Swedish craftsmanship. After the tour, you’ll have not just tasted some delicious pastries, but also learnt a lot about the Swedish way of life,” says Rydenskog. “If you want to learn even more about the Swedes, there’s a concept called ‘meet a local’, where you can meet up with one of the locals and join them for a hike with their dog, maybe cook some typical Swedish food, or just have a chat over a fika,” she adds. “It’s a lovely way of sharing our culture and traditions.”

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

After the fika tour, you might wonder what the Swedish small town, with around 40,000 residents, has to offer. The answer is: a lot more than you might think. Parks full of history and beauty In Alingsås, you’ll find two of western Sweden’s most beautiful parks: Gräfsnäs Park and Nolhaga Park. Gräfsnäs is an old park located 20 minutes north of Alingsås town centre by car. It features beautiful flowers, old oak trees, and a castle ruin – the remnant of Gräfsnäs Castle, built in the middle of the 16th century. Here, you can join a guided history tour or take a trip on the old steam train, which is still in use during the summer. “Gräfsnäs Park is the most visited destination in all of Alingsås municipality. It has something for everyone and offers multiple events and happenings throughout the year. You can go on history tours, celebrate midsummer, or go swimming in lake Anten,” says Rydenskog. Nolhaga Park is located in the town centre and features the beautiful Nolhaga Castle. The castle is of Italian Renaissance design, and its surrounding park is in English style with romantic bridges and several ponds and playful streams. The castle is also home to a number of art exhibitions, hosting both local artists and long-running exhibitions. “The locals hang out here on sunny days, and there is a big playground, cafés and a

Nolhaga Park. Photo: Alingsås kommun

disc golf course available to everybody. At the top of the hill, there’s a lookout tower from World War II with amazing views over the town,” Rydenskog continues. “The lake Mjörn is close by, and on a hot day you can go for a swim at the nearby beach.” Take a hike if you’d like The nature in and around Alingsås really is stunning, and to make the most of it, many decide to visit the 71-kilometre-long Gotaleden – a hiking trail that runs all the way from Gothenburg to Alingsås. The trail leads you through four municipalities and lets you enjoy the beautiful Swedish nature. If you want to do the full trail, it will take you around three days, and there’s a selection of places where you can eat, sleep or rest along the way. If you don’t fancy that long a hike, the trail is divided

into nine smaller sections, which make perfect day trips. The trail is also designed to be sustainable and connects to local railway stations to minimise the need for a car. “The trail and other sustainable tourist destinations in western Sweden were mentioned in The New York Times list of places to go in 2020. Gotaleden also connects to several cafés in Alingsås, to make sure that you either start with some energy before the hike, or finish with a relaxing and very much needed fika break,” says Rydenskog. It seems, after all, like all roads really do lead to fika. Web: Facebook: Upplev Alingsås Instagram: @upplevalingsas

Photo: Alingsås Turistinformation

Photo: Robert Persson

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  73

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Rådhuset. Photo: Roger Strandberg

Östersund: city of contrasts Not far from the geographic centre of Sweden, Östersund offers a little bit of everything. One of the largest cities in the north of Sweden, it’s a destination worth visiting both for its closeness to nature and for its rich cultural offering. By Amanda Ottosson

The balance between vibrant city life and quiet nature is unique and has meant that those who call the city home have a vested interest in maintaining its unique flavour. “We’re proud of being a city that champions innovation,” says Elisabeth Richardsson, director of marketing at Destination Östersund, an organisation founded to champion the city. “We make it as easy as possible to get to decision makers to share your ideas for how we can improve the city and continue to bring great events and experiences to our residents and everyone who visits.”

mer, residents and visitors alike can go kayaking, fishing and swimming in the lake, or make their way out to Frösön, an island that’s host to a wide variety of bike sports. Boasting bike trails that are among the best in Sweden, Östersund plays host to the top-end of enduro biking athletes and a variety of competitions.

Storsjön, the lake the city was built next to, offers countless opportunities all year round for sports and leisure. In the sum-

“We’re unique in that we can offer visitors pretty much any outdoor activity they can think of, but also combine this with a great

76  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

cultural offering and a variety of fantastic restaurants,” says Richardsson. She says it with pride, and with good reason – Östersund is the only Swedish city that has been invited to join the prestigious Creative City of Gastronomy network. “Our restaurants are world-renowned for serving high-quality food,” she says. “They know they’ve got a reputation to live up to, so they’re always making sure to use the best local produce and keep pushing

In the winter, the lake freezes over and turns into a community spot where people can take full advantage of the snow and ice. And once you’re done, the city is just minutes away.

Winter shopping. Photo: Destination Östersund

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

themselves to create an experience that will keep people coming back.” City centre skiing Also worth noting is the city’s busy yearround activity calendar. Next on the agenda is the Östersund Ski Marathon, kicking off on 16 January for professionals and amateurs alike. The race forms part of a strong local tradition of cross-country skiing. Attracted by the wide variety of nature trails and two ski slopes right in the city centre, top Swedish skiing talents flock to the city – along with enthusiasts keen to learn from them. “We’ve made Vinterparken by the shore of Storsjön into a community spot for everyone who loves winter and winter sports,” says Richardsson. “It’s important to offer something for everyone. In the city centre, we’ve made sure that there are family activities where the children can play in the snow and people can meet up in a winter wonderland. And if you’re a little more adventurous, once the lake freezes over we create a network of trails that let you go skiing, skating or walking on the lake.” Later in the year, the city is hosting a wide variety of events. On 25-27 February, the region’s young people get together for Nordiska Ungdomsspelen, a collection of sporting events spanning everything

MTB on Frösön. Photo: William Falk

Paddling on Storsjön. Photo: Håkan Wike

from figure skating and skiing to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. On 9-12 March, the World Sleddog Association hosts the WSA World Championship in the city – and teams have already made their way from as far afield as New Zealand to train.

Opened in 2018 to encourage local talent and showcase the region’s art and design credentials, the museum is currently showcasing Nordic Myths, an exploration of visual storytelling in Nordic art during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Year-round activities

With the museum taking its place alongside the countless galleries, beautiful surroundings and active living, it’s undeniable: Östersund is truly a city with something for everyone.

In addition to all the outdoor activities on offer, the city is as much a draw for those who prefer to stay indoors – on top of the wide variety of restaurants, the city’s museums are some of the best in the region. Nationalmuseum Jamtli holds pride of place, hosting art exhibitions showcasing the best artists the country has to offer.

Web: www.visitostersund Facebook: VisitÖstersund Instagram: @visitostersund

Vinterparken. Photo: Göran Strand

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  77

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

Lapland View Lodge opened in December 2021. Photo: Michael Törnkvist

Secrets by the Arctic Circle At the heart of Torne Valley, Övertorneå is an exciting getaway with unforgettable nature, warm hospitality and genuine Arctic experiences. This spring, it has a few secrets up its sleeve, including a new mountain lodge, a hopeful neon message lighting up the dark winter months, and some beautiful silver jewellery. By Malin Norman

Located by the Torne River right on the Arctic Circle, with nature around the corner and Finland as its neighbour, Övertorneå is at the heart of Torne Valley. Here, you can discover the joys of a steamy sauna, explore the endless forest filled with berries to stock up your freezer, and marvel at the northern lights, the midnight sun or the sound of the first snow under your boots. And there are lots more things to do, besides. One particular highlight is Konstens Väg (‘the Road of Arts’), an initiative by 78  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Övertorneå municipality that showcases art outdoors. The route follows an old railway, heading south from Övertorneå and through small villages next to the river. “You can enjoy wonderful artworks by renowned artists, as you are discovering the area on skis or by snowmobile,” says Marcus Stenberg, marketing manager at Destination Övertorneå. Artist Carola Grahn, originally from Jokkmokk but based in Malmö, has created new addition Kämpa, a LED sign placed by the road in the village Ruskola.

The sign is a cinematic neon greeting to passers-by, lighting up the dark winter months. The handwritten word is a statement, a call for anyone who is about to give up, to find strength to continue that bit longer. It reflects the mentality of the people living here, who keep on going without complaining, and without the spotlight and the resources available in big cities, Stenberg explains. “It’s not intended as ‘you poor thing’, but rather as a celebration of something inside; that you can make things happen. Like a reminder, filling you with hope.” New lodge on the mountainside Luppioberget (the Luppio mountain) offers breathtaking views of the Torne Valley. Lapland View Lodge is an exciting new accommodation option here, developed by Johan and Sara Väisänen of Explore

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

the North, who also run Pinetree Lodge in Särkimukka, Aurora Mountain Lodge in Lannavaara and Arctic River Lodge in Tärendö.

Lapland View Lodge also has around 50 huskies for dog sledding, and there are plenty of other activities in the area.

In December 2021, the 40 free-standing cabins with stunning, panoramic views, 200 metres above the river and the forest, premiered. “Lapland View Lodge has been positioned with great consideration to the surrounding landscape,” says Stenberg. “During the Ice Age, the mountain’s dramatic, steep cliffs were shaped by the enormous pressure of the ice. The cabins have been placed so as not to disturb the environment; instead, they have become part of the mountain. It’s an unusual place, which is also reflected in the choice of materials and colours.”

Last but not least, Stenberg recommends checking out jewellery designer Erica Huuva, who has been praised internationally but is perhaps not so wellknown locally. In 2019, she was part of Arctic Design of Sweden’s exhibition at Gateway in New York, the innovation hub of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce. “Erica Huuva’s designs are worn by many people here, but not everyone knows that the jewellery is actually made locally and you can even visit her workshop to see how it’s made,” says Stenberg.

The lodge includes a restaurant for 150 guests and a service building for activities. The previous restaurant has been transformed into reception and lounge, with a boutique selling local designs and crafts.

Huuva’s high-end designs are inspired by the Sami culture and made by hand, mostly with recycled silver, and carry Sami names. Silver is important in the nomadic Sami culture, where people invest-

Photo: Marcus Stenberg

Jewellery by a praised silversmith

Photo: Michael Törnkvist

ed in things with cultural or functional importance that they could carry with them, such as silver buckles and silver brooches for their clothes. Silver also has spiritual meanings, reveals Stenberg. “‘Komsekulan’ is said to protect children against evil spirits, although Huuva does it with a modern twist. It’s a way of showing the culture and the place through something beautiful, something that people can wear and cherish.” The mountain lodge, the neon sign and the silversmith have something in common, argues Stenberg. “They have the courage to lift what is typical for the area. Previously, we have looked at what other destinations, such as the bigger cities, are doing. Now, we are starting to see what is beautiful, exotic and unusual about our everyday life here.” Web: Instagram: @destinationovertornea

Though located in the far north, Övertorneå is easily accessible. From Luleå Airport in Sweden, frequented by Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian, it is just over one and a half hour’s drive away. From the Finnish side, you can fly to Rovaniemi or Kemi and then drive around the same distance to reach the destination.

