2_1_ScanMag_69_Oct_2014_Text:Scan Magazine 1
Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Architecture Sweden
An example is Sundbyberg City Hall – a traditional workplace that has turned into a contemporary cubic office with an atrium, making it possible for everyone to see each other. Creative design process “Our target group is the visionary client, and we want to be on top form for them,” says Ullstad and explains that listening and working with an overall concept is part of the Codesign process. For Sundbyberg city hall, the theme was nature and growth, bringing in imagery, nature materials and plants. When working with AMF Fastigheter, one of Sweden’s largest property investment and development companies, they pictured the new head office like a theatre. In discussions they imagined the phone booths as dressing rooms and shifted the focus of the discussion from things like the size of a desk to something new and interesting. Giving everyone a voice Codesign wants to work for the greater good. The approach is clearly visible in some of the latest company news: the non-profit Codesign Research Studio. This is where the firm gives a voice to “forgotten people and forgotten places”, everyone who for some reason cannot make their voice heard in discussion, be it illegal immigrants or prison inmates. The studio wishes to bridge the gap between theory and practice, something Ullstad jokingly describes as a “draw-tank” instead of a think tank, changing the world with great design. Another regular event is the seminar series Cotalk where clients, employees and the people in the industry are invited to interesting talks at the office.
ABOVE: Plants and natural materials play an important part at Sundbyberg City Hall.
words, shaping an organisation so that it gives the client room to thrive. Visionary clients Working with visionary clients is the main driving force for Ullstad. The dream project is one where everyone involved dares aim for the stars – and it is not about money – but the overall approach of creating something cutting-edge for the future, together. He says it’s especially interesting to help
someone who is not normally invited to be part of the change.“It’s about bringing the client on a journey of development, step by step. Suddenly they have gone further than they ever thought possible,” he says and concludes: “It is so fun to see them kickstart new visions for the future.” For more information, please visit: www.codesign.se
Creating something new Ullstad started the firm in the mid ’90s, when he was still in the third year of university. Later he became a lecturer at the very same school, but when he stopped teaching he upsized the firm, and today the number of employees has increased to around 30. The most fun part of the job, according to Ullstad, is to create something new in a setting where there is not already much to refer to. In other
TOP: Interior design for the Swedish law firm Synch. BOTTOM: Mini offices within the office at Stockholms Stadsmission.
Issue 69 | October 2014 | 99
Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with actress Signe Egholm Olsen.