Visitors can see how Erica Huuva’s jewellery is made in the workshop. Photo: Marcus Stenberg

Erica Huuva jewellery. Photo: Lisa Kejonen Pauker

Erica Huuva jewellery. Photo: Lisa Kejonen Pauker

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  79

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

For a food and drink experience like no other, head to Facit Bar.

Setting the bar – literally A city recognised for its university and cultural institutions, Umeå has in the past decade also become a gastronomical hotspot – a fact cemented further by the recent opening of Facit Bar, a new drink and food hub that is 110 per cent Swedish. By Emma Rodin  |  Photos: Alexander Ekholm

Fancy eating out in Umeå? You’ll be spoilt for choice. For one, there’s Gotthardts restaurant, praised for its sustainable, nearly self-sufficient approach and vegetarian offering. You’ve also got Bodega, a wine bar serving guests a relaxed atmosphere in which they can enjoy great wine and food with strong emphasis on produce – not to mention Harlequin, another haven for wine and food lovers, offering a traditional Swedish menu with a twist. Then there’s the new kid on the block, Facit Bar. An ambitious project long in the making, this newly opened cocktail bar is the fruit of co-founder Emil Åreng’s 12-yearlong dream to launch something special, to say the least. Having spent most of his career in the world of drinks, as both a bartender and head of other successful establishments, Åreng has always been 80  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

passionate about creative cocktails that tell a story. Facit Bar is a new home for these, and a story to be told in itself. Because Swedish produce is key, the team at Facit Bar must think outside the box when sourcing ingredients. “We can’t use lemons or limes, so we’ve had to find other ways to get that all-important acidity. And by collaborating with a chemist, we’ve managed to create our own acid from apples, rhubarb and lingonberries, which adds another kind of depth to our cocktails,” Åreng explains. Sustainability is a hot topic everywhere, and thanks to this, clever alternatives to imported ingredients are becoming more popular. “It’s amazing to know that we don’t actually have to import ingredients to Sweden; we just need to look around and see that it’s all right here,” says Åreng.

Also worth a mention is the collaboration between art gallery owner Stefan Andersson and Åreng. Enter Facit Bar and you’ll see paintings and art installations dotted around, all made by Swedish artists, of course. These are all available for purchase, and the idea is to bring art to a wider audience. Although Facit Bar is all about locality, Åreng hopes that it can influence people far beyond his country’s borders. “I’m confident we’ll become one of Europe’s top-five cocktail bars,” he concludes.


: Magazine  eScan NS |  Special Theme  |  Ten Destinations to Visit in Sweden in 2022

O D TI AN A i IN INL M T S F DE T IN 022 P I 2 TO VIS IN TO m he

T ni

Autumn glory at Seaside Glass Villas.

Experience the magic of a winter wonderland, 365 days a year From cruises on a real icebreaker ship to snow safaris and island hopping, SnowCastle Resort offers unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Kemi, the most south-western region of Finnish Lapland – every day of the year. By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: Kemi Tourism Ltd.

Located by the Bothnian Bay, the Kemi region of Sea Lapland is known for its longstanding history of building snow and ice castles, and the tradition continues each year with the building of the SnowCastle and the SnowHotel during the winter months. Inside the SnowCastle Resort’s main building is SnowExperience 365, an indoor snow and ice exhibition. Visitors can step into a real-life winter wonderland, where everything is made out of ice, complete with intricate ice sculptures – as well as a slide and a restaurant, built entirely from ice. 82  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

A small town within a town “We provide our guests with a resort where they can find everything under one roof. We call it a small town within a town,” says Koutonen. The resort is within walking distance of Kemi’s town centre. The town itself is well connected to Oulu and Rovaniemi airports, and a one-and-ahalf-hour flight away from Helsinki. The resort’s heated à la carte restaurant, Lumihiutale (which means ‘snowflake’), serves the very best of Arctic delicacies, and offers diners breathtaking panoramic sea views. “For our business clients, our seaside restaurant can also be trans-

formed into an event space or meeting rooms. In the summer, the restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy the summer midnight sun, and in the winter, visitors can enjoy the starlit sky of the polar night. Because of its panoramic views, some guests might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of the northern lights,” explains Susanna Koutonen, CEO at Kemi Tourism. Ice floating.

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Top Destinations to Visit in Finland in 2022

The resort also has an entire floor dedicated to saunas, which can be booked for private use by guests wanting to find out what the fuss is all about when it comes to the Finns and saunas. The resort is perfect for couples and business tourists alike, and it offers visitors excellent meeting and events facilities, as well as high-quality accommodation, every single day of the year. Luxury villas with one-of-a-kind views The Seaside Glass Villas make an ideal accommodation choice for nature lovers looking for some peace and quiet. Located right by the seafront, the villas offer a stunning view across the archipelago through the glass roof and floor-toceiling windows. Guests can experience the starry northern skies and possibly the northern lights from September to March, or enjoy the ‘white nights’ – when the sun does not drop below the horizon – and the magic of endless summer days. As well as offering the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery, the seaside location of the villas provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to start their activities directly by their front door. The safari company is located in the resort area, so activities Meeting room.

can be arranged for the pick-up to be organised – for example, by snow mobiles or a speed boat – directly outside the villas. Icebreaker, anyone? Having served as an icebreaker for the Finnish government for more than 30 years, Sampo, as the ship is called, is now retired and being used as a cruise ship in the Gulf of Bothnia. It is the world’s only cruise icebreaker, and with a capacity of 180, the steel vessel offers day cruises from December to April for holiday makers looking for a truly unique experience. “Kemi is one of the few places on Earth where the sea freezes over completely. Sampo still has most of its original features from the 1960s, and our Englishlanguage guided tours of the ship will share some of its history,” Koutonen says. For an added thrill, visitors can go ice floating amongst the sea ice, which has been broken by Sampo. Wearing a special padded floating suit, you’re sure to find floating amongst blocks of ice in the open sea an unforgettable experience. Visitors can also arrange a snowmobileicebreaker safari, which means a journey across the frozen sea towards Sampo, Drinks in the IceRestaurant365.

where it will be waiting for visitors in the middle of the Gulf of Bothnia. “Whatever way our guests choose to experience what’s on offer here, this is a wonderful opportunity to experience the Arctic nature,” the CEO of Kemi Tourism says. Despite their status as a winter wonderland, there is plenty to see and do in the region throughout the year. There’s no shortage of activities either, with the resort offering opportunities for sailing boat trips to enjoy fishing and whitewater rafting on the largest free-flowing river in Europe. Autumn, the ‘ruska’, when the leaves turn into various shades of red, yellow, orange and brown, is a spectacular sight. “With the whole host of activities we have on offer, our guests come here to experience the wonders of sea, snow and ice – every day of the year,” Koutonen concludes.

Web: Facebook: 365kemi /  Seaside Glass Villas Instagram: @365kemi /  @seasideglassvillas


Restaurant with view of the sunset.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  83

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Top Destinations to Visit in Finland in 2022

In the winter, Himos is best-known for having the largest ski slopes in southern Finland.

An action-packed winter getaway Located in southern Finland, HimosHoliday offers visitors an ideal setting to explore the surrounding nature and enjoy activities all year round. With over 400 different types of accommodation, ranging from traditional Nordic-style cottages to luxury villas, there is no shortage of options for guests to choose from. By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: HimosLomat

The town of Jämsä, where HimosHoliday is located, is known for its ski slopes, forests, hills and countless lakes. For over 30 years, the family business has provided guests with a range of accommodation and activities. The resort is located just seven kilometres from the centre of Jämsä, and just over 200 kilometres from Helsinki. In the winter, Himos is perhaps best-known for having the largest ski slopes in the southern part of Finland – and in the summer, for its buzzing music festival weekends. HimosHoliday offers guests a four-night winter action package, which includes accommodation and a daily programme. The scheduled activities include a snowmobile safari, ice-swimming in a floating suit, as well as ice fishing. Visitors can book additional activities, such as husky safaris, skiing or a visit to Moose Manor Zoo, where tourists can meet 84  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

moose, deer and reindeers in their natural environment.

restaurants serving fresh food made from local ingredients where possible,” says Heikkala. “People come here for an unforgettable experience, and a chance to unwind, while creating beautiful memories,” she concludes.

“Himos is a bustling leisure centre all year round. We have some of the cleanest air, with some of the clearest lakes and largest ski slopes in the country. There is a variety of hiking trails, health and wellness treatments, and a chance to explore local culture and art in the region – not forgetting the modern as well as traditional sauna facilities, and a number of meeting rooms and events spaces available for hire,” says Päivi Heikkala, managing director at HimosHoliday. The main Himos restaurant, Tupa Kitchen and Bar, is a cosy restaurant that caters to families, couples and business tourists alike, while the Liiteri restaurant offers guests an intimate dining experience. “There is something for everyone here: from a karaoke bar to a variety of

Web: Facebook: himoslomat Instagram: @himoslomat

TY Y U A WA T E l ia T B NOR ec p S S BE IN S E TH INIC CL e:

m he

Photo: Eivind Natvig

Team Beauty Medical with Sandra Michelle Romano.

Beauty Medical Since opening in 2016, Beauty Medical has become one of the top beauty clinics in Norway, with a months-long waiting list and practitioners eager for the opportunity to spend just a couple of days working at their clinic in Oslo. This is an enormous achievement for founder Sandra Romano, a single working mother who only five years ago was paying her patients to be able to practise on them, and whose inimitable spirit lies at the heart of the clinic’s success. By Lise Lærdal Bryn  |  Photos: Beauty Medical

The road to running one of the top beauty clinics in Norway hasn’t been easy for Sandra Romano. Starting with a difficult and unusual childhood, she became, at a very young age, a single mother only a year after giving premature birth to her son, who was born with a rare premature illness. It was her fight for the health of 86  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

her son that led to her initial training to be a nurse – but working shifts with a sick son and student loans quickly led her to change tack, only months after finishing her education. Sandra achieved remarkable success at a series of companies over the follow-

ing few years, where she set multiple records in terms of both sales numbers and her speed in being promoted to leadership positions, as well as achieving feats like putting together a team of 435 people over four months, speaking to thousands of people at venues like The Globe in Stockholm, and working as head of sales at four different companies simultaneously, alongside work in product development. This experience proved invaluable when she shifted her focus back to beauty, the passion of her youth. A natural-born entrepreneur, she started a massage studio with her best friend at seven and start-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

ed working as a nail and lash technician aged only 14. As an adult, she used her nursing training to become an aesthetic nurse, taking over 40 additional courses. “When I started in 2015, I had to pay my first patients to practise,” she admits. Now she has a months-long waiting list, and has treated over 6,000 patients, including celebrities like Triana Iglesias and Sophie Elise. “I think the reason people want to come to us is, firstly, the results we deliver. When you go on Instagram, you see natural results where you can’t see what’s been done, but simply that you look fresher,” says Sandra, adding that there’s an authentic glow that isn’t easily achieved. “We’re not just here to empty wallets and fill lips; we’re here make you feel like a diamond.” Celina Romano, assistant manager and cousin to Sandra, adds: “Not only do we get good results, but we have a nearly perfect five-star average customer rat-

ing. In addition, we work exclusively with top-range products.” This includes products such as Juvederm, which Celina jokingly refers to as “the Rolls Royce of fillers”. Their com-

mitment to only using products of the highest quality has brought them the attention of top suppliers like Allergan Medical Institute, who they met with the day before our interview to share some of the secrets of their success as a clinic.

Top right: Owner Sandra Romano, key opinion leader for MINT PDO, teaching thread lifts. Bottom left: Sandra Romano doing a thread lift procedure. Bottom right: Sandra Romano and Celina Romano.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  87

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

Left: Team Beauty Medical in thread lift uniform. Top right: Sandra Romano, lecturer and course leader at PBSerum Medical Advanced with a full auditorium. Bottom right: Founder and owner Sandra Romano.

Among the secrets is not just Sandra, but the whole Beauty Medical team, who enjoy a unique camaraderie. “We have a brilliant team,” Sandra gushes. “And the true success of a company is that everyone looks forward to coming to work.”

“We all originally became nurses to help people, and there are other ways of helping people too,” says Sandra, and this aspect of their work is central to their practice. “We do so much more than just big lips,” she emphasises.

She boasts that they have had zero requests for sick days and that employees that have moved on often come back having raved about how much they miss working at Beauty Medical – and this reputation has also resulted in a large pile of job applications for Celina to work through.

Although beauty treatments such as lip fillers are what the industry is most famous for, and indeed it remains the practice’s most popular treatment, they also offer treatments for such problems as excessive sweating, correction of hyper-pigmentation, acne scarring, and more. “These are issues that we address

88  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

every day that meaningfully improve people’s quality of life.” Sometimes, this also means refusing clients: “We’ve become very good at spotting the people who are simply hurting and just need some love, and we address that right away: lift them up, shower them with lots of love, and tell them how great they are,” says Sandra. The attention to quality and positive mindset are also key parts of the courses in aesthetic medicine that Beauty Medical runs. Sandra isn’t just dedicat-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

ed to her own practice, but also to improving the standard of the entire industry, especially considering how difficult she found it to get her start. “Everyone was very arrogant, and no one took me seriously,” she says. “I knew I had to change things.” Now, Sandra runs her own courses in collaboration with medical agencies PBSerum and MINT, which are attended by plastic surgeons, dermatologists, medical doctors, dentists and aesthetic nurses. She was also one of the first 30 people certified by NORFEM – the Norwegian Organisation for Quality Within Aesthetic Medicine – demonstrating her commitment to teaching aesthetic med-

icine at the highest level, and to safety in her treatments. Beauty Medical’s medicine courses also focus on the business side of running a beauty clinic, and Sandra’s early success in that regard is evident here. “I love sales, but for many, sales are tricky, and that’s why they don’t succeed. But it’s all about mindset here, too, and when you think that instead of just selling a client a product, it’s about helping someone, then it doesn’t feel like a sale – and that’s when you clinch it,” Sandra reflects. “I think a lot of people feel inspired by our courses thanks to the ‘you can do it’ spirit Sandra brings,” says Celina. “There are

some people who have that extra gift that leads to achieving your dreams, and Sandra has that.” Sandra now teaches all over Norway – and among Beauty Medical’s next steps is branching into Sweden. They are not particularly interested in opening new branches of the actual clinic, however. “We want to focus on quality and keeping our vibe, and we know that if we expand and bite off more than we can chew, that’s when we lose that,” Sandra explains. Web: Instagram/Facebook/TikTok: @beautymedicaloslo

Beauty Medical is very active on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok – another credit to their success. Morever, they have an online shop selling high-quality products from Zo Skin Health, Noon Aesthetics, Meline and PBSerum.

Bottom left: Sandra Romano doing a thread lift procedure. Bottom right: Juvederm fillers.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  89

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

Derma Medica: The future of beauty and cosmetics Norway-based clinic and shop Derma Medica is constantly challenging the status quo in the search of better, more innovative ways to help their customers. Even after almost seven years in the industry, the dedicated team is still set on always improving. By Celina Tran  |  Photos: Derma Medica

After over 16 years of working in leadership in various health organisations, Edyta Hætta started to grow tired. As her 40th birthday approached, she realised that it was time to finally do something for herself, and she started the project that eventually became Derma Medica. “Originally, I intended to use my education and experience in leadership and as a cosmetic nurse to help other clinics,” explains Hætta, owner of Derma Medica. “I soon realised that my passion was to work with and treat people; I couldn’t just give it up. That’s how Derma Medica went from just a shop to both a shop and 90  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

a clinic. Today, we’re incredibly proud to have two clinics, one in Oslo and one in Sandvika, in addition to the shop.” According to Hætta, the Norwegian skincare and cosmetics industry is a conservative one. As a result, the products used in most clinics aren’t always up to the same standard as those used internationally. “I refuse to sell anything that’s bad for my customers. Take thread lifts, for example,” she says. “Thread lifts are an incredibly popular procedure here in Norway. I’ve personally worked with them before, but something about the procedure rubbed

me up the wrong way. After some research and speaking to relevant academics in the international market, I quickly found out that they can have negative effects in the longer-run, including scar tissue. I also don’t believe that the price of thread lifts reflects the results.” To ensure that her customers only receive the best care, and to encourage the Norwegian market to test new waters, Hætta and the Derma Medica team are introducing the country to new, different treatment alternatives. Her multilingualism and frequent business travels have provided access to a large international market with open doors and endless opportunities. The future of beauty and cosmetics In their search to find new treatments for common cosmetic problems, Derma

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

Medica understands that different cosmetic procedures can be stressful and uncomfortable. As such, they also offer pain- and stress-free alternatives to guarantee their customers’ comfort. “Laser can often be incredibly painful, and even though we offer that, we also offer less painful, yet medically approved cosmetic solutions like NeoCare, Bloomea, La Fontaine and carboxytherapy. These provide similar results to the more painful predecessor and do an incredible job at everything from skin tightening to fat removal.” In addition to such alternatives, Derma Medica is among the first clinics to offer a range of procedures in Norway and the rest of Scandinavia. This includes the aforementioned procedures and products, as well as Dr. CYJ Hair Filler and mesotherapy, treating everything from scarring and acne to hair loss, pigmentation, cellulite and more. One of Derma Medica’s goals is to make skincare accessible for everyone. That’s why they also offer a more wallet-friendly

alternative, in addition to the Dermapen. “It’s important that our technology is environmentally friendly, customer friendly and accessible, which is why we always look to specialise in newer and better solutions.” First and foremost a business that helps people “We’re not the loudest. We’re also certainly not the best at selling ourselves,” Hætta chuckles. “But first and foremost, we’re a business that helps people. Our team consists entirely of medical professionals, and we’re all very passionate about making people feel better. That’s why we’re always honest with our customers, and we will turn away potential customers if we feel that the procedure will do more harm than good.” Though the beauty market can occasionally be reluctant about sharing, Hætta’s door is always open to other clinics and beauticians. The Derma Medica shop sells all its products and equipment to other fellow professionals and offers classes on how to use it all. “One of our goals is to use our shop to help more

hospitals and clinics familiarise themselves with the endless opportunities and alternatives that are out there. We’re more than happy to share!” Cosmetic procedures are often at the centre of controversial media storms, but that doesn’t worry Hætta. “We put our hearts and souls into helping people become the best versions of themselves, in the healthiest and most professional way possible. That’s why we do years of research and talk to professionals before even considering a product,” she explains. “Our customers describe us as a humane and safe space, because while we’re professional, we’re happy and joke around with them a lot. we want the best for them, and as nurses, we have an ethical foundation as well as rules and legislation to abide by, and we can’t forget that.”

Web: and Facebook: Derma Medica Instagram: @dermamedica

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  91

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

Haugesund Hudpleieklinikk: ’Our bodies recognise and embrace nature’ With 40 years in the industry under the belt, Eli Holme Lie has seen all there is to see in the field of skincare and cosmetics. She’s brought the very best of natural skincare and treatments to her own Norway-based clinic, Haugesund Hudpleieklinikk. By Celina Tran  |  Photos: Haugesund Hudpleieklinikk

Haugesund Hudpleieklinikk was established in 1980 by Eli Holme Lie, and has not had a single quiet day since. From day one, the clinic’s goal has been focused on providing the best possible results and ensuring that the customers leave with a smile on their faces. After being introduced to German Dr. Schrammek’s products, Lie quickly realised the products’ full ability and potential. In 2012, she, along with her colleague, Anna Karen Taule, became a distributor for Dr. Schrammek in Norway, as well as in Sweden. Today, they support and sell Dr. Schrammek’s 92  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

products to almost 300 Norwegian and Swedish clinics. “I have so many customers that are happy with the incredible results of the Dr. Schrammek products, especially the Green Peel®. Having seen the unique and incredible results, I knew I wanted to help other clinics discover this incredible product line as well,” explains Lie. Natural care and treatment According to Lie, she began promoting Dr. Shrammek’s products because of their ability to produce noticeable results using all-natural ingredients. “Our bodies rec-

ognise and embrace nature and its endless source of treatments.” The products have been nominated for several prizes within the skincare industry, including the Beauty Forum Readers’ Choice Award for the best problem-skin solver and the best special treatment. One of the all-natural award-winning treatments is the Green Peel® treatment, one of Lie’s favourites.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

“We’ve found that it not only improves skin massively, but it also helps prevent and recover from hair loss,” she says. “All we need to do is massage the peel onto the scalp. It reduces enlarged pores, tightens the tissue, increases circulation and so much more. It also improves the quality of your hair.” Some of the peel’s other strengths include providing nutrition, treating ageing skin, preventing inflammation and acne breakouts, as well as strengthening sensitive skin. The herbs penetrate and improve the skin quality and its external, natural flora from the inside. Being a fully natural product with the same pH as the skin, it also treats without stripping down the skin’s barriers. “My clients only need four to six treatments a year. No more is needed for the peel to work its wonders,” Lie says. “More and more people are seeking natural treatments with instant as well as long-term effects, and the Green Peel® provides both. I really cannot stress how incredible this product is. Among my proudest achievements throughout my 40 years in the industry is having introduced this game-changer to Norway.” Another of Lie’s favourite Dr. Schrammek products is Blemish Balm, a BB cream. As one of the first BB creams on the market, the Blemish Balm has been highly praised by people all over the world. “Many of the celebrities and

clients I work with love the anti-ageing effect and the glow,” she says. Putting her heart in the game A decade ago, Lie sadly lost her son, and she has since carried his words with her through both business and life generally. “He would tell me to live in the present, and he would always encourage me to do what I love most, but to always do it with love,” she smiles. “We’re only put on this planet for a quick visit – might as well make the most of it and follow our passions. My son is one of the reasons I feel so passionately about helping my customers be their best and most beautiful selves.” Haugesund Hudpleieklinikk has always valued good results, honesty and humanity. The team puts their entire heart into the treatments and the work and describes the customers as not only clients, but friends.

“I never had the intention for the business to grow into a branch of clinics, as I’m a very hands-on person. It’s a privilege to be able to work so closely with my clients,” Lie says. “I wouldn’t have the time to treat patients if I was managing several clinics, and I’m just not willing to give that up.” Lie has not only helped the clinic’s customers, but often finds herself working at other events, too. Her experience with make-up and colour correction has allowed her to put make-up on the famous faces of Norwegian actors and actresses, most recently for a film festival. “I’ve been told that my advice on colours and features has changed people’s lives, and I’m just humbled and incredibly grateful that I get to do that for people.” Web: Facebook: Haugesund Hudpleieklinikk Instagram: @haugesundhudpleieklinikk

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  93

Everyday luxury for everyone In recent years, Scandinavians have embraced everyday luxury. Stavanger’s Fab Lounge MediSpa, offering a range of advanced beauty treatments, provides that luxury with something for everyone. Entering Fab Lounge, the first impression is of opulence and professionalism, and discretion and anonymity are at the heart of the business. From the welcoming receptionist to the highly qualified therapists and beauticians, visitors are in for a wow-factor experience. By Sunniva Moen  |  Photos: Fab Lounge

Owner and CEO Mariann Edland is proud of what she has created: high quality guaranteed, and tailored to anyone. She has stayed true to her vision, and Fab Lounge exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere. You’ll find no other clinic like it in Norway, perhaps not anywhere in Scandinavia, she maintains, and as a result, people travel from all over to visit Fab Lounge. 94  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

With more than 300 different treatments on offer, this is a wellness universe, a place of positivity and optimism. “Customers leave feeling so much better than when they arrived,” says Edland, adding: “Parking is free for all customers!” A wide range of treatments Many of Fab Lounge’s specialities are treatments within the medical and cos-

metic fields. Injections, such as fillers and Botox, shape facial features and minimise wrinkles and lines, as well as being used to treat gummy smiles, unwanted perspiration, jaw tension and headaches. Permanent make-up, such as microblading, can enhance your natural brows or provide natural-looking brows where there are none. Permanent lip liner is a semipermanent type of tattoo that enhances your natural lip contour, while permanent eyeliner makes your lashes appear thicker and darker, providing a more alert appearance with minimal make-up. Fab Lounge also offers laser treatments for hair removal and skin conditions such as rosacea, visible blood vessels and hyper-pigmentation. Peeling treatments,

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

including Medical Light Peel, Green Peel and Crystal Peel, promote skin rejuvenation and lessen lines, wrinkles, open pores and hyperpigmentation. All Fab Lounge treatments are performed by certified nurses and therapists, all of whom are direct employees of the company. In addition to the medical and cosmetic field, Fab Lounge has professional stylists working with hair, make-up, lashes and nails, massage therapists and a wide range of other beauty and wellness treatments. Fab Lounge uses and sells only exclusive products from renowned brands. Skincare

products like Babor, Dr. Schrammek, Skin Better Science, Environ, Elixir and Ekseption, and hair care products from Oribe, Miriam Quevedo and Goldwell, are just a few of the many offered at the clinic. A changing market The clinic is a member of NFVB (a member organisation for the Norwegian hair and wellness industry), ensuring compliance with quality control as well as health and safety. “NFVB is promoting healthy development in the beauty industry,” says Edland. “It is essential that Fab Lounge is a part of this community, which provides safety and security for both clients and employees.”

The quality and luxury on offer have not gone unnoticed. Fab Lounge has quickly become Norway’s largest beauty clinic, and several of its treatments are fully booked weeks or even months in advance. Treatments that were previously inaccessible and unaffordable, and therefore reserved only for the few, have become mainstream and are regarded as an everyday luxury. Lash extensions, brow lamination, and hair and nail treatments have become very common and a normal part of many people’s beauty regime. Skincare, laser and cosmetic injections are rapidly growing too, as people become accustomed to the products and treatments on offer. At Fab Lounge, you’ll be treated by fully qualified, professional medical staff who adhere to the highest medical standards.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  95

“People have become better at self-care,” says Edland. “Little things like shaping and colouring lashes and brows, lash lifts, extensions and brow lamination have all become trendy treatments. Men are also increasingly taking more time to care for themselves, and regularly come in for treatments.”

For over 13 years, Fab Lounge has been delivering sophisticated hairstyling and professional skin and body treatments to delight and rejuvenate its custom-

ers. Edland’s philosophy and values are founded on the firm belief that beautiful hair and toned skin make both a powerful statement and an empowered customer.

She adds: “The Norwegian beauty market has been transformed since I started out, from initially being something enjoyed by the privileged few, to now being available and used by the masses.” More than a feeling “At Fab Lounge, we believe that your hair and skin are part of what makes you the person you are,” says Edland. “That is why we pride ourselves on customising the latest trends in hair design and skincare to suit your image. We don’t think you should ever leave our salon feeling like a different person, but instead like an amplified version of you.” 96  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Everyone deserves to look their best, according to the Fab Lounge philosophy.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

At Fab Lounge, every customer is special. “Everyone deserves to look their best,” says Mariann Edland.

Hair and skincare consultations are offered to professionally assess the most appropriate products for each individual client. Just as no two people have the same fingerprint, neither will any two customers have identical hair and skin requirements. It is this philosophy that drives the Fab Lounge operations and results in a customer experience that is so much more than just an appointment. This focus on ensuring the best customer experience is reflected in Fab Lounge’s unique environment, which has been designed specifically for the hair and body care treatments being applied. Combining an elegant and refined ambience with innovative use of the lat-

est techniques and beauty technologies ensures that each customer is provided with the ultimate care. Individual solutions include wellness and beauty days, beauty arrangements for couples, getback-into-shape treatments and hair and nail enhancements. Fab Lounge provides relaxation for the mind, the body and the soul. “I’ve always lived for this profession,” concludes Edland, “I’ve always loved and respected it completely. Hair and skincare are often regarded as less important than, for example, music, architecture and art. However, at Fab Lounge, we value and appreciate the beauty of the person as highly as any other art form.”

Appointments can be booked online and over the phone. Fab Lounge opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9am to 8pm Saturday: 9am to 5pm Address: Langflåtveien 32, 4018 Stavanger Phone: +47 51 88 44 50

Web: Facebook: fab.lounge Instagram: @fab.lounge

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  97

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Beauty Clinics in Norway

Leading aesthetic clinic with a luxurious touch Skin Medispa opened their first clinic in Oslo in January 2021, and the second clinic in Asker in August. Now, after a full year in business, they are one of the top clinics in Oslo, and Skin Akademiet, their own skin academy, is already recognised as a national reference centre. By Mari Koskinen  |  Photos: Skin Medispa

“We aim for natural and long-lasting results,” says Pedro Lozada, medical director at Skin Medispa. “We combine high-quality treatments with a luxurious experience, where the clients feel safe and comfortable.” Patient safety and the highest of medical standards are top priorities at Skin Medispa. “We use only researched techniques and premium products that have active ingredients and documented effects,” Lozada explains. Lozada is also the medically responsible doctor for the laser distributor Skintech in Norway. Alongside Lozada, the clinic’s staff consists of eight highly qualified aesthetic nurses. The head nurse, Silje Halden, has extensive experience in aesthetic medicine

and a massage in a safe and relaxed atmosphere; combined with Champagne and full catering, naturally. Since the lockdown ended, it has become a favourite for bachelorette parties and friends getting ready for a night out.

and is also the instructor at their skin acadWeb: emy, which offers courses for doctors and Facebook: Skin Medispa nurses on treatments like micro-needling Instagram: @skin.medispa.oslo and mesotherapy, Botox, filler injections and laser treatment. The Oslo clinic has its exclusive premises on the Bygdøy allé, consisting of four treatment rooms. During the pandemic, when everyone was under lockdown, Skin Medispa launched a signature service called ‘Desperate housewives’, which allows a group of friends to reserve the whole clinic for themselves Head nurse Silje Halden. Pedro Lozada. and enjoy different treatments

A warming spa where you’d least expect it When you think of the Norwegian town of Lillehammer, a relaxing spa might not be what first comes to mind… By Eva-Kristin U. Pedersen  |  Photos: Lillehammer SPA

Nevertheless, tucked in between snowheavy pine trees and cosy wooden houses with sparkling fires, Lillehammer SPA offers visitors a wide variety of relaxing beauty treatments. “We’ve been operating for 21 years and won several awards, including the prestigious International Spa and Beauty Award for the Best Day Spa and Wellness Centre in Norway 2021,” explains Claudia Desales, administrative director at Lillehammer SPA. A signature, award-winning massage Deseales and her colleagues offer a great range of beauty treatments, including waxing and the innovative micro-needling skin treatment.“Micro-needling is a medical treatment that creates small channels in the skin to stimulate the production of collagen,” Desales explains. “It’s very effec98  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

tive. Results are visible immediately, and it can also be used to treat facial scarring, for example.” The diamond in the crown of treatments at Lillehammer SPA is most definitely their signature Lillehammer massage, however. This award-winning treatment was developed inhouse by Deseales, and includes techniques from different massage traditions, including Thai and classic Swedish massage, as well as shiatsu and acupressure. “The result is a full-body treatment that is very effective in treating different problems like body pain, headache and stress,” Deseales explains. Duo treatments – a real treat for couples Deseales explains that while most of their clients are women, an increasing number of men also visit, either for specific treatments

or together with their partner for a lush duo treatment. Whoever you are, and whether you come alone or with a friend or partner, a stop at Lillehammer SPA to warm up, purify and really charge the batteries, has become a delightful must for all visitors to the winter wonderland that is Lillehammer.

Web: Facebook: Lillehammer SPA Instagram: @lillehammer_spa

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Sweden

Hotel At Six offers a five-star experience.

Wake up to a classic Stockholm skyline.

Hotel of the Month, Sweden

Where will you be at six? Open your eyes to a world of art and a vibrant city pulse. The choice is yours when staying at Hotel At Six. Its clever location on one of Stockholm’s oldest squares offers tranquillity wrapped in a five-star package, within stepping distance to shopping and business. By John Sempill  |  Photos: Hotel At Six

Hotel At Six is more than a name. It is a meeting point. It’s where day meets night and chores are exchanged for after-work activities. And, as it happens, the Brutalist building rises from the Brunkebergstorg square, originally a plaza for the gentry at the end of the 19th century.

Mårtensson. “These are cues we’ve taken into account at Hotel At Six; it’s thoughtthrough and purposely handpicked. This includes materials and the day-to-day service.” A living feel through art and music

“It was an exclusive market place, where ladies handpicked a variety of goods and products,” says general manager Therese

One of the first things you’ll notice when you step inside, apart from the custommade Hotel At Six scent, is the giant marble head at the foot of the staircase. This

100  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

is a piece made by renowned Spanish artist and sculptor Jaume Plensa – a characteristic marker for the hotel. Art is an important and integral part of the hotel. “It is created throughout by our curator Sune Nordgren,” Mårtensson continues. “The marble staircase then takes you up to floor two, where everything happens. There, you’ll find our restaurant and cocktail bar and our listening lounge.” This area is “more playful” and a place for up-and-coming artists to display their work, as well as a place for musicians to set the tone for endless evenings. “We collaborate with local artists and rotate the art in the cocktail bar on a regular ba-

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Sweden

sis,” says Mårtensson. “We recently had a collaboration with Sonny McCartney, who had an exhibition here with his amazing photo art. Depending on the collaboration, we’ll change the display a few times a year. The concept helps us achieve a living feel brought together by, in this case, art and music.” International influences The architecture firm behind Hotel At Six is Universal Design Studio. Their work includes the Ace Hotel and the Natural History Museum in London. “We wanted it to feel international, which they really managed to achieve here,” Mårtensson says. “And that comes across in our food concepts as well. We receive a lot of feedback on our international vibe from our guests.” A perfect example is the wine bar, with different themes every month. Menus are put together with complementary, carefully selected wines. “At the moment we have a Portuguese theme, partly due to the fact that a lot of our staff are from Portugal. It’s a way for them to display their favourites, and put together wines with a great menu. It’s also a way for us to let our staff show off their expertise. It

gives our hotel a genuine atmosphere – and it also makes it more fun for them to come to work.” There are several reasons to stay here. Another unique feature is the rooftop bar – Stockholm Under Stjärnorna (‘Stockholm Under The Stars’). It offers amazing views over the city, a great bar, and top-class entertainment from local and international DJs and musicians. “Our guests never need to leave the building,” continues Mårtensson. “We have several restaurants under the same roof. And the area is right in the middle of town, but still slightly hidden. Hotel At Six is close to shopping, restaurants and culture. And perfect for our business guests, too.” Thought-out, handpicked, and always in movement

Although still secret, the hotel has several exciting collaborations lined up. “Construction projects, among others,” Mårtensson hints. “We never stand still; we are always in movement. And we always strive to think about what our guests might have missed. To be able to anticipate that – that’s something we push hard for.” Web: Facebook: HotelAtSix Instagram: @hotelatsix

A bite to eat, together with carefully selected wine? Hotel At Six has several restaurants under one roof.

How does it feel to stay here? This is an important question, central for the staff at Hotel At Six. “What’s the first thing our guests actually touch? It’s the key card,” Mårtensson notes. “And how would it feel ‘to touch At Six’? That took a while for us to decide. This is an example of how everything is well thought-out and handpicked.”

The wine bar Blanche & Hierta offers new themes every month.

Have a drink mixed by Andrew at the cocktail bar.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  101

Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Sweden

Furniture & Light Fair inspiration.

Attraction of the Month, Sweden

The return of groundbreaking design for a better future Stockholm Design Week and Stockholm Light & Furniture Fair are, finally, upon us again. After a mandated two-year break, the fair returns full steam to the city of Stockholm, where new and innovative Scandinavian design will provide an immersive showcase of what’s on the market now, and what we can expect from the future. By Nina Bressler  |  Photo: Stockholm Design Events

Stockholmsmässan will become the home of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair between 8 and 12 February, while the city centre will serve as playground to Stockholm Design Week and plentiful activities and exhibitions. Stockholm Design Events, the group behind the fair, has gone above and beyond to make the highly anticipated return count. “We want to be the engine that pushes good design, what it can achieve for soci102  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

ety and individuals, forward. This year, we are going all in to create a hub that will encompass both the fairgrounds and the city centre, to truly showcase the richness of Scandinavian design to an audience that is hungry for change,” says Chicie Lindgren, business area manager for Stockholm Design Events. There will be 450 exhibitors at the fair, and city-based events and exhibitions will be easily found through the Stockholm De-

sign Week app, exclusively designed for the occasion. The power of BEing “The theme of this year is ‘BEing Scandinavian’; we are pushing our core values and strengths with a heavy emphasis on sustainable innovation and production. The theme will influence exhibitions at the fair and in the city, as well as our three-day forum, Stockholm Design & Architecture Talks. In addition to our digital panel talks, we have invited a number of great keynote speakers, such as the research-based design studio Formafantasma,” says Hanna Nova Beatrice, project area manager at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair and Stockholm Design Week.

Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Sweden

The exhibition will be filled to the brim with exhibitors that embody the best of Scandinavian design, excited to return to a space where meetings between audience and producers are once again enabled. Thought-provoking exhibitions curated by the most exciting names in the business are another key feature. Multidisciplinary artist and designer Martin Bergström has been appointed head curator of the main exhibition, which will explore what the typically Scandinavian, beyond stereotypical conventions, means. The city centre is also geared up for an experience-packed week where design studios, galleries and showrooms are getting involved with a plethora of exciting pop-up events and exhibitions. Co-working space Alma, official Stockholm Design Week hub, will be hosting launches and talks throughout the week, and renowned auction house Stockholms Auktionsverk will house a design exhibition celebrating Swedish production. The work by Åke Axelsson, an icon in Swedish design and interior architecture, will be exhibited at Sven Harrys art museum in collaboration with Stockholm Design Week. Curated by Hanna Nova Beatrice, the exhibition also invites a younger generation to a conversation with the artist himself about sustainable design and production. Innovation propelling sustainability “Design has an integral role to play in how we can achieve a more sustaina-

Stockholm Furniture & Design Fair inspiration.

ble society that will help us overcome the challenges we are facing. Climate change is already upon us, and urgent action is the only option; what can architects, designers and producers do to help the progress forward?” asks Nova Beatrice. Conversations about the challenges as well as opportunities will be the resounding theme throughout the week, and a new fair layout will enable greater access to the activities that are on offer. The Greenhouse initiative will be another prominent feature during the fair – a platform where new and unestablished designers are invited to showcase their work and ideas to established designers, business leaders and the public. Curiosity, innovation and sustainability are guiding the way to smart solutions that go hand in hand with beautiful, sleek and groundbreaking design.

“Scandinavian design is boiling with new inventions and innovations that we believe will help change the world for the better. To showcase these talented designers in one physical place again, to provide this hub of new thoughts and ideas for the public, feels nothing short of amazing, and we will use every moment to create a positive impact on our future,” says Lindgren. Let Scandinavian Design lend a helping hand for a better future, and take the opportunity to restart and recharge at Stockholm Design Week. Web: Instagram: @sthlmfurnfair  @stockholmdesignweek /

Stockholm Design Events Stockholm Design Events is a team that works with a variety of design events in Sweden, aiming to highlight and nurture the innovation of Swedish and Scandinavian Design. In addition to Stockholm Design Week and Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, the team arranges Formex in January and August and Stockholm Design Week in August. The team is also behind the foundation Skapa, a prize created to promote innovation and new inventions through design. Hanna Nova Beatrice.

Sanna Gebeyehu and Chicie Lindgren.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  103

Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Finland

Attraction of the Month, Finland

Capture a photo of brown bears roaming free in the Finnish wilderness Bear Centre in Finland makes it possible for humans to see and photograph brown bears, wolves, foxes and even wolverines, comfortably and up close, having enticed bear watchers to its premises since 1999. By Ester Laiho  |  Photos: Bear Centre

Bear Centre is situated in Vartius, Kuhmo, a little over a mile from the Russian border, an hour and a half from the city of Kajaani, and a threehour drive from northern Finland’s biggest city, Oulu. Here, you have a 90 to 99 per cent chance of seeing brown bears, depending on the season. The next opportunity to set your eyes on the 104  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

biggest predators found in Finland is in the spring. The bear season starts at the beginning of April with a white blanket of snow, continuing through the green summer, and ending with the vibrant colours of autumn in October. The founder and CEO, Ari Sääski, explains the unique nature of Bear Cen-

tre: “Long gone are the days of admiring captive animals. Here at Bear Centre, you are a guest in their natural habitat. The joy of witnessing these great beasts is made better by the suspense and the serenity of the landscape.” Sääski also believes that the pandemic has made people understand and appreciate nature better. “Here in Finland, we’ve always been quite in touch with nature, but I think this bond has been made even stronger over these past two years, with people finding Covid-19-friendly pastimes.”

Scan Magazine  |  Attraction of the Month  |  Finland

Thrilling nature experience in the calm wilderness An act often imagined as unglamorous, Bear Centre provides an opportunity to experience the wilderness as comfortably as possible. The Luxury Cabins are equipped with night vision binoculars and a sound system picking up the sounds of the nature and amplifying them for you to hear inside the cabin. Another observation location is the Bear Watching House, providing uninterrupted views over the wetlands. For those travelling to get that milliondollar shot, there are 29 hides scattered around the area. Your patience might be rewarded the moment you start waiting to see the animals, or you might need to give it a few more nights, making the eventual experience even more thrilling. The calm wilderness of the area is sure to be a nice change of scenery and a welcome break from the hectic city life many people lead. The smoke sauna on the premises is also a must after a day or night of hiking and photography. A long weekend at Bear Centre could suit a solo traveller, providing the max-

imum nature experience, or a couple looking to try something new, or even a small group of friends competing for the best shot. Many people are happy to have visited Bear Centre once, but avid fans keep coming back. “There’s one couple that frequents the centre. They’ve visited 20 times now and say that every time is always different. Only once have they not managed to film a bear.” A pandemic-proof nature reserve experience for visitors from all over the world The idea to build this type of nature sanctuary is a marvellous one, but is there a backstory to how Bear Centre came to be? Founder Sääski explains that bears were a prevalent part of his upbringing, with both his father and his grandfather having been hunters. Sääski wanted to share his fascination with bears with as many people as possible, and the idea of a bear watching centre was born. After 20 years of living elsewhere in Finland, he moved back to the scene of his childhood and bought an old border control centre. The entire area the centre is built on has been granted the status of nature

reserve, so no hunting is allowed – only observing and photographing. In more than 20 years in business, the centre has seen many visitors come and go. Most of the bear enthusiasts visit from Europe, but every year, more and more people come from around the world – from Australia, Asia, South-Africa and the United States. International travel allowing, Bear Centre is also Covid-19 safe. The photography hides can only be utilised by one group of people at a time, as can the cabins. Daily cleaning also ensures the safety of every hopeful bear watcher. The aim is for people to have a pleasant, stress-free and safe time at the centre. Sääski is looking forward to the spring and seeing the bears visit the area again. “It’s been quite lonely here this winter. Some other animals have been around, but I do always look forward to seeing the first bears in the spring.” Web: Facebook: BearCentreFinland Instagram: @bearcentrefin

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  105

Scan Magazine  |  Museum of the Month  |  Greenland

The museum aspires to be a living culture house and various activities for locals and tourists are arranged throughout the year.

The exhibitions highlight Greenlandic craftsmanship and design from the earliest to modern times.

Museum of the Month, Greenland

Up close with Greenland’s past Visitors to Greenland National Museum and Archives will find a treasure trove of perfectly preserved objects and artefacts, giving a unique insight into the life and culture of the nation By Tina Nielsen  |  Photos: Greenland National Museum and Archives 2021

Established in 1966, the Greenland National Museum was set up in an exercise of nation building. Greenland, a Danish colony from 1721 to 1979, has a singularly unique history to share with the world. Today, Greenland National Museum and Archives is among the country’s largest cultural institutions, after it was combined with the national archives in 1991, receiving around 20,000 annual visitors in pre-pandemic times. According to Christian Koch Madsen, deputy director of the museum, the central role of the institution is to oversee administration, research and dissemination of the country’s vast cultural heritage. “The start of Greenland National Museum was slightly different to that of other similar institutions,” he says. “A great deal of work was put in to return archaeological and ethnographic artefacts from Denmark to Greenland, a process known as the ‘Utimut’ (Greenlandic for ‘return’), which saw Denmark hand over close to some 35,000 objects from 1982.” 106  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

It was a process that continued until 2001 and required a huge amount of detailed work of registering and safely bringing the artefacts home. Many of the objects handed over are now on display in the permanent exhibition, considered the spine of the museum. “One thing that makes an Arctic museum like ours truly rare and interesting is that the preservation of organic tools, artefacts and other remains is particularly good, allowing visitors to get really close to the people of the past,” says Koch Madsen. The permanent collection, which documents all of Greenland’s history – from the earliest Paleo-Inuit people, the Vikings, to the early ancestors of the present-day Greenlandic Inuit – contains several pieces that make up what Koch Madsen calls the “Arctic crown jewels”. Among the top attractions of the museum are three mummies from Qilaqitsoq in the north of Greenland. “They are naturally mummified, exceptionally well preserved and very moving. They are absolutely unique,” he says.

Another important piece is a perfectly preserved ‘umiaq’, dating back to the 1400s, making it one of the most complete early examples of a type of skin boat used by the indigenous people of the Arctic. Greenland National Museum and Archives is housed in buildings from colonial times in Nuuk, adding an authentic element to the collections – but the location presents some challenges. “We are in some of Nuuk’s oldest buildings and it is very special, but we don’t have the space for large temporary exhibitions,” says Koch Madsen. In an attempt to work around the limitations, the museum organises digital projects, pop-up exhibitions and theatre performances. It’s all part of the central role of Greenland Museum and Archives, the deputy director concludes. “We aim to be more of a cultural centre than a static museum.” Respectively displayed in a grave-like niche, the extremely well-preserved mummies from Qilaqitsoq are among the museum’s most famous and touching displays.


Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Sweden

Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

Gastronomic decadence at Coco & Carmen Coco & Carmen is a classic in Stockholm. With a first-class menu and outstanding service in a cosy setting, it continues to refine the gastronomic experience.

caviar – Coco & Carmen even has its own caviar – with exciting flavours such as wasabi and lemongrass.

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Photos: Coco & Carmen

The team behind Punk Royale took over renowned restaurant Coco & Carmen in 2019. If you don’t already know, Punk Royale is a bit of a talking point in Stockholm and beyond, contrasting luxury with craziness. The concept is fine dining with extremely luxurious produce served in an unexpected, sometimes provocative way. At Coco & Carmen, the approach is slightly different.

owners introduced dinners as the main business focus. It became a success with some standing ovations, and with the notorious journalist Viggo Cavling saying in a review: “If you’re only going out for dinner once in Stockholm this year, this is the place to go.” Unsurprisingly, bookings soared.

“After successfully expanding the popular Punk Royale restaurants from Stockholm to Copenhagen, chef Joakim Almquist and his co-founder Erik Gustafsson wanted to make something a little less ‘punk’, a little more ‘royale’,” says Gunnar Wester, CEO of Punk Royale Group. “They wanted it to have a luxurious touch, but it shouldn’t feel stressful for guests. Instead, it’s relaxed, friendly and fun, with the same high level as fine dining.”

Coco & Carmen has a set menu that is not disclosed ahead of time. “We never share what we’re going to offer; it’s a surprise for our guests, and everyone will be served the same,” says Katherine Bont, group head of guest experience. Even though there’s no official strategy for the menu, she reveals that the direction is gastronomic decadence, meaning that it’s perfectly ok to treat yourself to good food. “Coco & Carmen is a European kitchen flirting with Scandinavian culture and exclusive flavours from Japan,” explains Bont. Think oysters, lobster, truffles and

While Coco & Carmen was already offering lunches, catering and events, the new

European kitchen flirting with Scandinavian culture

“We will continue to respect the heritage and familiar atmosphere of Coco & Carmen that our guests love,” Wester reassures, “while also adding our own touch and refining the offering with great finesse to achieve the highest possible standard.” In their outlook for 2022, the team also promises that at least one additional country in Europe will be able to experience the unique Punk Royale approach to restaurant visits in their capital.

Web: Instagram: @restaurangcococarmen

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  107

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Denmark

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

A fusion of food and fun Since its opening in 2016, the social dining restaurant, Applaus, has continued to tempt the taste buds of the citizens of Aalborg. Situated in the northernmost part of Denmark, Aalborg is known for its reticence, but Applaus might have helped to change that image. By Karen Gilmour Kristensen  |  Photos: Restaurant Applaus

The concept of Applaus is simple: the kitchen mixes different cuisines from all over the world in endless combinations. A key term here is social dining, meaning that some dishes are served individually, while others are served as sharing platters. “We try to bring a homely ‘get-together’ vibe,” says owner and chef Mads Hyllested. “Since the beginning, creating a laid-back atmosphere in which everyone can feel welcome has been our priority.” From Copenhagen to Aalborg Opening a restaurant in Aalborg after having worked at some of the finest restaurants in Copenhagen turned out to be tricky for Hyllested. “At first, I priced 108  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

my wines at Copenhagen prices, which gave us a very limited sale of wine,” he recalls, wryly. However, he and Aalborg quickly managed to become attuned to each other. Now, a continuous flow of customers dine at the restaurant. According to Hyllested, this has to do with the way he chose to set his pricing to suit the people in the city. Originally, the ten-course menu cost 395 DKK. Today, the restaurant serves 12 courses for 450 DKK. The number of courses increases the range of fusion dishes and makes the customers feel they’re getting value for money. “Jutlanders really love to get a bargain,” Hyllested says. “As long as you

get plenty for your money, it’s okay if one or two courses are not to your taste.” Due to the contrasts between the two cities, the concept of social dining is run slightly differently in Aalborg. “In North Jutland, we have to move a little more slowly than in Copenhagen, where people are generally more receptive,” says Hyllested. “You can’t introduce too many new things at once; you have to take it one step at a time. Fortunately, we’ve found the right rhythm for doing this.” One alteration is the serving of courses. Many of the social dining dishes are served as individual elements on a shared plate, meaning that you can move them onto your own plate – something that might be preferable when dining with a business partner. Making the move from Copenhagen to Aalborg also became a personal accomplishment for Hyllested. “As I made my way to the top, I found that if I worked

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Denmark

hard, I could just about hang in there. But I realised it wouldn’t make me happy in the long run,” he explains. “After I stepped down a level or two, I discovered my forte in this sector and I thought, ‘perhaps I have found my niche’.” Challenging the guests Applaus was the first eatery in Aalborg to introduce the concept of a ten-course menu. Since then, the restaurant has managed to influence the dining habits of its guests, encouraging them to try some different ingredients. For example, duck hearts and liver have been successfully added to the menu. As the 12-course menu is put together by the kitchen, it’s a ‘blind serving’, as Hyllested calls it. “Our customers put their evening in our hands, and it’s our job to fulfil their expectations as much as possible. This allows us to steer our guests in various directions,” he adds. “There are guests who we have got to know better; we now know that we can push their limits a bit more.” Taking a Copenhagen concept and moving it to Aalborg takes some nerve, and Hyllested admits that he expected to meet resistance to the idea of a blind serving. “I thought it would cause some

dissatisfaction, but it didn’t,” he recalls. “People were really keen on this model.” While staying true to their original concept, Applaus has continued to grow. “Several people – including some from Copenhagen who were present at our opening and then returned three or four years later – have told us that they noticed a remarkable improvement in our skill level,” Hyllested says. What’s next? As for the future, Hyllested has a couple of ideas on the drawing board. Whether

it will be more restaurants in Aalborg or possibly expanding the concept and starting up restaurants in other cities, time will tell. For now, the top priority is to maintain the status of Applaus. “As long as I have guests on my chairs, as long as they provide positive feedback – then the restaurant is a success,” Hyllested concludes. Web: Facebook: Restaurant Applaus Instagram: @applausofficial_aalborg

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  109

Scan Magazine  |  Design Studio of the Month  |  Norway

100 per cent recycled plastic table by the design studio Norwegian Trash. Klorofyll Pot by Elementa and Anderssen & Voll. Photo: Emma Sukalic

Novooi founders Lillian Ayla Ersoy and Hanna von Bergen.

Novooi’s first exhibition, organised in collaboration with Designers’ Saturday and Norske Mikrohus, drew 2,000 visitors.

Design Studio of the Month, Norway

Novooi – where Norwegian design and craft take centre stage Novooi was founded by creative director Lillian Ayla Ersoy and cultural entrepreneur Hanna von Bergen just four months ago. The online marketplace and agency for Norwegian design and craft – unique in the country – has already more than made its mark. By Linda A. Thompson  |  Photos: Guro Sommer

Lillian Ayla Ersoy, a long-time creative director and designer, and Hanna von Bergen, a freelance cultural entrepreneur based in Norway, launched the country’s first online marketplace and umbrella brand for contemporary Norwegian design and craft in September. “We both share this perspective that the world is a lot larger than Norway itself,” explains Ersoy, who has a NorwegianTurkish background but grew up in the US. “There is an incredible culture and society of artisans in Norway that we really want to share with the world.” Novooi – the name itself a nod to the Art Nouveau movement – seeks to showcase contemporary artisans and give them a global reach through Novooi’s online marketplace and carefully curated exhibitions.

The website currently features 44 sellers, with items ranging from funky, hand-thrown porcelain cups by the ceramist Johanne Birkeland and a terracotta planter system by the production house Elementa, to a table made from 100 per cent recycled ocean plastics by the design studio Norwegian Trash. has already drawn thousands of visitors from Norway, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the US.

Hyttekontor – work from nature, Novooi’s premiere exhibition, took place at Designers’ Saturday Oslo, a major local furniture and interior design event, drawing 2,000 visitors over the course of three days. And more is to come. The pair hopes to stage three to four exhibitions next year and build an accompanying online collec-

tion with more than 1,000 products by 100 different artisans. Novooi’s business model is built on collaboration and partnerships with makers, partners and, in the future, other countries. “Our approach is inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goal 17, in addition to goals 12 and 9,” Ersoy explains. With Novooi, Ersoy hopes they can help consumers and businesses understand how important it is to support artisans and buy sustainable design. “With the pandemic, we’ve seen how vulnerable artisans and smaller manufacturers are,” Ersoy explains. “I hope that we choose to buy high-quality, sustainable objects. We tend to throw away less and value more when we know the creators behind them.”

Web: Facebook: novooi.official Instagram: @novooi.official

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  111

Scan Magazine  |  Architecture Profile of the Month  |  Denmark

The house opens up when you enter and lets the weather and ocean in.

Architecture Profile of the Month, Denmark

At the heart of MATTERS With a focus on beautiful, sustainable and creative design in harmony with nature and context, MATTERS Architects continue to cement their place on the world stage, receiving national and international accolades. Each innovative project is carefully researched and curated, and allowed to take on a life and a language of its own.

quality of a space rather than completely erasing its soul to be replaced by the latest trend. “It is about finding the pieces of the puzzle and solving it in the most beautiful and usable way,” says Holst.

By Trine Jensen-Martin  |  Photos: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen

MATTERS is the brainchild of co-founders and architects Marie-Louise Holst and Lotte Rønne. With a wealth of experience between them, and a shared passion for social sustainability and what they call “place-making”, they founded MATTERS in 2014. They have a distinctive approach to their work, which is firmly anchored in a respect for nature and for the essence of each individual project. 112  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

The sense of a place “Our starting point is that no place has a prescribed language,” Marie-Louise Holst explains. “Each project must find its own identity. It is a game of both fitting in and being new.” One of the biggest challenges for them is to combine what is already there with genuinely new ideas, and enhancing the

At MATTERS, they want to get a feel for the core of any project at hand, and for the sense of the place to find itself in the process. This is architecture and design where mindfulness is a part of the very fabric of the company, in human and contextual as well as design terms. A winter bather’s paradise One example of art and beauty working together alongside functionality and con-

Scan Magazine  |  Architecture Profile of the Month  |  Denmark

text is the winter bathing house, Isfuglen (‘The Ice bird’), in Brøndby Marine Harbour, overlooking the bay of Køge. It is both a club house for the winter bathing club Bifrost, and a place for visitors to enjoy views of the water from the large wooden deck area between the building and the waves. This project encompasses what is at the heart of MATTERS: imagination, identity, quality and playfulness. “The building is an interpretation of iconic and recognisable shapes and materials found in the harbour,” Holst explains. “In this way, Isfuglen exists in cohesion with the older buildings in shape and colour, whilst reclaiming its own identity.” The bathing house fits in with the historic harbour, the boats, and the people, showing a strong sense of commitment to both the community and the social context of the harbour itself. The use of colours, materials, and shapes in the making of Isfuglen is what makes it fit in with its context, but also what makes it unique; there is no place like this, a true marriage of old and new ideas. Both the character of the bathing house and the process of its design and development are engaging; MATTERS has reinterpreted and reimagined the inherent beauty of the site and worked closely with nature to achieve what has become an effortless part of the environment in Brøndby Marine Harbour. You almost get the sense of the building moulding itself into the rocks, the sea and the souls of those lucky ones who get to jump into the icy waters there.

Pristine view towards the entry point of the marina.

Holst explains. The key for MATTERS was to add to the existing quality of the space, not take anything away from it, and to embrace what was already there. This place truly showcases how they put into creation their passion and respect for nature. Nordic simplicity – with a twist! “We use honest materials, and let a space be the space it is,” Holst says when describing what northern simplicity means to her. “The twist is that we can still be daring and challenging and let each creation or project become its own,” she expands. To MATTERS, architecture is not simply about functionality, spaces or places. Art is important, beauty is important, the

social aspect and context are important. MATTERS were recently honoured as finalists at this year’s World Architecture Festival, for their project Valhøj School in Copenhagen and Isfuglen, as well as winning third prize at the 2021 Thessaloniki Design Week, for The Future School Project, which competed in Open Call in the Large Scale Projects category. And with imagination in the driving seat, they will continue to reshape and reimagine the projects they work on, allowing each place to find its own way of communicating with its users. Web: Facebook: Matters Instagram: @matters_architects

“We had to create something that would fit in but would still have its own identity,”

Winter bathing.

View towards the sunset bench (left), window looking into the community space (right).

View from the sauna that frames the entry point to the marina.

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  113

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

Artist of the Month, Norway

Marit Solum Smaaskjær:

Capturing magic with pen and paper Norway’s forests tell an enchanting tale as old as time, and Norwegian artist Marit Solum Smaaskjær captures the mystery on large canvases. With nearly 30 exhibitions under her belt, she provides viewers with an exclusively Norwegian nostalgia and a sense of magic.

portraying the woods, she finds herself surrounded by the large, majestic trees of her nearby forests. They’re her main source of inspiration.

By Celina Tran  |  Photos: Marit Solum Smaaskjær

“I go to the forest pretty much every day,” she says. “It’s a great place to find peace or to gather your thoughts, especially when you need to escape city life.”

For 20 years, Marit Solum Smaaskjær worked in the advertising industry. Despite enjoying her work, she felt that her creativity always served others, rather than her own growing need for expression. The big leap of faith of becoming a full-time artist has allowed her creativity to serve both herself and others.

Whenever she’s not in a bright studio filled with black-and-white canvases

The fairytale forest – an endless source of inspiration Norway is known for its beautiful scenery and endless fjords, but what of the woods? The citizens of the northern country take great pleasure in spending time outdoors, and from a very early age, most Norwegians find themselves hiking alongside classmates and friends. The beauty is undeniable, but there’s a mystery that lurks between the branches.

“In the loud hustle and bustle that is everyday life, humans have a need to see and experience something beautiful, something our souls crave. I need to express myself and create just that,” she reflects. Vi Favner Deg.

114  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

“The forest and trees inspire me. Perhaps it’s the light that catches my attention,” Marit reveals. “Or maybe it’s something that seems broken? Either way, there is something magical and mysterious about our ‘fairytale forests’.”

“I haven’t put them there on purpose,” she chuckles. “But then again, ever since I was young, I’ve also seen shapes of trolls and other creatures in the branches, stubs and rocks in the forests.”

Traditional Norwegian fairytales and folklore are filled with numerous mystical creatures, from the looming trolls to the enchanting Huldra (a very seductive forest being). Most of them live in the woods – but whether or not they’re the reason for the magical, fresh feeling of hiking through the woods might depend on who you ask. The sense of magic the trees provide, however, is an almost universal Norwegian experience, and is perhaps the reason why citizens keep returning to the woods.

“When I come home from the forest, I work towards putting my memories onto the canvas,” she says. “The forest’s endless variations and sizes can be both predictable and chaotic; thus I have to process, sketch and get to know it before I can truly capture the feeling in art form.”

Through her art, Marit wishes to capture and share the magical feeling of the old fairytale forest and its expressions, which she says can be “reflected in humans and our moods”. She even goes on to explain that many people often see magical creatures in her art.

Placing magic on a canvas

Countless sketches, trials and errors take place before her layers of unique black-and-white trees can come to life. In addition, the bright studio is a very different space from the woods, so when working on a project, Marit often finds herself going back to the original spot in the forest where she found inspiration. That way, she can recreate the same magical feeling. Though her love for the fairytale forest and its magic is endless, she doesn’t

limit herself from widening her artistic horizon in the future. “When you specialise and focus on one thing, the initial intuition and playfulness can dim. Sometimes, doing something new can bring it back. I quite enjoy making portraits, too, but for now, the forest is my main area of specialisation.” Sharing her art In addition to being an artist, Marit teaches at Nydalen Art School in Oslo. She describes art and its different forms as a “never-ending learning curve” – one she intends to continue journeying on. “My students motivate me to continue my own educational path. As I don’t have the traditional, formal, artistic education, I keep pushing myself to always learn more about art and how to create it,” she says. Marit is convinced that art can be learned in the very same way as an instrument or any other activity, and she encourages everyone to pick up a pencil or paintbrush. “Anyone can learn how to draw – all you have to do is practise!” Web: Facebook: Marit Solum Instagram: @marit_solum_smaaskjaer

Photo: Christine Fossum Solum

En Helt Ny Dag. Photo: Hennie Onstad

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  115

Tobias Santelmann on set as King Olav the Holy. Photo: Lars Olav Dybvig

A new chapter in a multi-temporal tale Nordic Noir has become a distinct style within the crime genre. Shows like The Bridge, The Killing, and more recently The Chestnut Man, have captivated audiences worldwide with their down-to-earth characters, cold colour schemes, Nordic fashion and haunting landscapes. By Alyssa Nilsen

Crime shows often jump back and forth in time and space, with several locations and timelines intertwining, but none quite as expansively as HBO MAX’s Beforeigners. Taking place in Oslo, Norway, with reconstructed, ancient Nordic languages and the appearance of mythical and historical figures, Beforeigners presents Norwegian life, architecture, history and culture to the world. A cross between TV series like Vikings, Game of Thrones and Nordic Noir crime shows, Beforeigners explores what 116  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

might happen if people from the past suddenly show up in our time with no memory of how they got here. Flashes in the Oslo fjord, followed by people appearing in the water, kick off the series where ‘time migrants’ from the Stone Age, Viking era and the 19th century all have to integrate and learn how to co-exist in the modern world. In the middle of it all, police officers Lars and Alfhildr have to navigate cultural structures, linguistics and personal problems to solve crimes. In addition,

multi-temporal interactions, power struggles and religious clashes between heathen and Christian Vikings, Völvas, Luddites and modern man complicate the ordeal. Season two, which premiered in December 2021, also introduces a storyline revolving around the infamous British serial killer Jack the Ripper. “But it’s not just entertainment,” says Norwegian actor Tobias Santelmann (known from among other things Exit and Atlantic Crossing), who plays Viking legend King Olav the Holy. “The creators of the show are also very elegantly shining a thought-provoking light on the deeper social issues that we still face today. And how, as a society, we choose to handle the larger problems and challenges in this world. They’ve just inserted it into a plot along with crime, Jack the Ripper,

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Beforeigners

Vikings, the Stone Age and 19th-century people. It’s pretty unique.” The social criticism is handled with a solid dose of humour. King Olav has become a YouTube influencer, whose contemporary problems, in addition to reclaiming his name and title as King of Norway, consists of learning how to drive a car and understanding the concept of DNA. The rebirth of Old Norse For the cast, however, one of the aspects that really set this show apart from many others also proved to be one of the most challenging tasks: the extinct languages of the time migrants. “Old Norse takes an obscene amount of time to familiarise yourself with if you want to do it properly,” laughs Santelmann. Like several of the cast, he had to learn a brand-new language for the series.

Choosing the easy way out by letting everyone speak contemporary Norwegian was not an option for Beforeigners creators Anne Bjørnstad, Eilif Skodvin and director Jens Lien. Instead, they went all-in by making each character speak the language they would have used in their own time. But using Old Norse and other ancient languages as spoken languages in a TV series is no easy task. There are few written records of the Norwegian language prior to the year 1200 AD, and little knowledge of how words were pronounced by the Vikings. There are no records of Stone Age Norwegian, and what did a Luddite or an upper-class 19th-century person actually sound like? To make the languages in Beforeigners as correct as possible, the creators and scriptwriters of the series collaborated with linguists and researchers to reconstruct and flesh out

the characters’ languages and accents. New words for modern concepts had to be invented. ‘Wind stick’ (for hair dryer), ‘eating sword’ (for cutlery) and ‘wall pond’ (for mirror) are some of the creative workarounds where there are no original words. The Stone Age language, dubbed Mesolithic, was created from scratch based on languages from the Caucasus and how they thought Stone Age people might have conversed. “We had a coach on set every day guiding us through every single line to make sure it was as accurate as possible,” Santelmann says. “While someone else was doing their line, I just kept trying to remember how my next line began. And when they stopped talking, I just had to assume it was my turn.” To cast time migrants with accurate accents when pronouncing contemporary

Tobias Santelmann. Photo: Helge Brekke

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  117

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Beforeigners

Krista Kosonen on set as Alfhildr.

Norwegian, the series’ creators looked to Finland and Iceland, countries with harder consonants in their languages than the softer spoken Norwegian. In Finland, they found actress Krista  Kosonen (previously in Blade Runner 2049 and The Midwife), who plays police officer Alfhildr. For Kosonen, this presented several challenges. Not only could she not speak a word of Norwegian when she was cast; but in addition, she had to learn the language while simultaneously learning Old Norse.

Tobias Santelmann on set.

118  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

“People in Finland don’t believe me when I say I did the show in Norwegian and Old Norse,” she laughs. “And honestly, I don’t quite believe it myself either. Filming this season, though, I lived in Norway for seven months due to Covid, so now I understand Norwegian quite well.”

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Beforeigners

A Nordic neighbourhood Alfhildr, a headstrong Viking woman with an unknown past, is slowly waking up to her origins while learning how to use technology, speak contemporary Norwegian and function in a world not quite as free and wild as the one she is used to. Like a Viking version of Saga Norén, she not only fights crime, but also the norms, customs and self-imposed rules that we no longer even question. With a mainly Nordic cast, working with their neighbours was also a chance for the actors to work with each country’s top

talents. “It’s been wonderful,” says Nicolai Cleve Broch (known from The Sandhamn Murders and Max Manus: Man of War), who plays troubled contemporary police officer Lars. While solving crimes and helping his work partner Alfhildr adjust, he also has his own demons, substance abuse and visions to deal with.“Beforeigners has attracted top-shelf actors for all the roles, from so many countries. People are excited about being in the show, which is really cool!” he says. “That’s a good thing about streaming services,” agrees Swedish actress Hedda

Stiernstedt, who plays The Volva. “They do a lot of co-productions, which allows us all to work together across the borders.” The Volva, a misunderstood Norse seeress forced underground due to performing Blôt and practising magic, is just one of several new characters in season two. And as the scale of the series keeps growing, and the characters and storylines are evolving, we can hopefully look forward to several future seasons of time migration, heroes, villains and cultural clashes for the multi-temporal cast of Beforeigners.

Show creators Anne Bjørnstad, Eilif Skodvin and Jens Lien, and actors Nicolai Cleve Broch, Krista Kosonen, and Hedda Stiernstedt. Photo: Helge Brekke

January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  119

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Columns

Scandinavian music If there’s one artist I’m hoping to hear a lot more from in 2022, it’s ILON – a name that every pop fan should be familiarising themselves with. The Finnish newcomer provided one of the most relentless earworms of 2021 with her single Tobacco, and now she’s back with another beauty – her latest single Dream. On it, the tempo may have been dropped considerably in comparison to its predecessor, but the emphasis placed on a great melody has not; if anything, it’s been ramped up. Dream takes its influence from ‘80s bigbeat ballads and modern day synthpop, and it’s just as dreamy as you would hope and expect from a song with that title. Across the border in Sweden, Melanie Wehbe has taken a quick break from writing Danish radio airplay number 1s, Melodifestivalen winners and Idol winner

singles – all for a selection of other artists – to focus on her own music. She releases her debut EP in early 2022, and new single Sugarcoat is an exciting taste of what’s to come from her. Staccato beats and dualpersonality vocals form the pillars of what’s a fresh and personal take on accepting the inevitable end of a relationship, resulting in Sugarcoat positioning itself as a new kind of break-up anthem for us to take with us into 2022. Two of Norway’s biggest pop exports – Astrid S and Dagny – have paired up for a collaboration that is so perfect for both of them, you wonder why it has taken them so long to come up with the idea of duetting. New single Pretty sounds like it could well have been lifted from the highlights of either of their most recent albums. It’s a feel-good slice of radio-friendly electronica about the

Chit-chat and snow problems In Sweden, the further north you go, the less people speak. This fact does not detract from the welcoming charm of Northerners – they’re just wise enough to save their energy for things that really matter, like working out where the roads end and the fields begin (snow problems) and layering wool jumpers (snow problems). There’s something comforting about knowing that you are unlikely to be accosted for a chat when you’re out and about, and can get on with your business in peace. Therefore, imagine our alarm when, a while ago, my sister and I were greeted by the sight of a man coming out of his house as we passed and striding purposefully in our direction. Our shock grew when we realised that he was not even appropriately dressed! In reality, he was probably just a few wool jumpers short of the required number, but the sight was so jarring that he might as well have been trundling through the snow in bare feet. 120  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

By Karl Batterbee

euphoria that comes about from catching a mere glimpse of another half’s face. When both of these artists eventually get around to releasing their own Greatest Hits collections, Pretty will have pride of place on both. Web:

By Maria Smedstad

strap, splitting his lip open. On seeing my sister, he likely hoped he could save himself a trip to the hospital, and all the bothersome social interaction that would entail. “You need a people doctor,” my sister advised and he shrugged, uttered some single-word reply like “Hmm” or “Oj”, before turning back the way he had come. We too carried on walking, without comment. That was enough chit-chat for one day.

By this point, the fact that his face was covered in blood only mildly added to the confusion. And then – sure enough – he addressed us. “You’re a vet,” he said to my sister, who is one. Then, pointing to his bleeding face, “Does this need stitches?” It transpired that he’d been out with his huskies and got injured by a loose sled-

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Nobel Prize Banquet. Photo: Nobel Prize Outreach Dan Lepp

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! Compartment No. 6 (in cinemas now) Compartment No. 6 is possibly the most exciting thing to come out of Finnish filmmaking in the past few decades, winning the Grand Prix at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival jointly with the Iranian film A Hero. Telling the story of two strangers travelling by train through Russia, the film is based on a novel by Rosa Liksom, available translated into English as well as a number of other languages. See your local cinema’s listings

Pastoral (20 January) Trumpetist Matilda Lloyd (UK) is one of the most exciting young musicians of today, and you can soon hear her perform in a concert with Oulu Sinfonia. Comprising three pieces by Ludwig van Bee-

thoven, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Sir Michael Tippett, the concert is conducted by Jessica Cottis from Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Leevi Madetojan katu 1-3, Oulu, Finland

Dark Music Days (23-29 January) In the mood to hear something new? Head all the way north to Reykjavik for a festival of experimental contemporary music. Dark Music Days was established in 1980 by the Iceland Composers Society, and the 2022 line-up includes the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Nordic Affect and Bára Gísladóttir. The main venue, Harpa Concert Hall, is also well worth checking out. Reykjavik, Iceland

By Hanna Heiskanen

Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen (until 27 February) If you’ve ever visited Copenhagen, or binged on Borgen, you will have seen the statue of King Christian IX of Denmark near Christiansborg. The statue was made by sculptor Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen (1863–1945), praised at a young age by Auguste Rodin, whose works are on display in Glyptoteket. This is the largest exhibition of her art since 1945. Dantes Plads 7, Copenhagen, Denmark

Århundredets Festival (4-13 March) Literally ‘Festival of the Century’, Århundredets Festival celebrates knowledge, culture and education. Organised by Folkeuniversitetet i Aarhus, an open January 2022  |  Issue 138  |  121

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

university type of institution, the festival’s theme this year is revolution in all its forms – from digital to sexual. If your Danish is rusty or you can’t make it to Aarhus, many of the talks will be available virtually and in English – free of charge, although pre-registration may be required. Aarhus, Denmark

Osmo Rauhala: Remember to forget everything (until 29 May) Born in 1975, Osmo Rauhala is known as one of the pioneers of Finnish art. His exhibition showcases the wide range of work he has produced in the 2010s, with themes ranging from DNA and evolution to deer and marine life. The location, Turku’s Aboa Vetus Ars Nova museum of architecture and modern art, is in itself worth a visit. Itäinen Rantakatu 4–6, Turku, Finland

British – Ever So Nordic (until 1 April) How has quintessentially Nordic fashion been influenced by Great Britain? The trading relationship between the two regions stretches back millennia. Today, thousands of tourists head to London to be inspired by the latest fashion, not to mention classics such as the trench coat and Doctor Martens boots. The exhibition is based on Nordiska museet’s collection. Djurgårdsvägen 6-16, Stockholm, Sweden

The Nobel Prize Banquet – Behind the Scenes (until 23 March 2023) To experience what it feels like to win a Nobel Prize, you don’t have to discover a new element or broker world peace – you can simply visit the Nobel Prize Museum in central Stockholm. The real-life banquet is attended by 1,250 guests and the Swedish Royal Family. Here, you can get a feel for the exquisite menu, the fancy clothes and the speeches given by the winners. Stortorget 2, Stockholm, Sweden 122  |  Issue 138  |  January 2022

Matilda Lloyd. Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

British – Ever So Nordic. Photo: Johan Danielson

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