Scan Magazine, Issue 82, November 2015

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Scan Magazine | Contents


Soul-searching with Seinabo Sey With a big voice and an even bigger heart, Seinabo Sey has taken Sweden by storm. Now her debut album, Pretend, is out and the world is getting to know the singer through a collection of tough but deeply honest tracks, combining neo-soul with hip-hop influences, pop sensitivity and gospel. Scan Magazine spoke to Sey about being too hard on yourself in a context where you have to work harder than everyone else to be seen.

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Grundtvig may have been Danish, but the values of democracy and active citizenship that were so central to his attitude to education are still cherished throughout the Nordic countries. As such, Norway too offers a range of folk high schools preparing students for participation in society and a rich life as global citizens. Find the one that is right for you with our picks of Norway’s folk education pioneers.




Education and an island gem When we discovered the island gem that is Mandelhuset, a former convenient store transformed into a quaint, welcoming restaurant serving traditional Norwegian food with a local touch, we had to tell you. Naturally, we also decided to set the backdrop to this month’s big education special with a feature on the Scandinavian education systems, introducing it to those of you who are not familiar with the concept and taking a trip down memory lane with those of you who are.


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Danish education Seventy-eight per cent of Danish adults have completed upper secondary school education. That is above the OECD average and indeed an indicator of a strong education system, yet it fails to paint a picture of what makes the Danish system unique. Thanks to the education pioneer N.F.S. Grundtvig, an influential pastor, teacher and philosopher, Denmark boasts an entire tier of hugely popular schools that lack an equivalent outside Scandinavia. We take a closer look at the best of Danish efterskoler and folk high schools.

‘Julebord’ in Norway Whether you want to go all in with smalahove (sheep’s head) and ribbe (crackling pork belly) or are merely after a bit of true Christmas spirit surrounded by snow-clad mountains and stunning fjords, our pick of the best Norwegian Christmas smörgåsbord, or ‘julebord’, will do the trick.


Christmas gifts from Sweden It is definitely not too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts, and you could do worse than look to Sweden for inspiration. From legendary furniture and interior design courtesy of Svenskt Tenn, to handmade brushes, beautiful throws and striking candle holders, we help you find the right gift for the keen as well as the soon-to-be-converted Scandophile.

Safe, snug and stylish This month’s design section not only helps you to dress to feel snug and warm, and update your home to add to the cosiness factor; we also spoke to the man behind AIRTOX, the safety trainer designer so successful it had to start making comfortable, stylish sneakers for everyday wear too.

Norwegian education


Finnish architecture and design Did you know that there is a quiet architectural revolution happening? Every self-respecting fan of the design nations up north should be in the know. Scan Magazine followed in the footsteps of the Finlandia Prize for Architecture to find out more.

BUSINESS SECTION 110 Taking it Malteasy Meet the man who has made a business out of the Maltese way of life, helping northern Europeans and other sun lovers find a base for discovering the beauty and warmth of Malta.

CULTURE SECTION 116 Not another Moominmamma She denies being the new Moominmamma, yet she does not seem contrary enough to be called Little My. Tove Jansson’s niece tells us what it is like to pull all the strings behind the scenes of the world’s favourite Finnish trolls.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 6 We Love This | 8 Fashion Diary | 104 Restaurants of the Month | 107 Hotels of the Month 108 Humour | 112 Conferences of the Month

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 3

Scan Magazine | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, A friend recently shared a satirical article from The Guardian, highlighting the often unnecessary nature of letters from the editor and wishing that they would, every once in a while, be a little more heartfelt. I could not help but agree and, as it happens, I got the message just at the right time. The November issue of Scan Magazine presents our big, annual education special, and I could wax lyrical about education for hours on end, prouder than ever to call myself Scandinavian at the sheer sight of this pet topic of mine. Among the handful of elements of Nordic culture and policy that are repeatedly celebrated at home and abroad, the attitude to education is pivotal. Why education? Because still today, from a global perspective, 61 million children of primary school age are not enrolled into education. The majority of them are girls, subsequently less likely to know about condoms, more likely to have more children – children who are less likely to be immunised and half as likely to survive to age five – and three times more likely to contract HIV/AIDS. Youth literacy on the African continent is below 50 per cent. In comparison, all Scandinavian countries have a higher number of citizens educated to upper secondary school level than the OECD average. Danish students score above the OECD average in reading literacy, math and science, and Finland, of course, tops countless league tables in this regard. Fertility rates tell a tale, at above five

births per woman in Sub-Saharan Africa and below two in all Nordic countries. Not only do the Nordic countries boast free, universal and compulsory education, but the principles of democracy, independence and critical awareness are celebrated widely, particularly within the unique Grundtvig-inspired folk school movement. Why education? Because from gender equality to world-leading design and avant-garde art, the things Scan Magazine gloats about on a monthly basis all have education to thank for their success. How is that for heartfelt? Pink Floyd were wrong. We do need education. This month’s cover star, incidentally, hated studying. Still, I can sincerely say that I have felt deeply inspired by the brave, talented Seinabo Sey since the day I spoke to her. As for the Christmas themes, we just could not help ourselves…

Linnea Dunne, Editor


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Scan Magazine | Design | We Love This

We love this… We spend so much time in our bedroom. This is a place that really has to represent our personalities, help us unwind and allow us to forget about the challenges of the workday ahead. What better way to do this than to decorate the bedroom with simple Scandinavian designs? By Stephanie Brink Harck | Press photos

Make sure that your bedroom not only helps you relax, but radiates some pure happiness too. Decorate using these funny, sweet and colourful wooden figures from the Danish designer Kaj Bojesen. £59.95

The Danish company Hay presents this Colour Block Bed Linen for children and adults – calming pastel colours on one side, fresh green on the other. At the same time, it is adorned with straight lines and minimalistic grids. It is made of 100 per cent cotton satin, making it feel purely delightful. Designed by Scholten & Baijings. £50

Restore is a versatile all-purpose basket strong enough to be used for magazines, toys, laundry, books – you name it. The design is understated, which only makes it even more special. Designed by Mika Tolvanen. £65

6 | Issue 82 | November 2015

This cushion was created during a work trip to southern Finland. It is part of Laura Baruël’s Wood series, which aims to develop a Nordic pattern: an idiom and pattern practice based on Nordic vegetation and characteristic features of Nordic landscapes. Place it on a chair in the corner of your bedroom and you have your very own creative painting. Designed by Laura Baruël. £60

Nordic simplicity is what characterises this beautiful Anker rack. A simple hook system made of powder-coated steel holds everything in place and it folds away neatly, almost completely flat. The Anker rack is available in two versions, black or white. Designed by Christian Troels and Jonas Birkebæk Poulsen. £199

From 7 November Gerda Wegener, Lili with a Feather Fan (detail), 1920. Photo: Morten Pors

ARKEN Museum of Modern Art Skovvej 100, 2635 Ishøj, Denmark

Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… As they fall from the trees, the leaves remind us that autumn is not all grey and rainy. Make it evident in your wardrobe too and embrace the cooler temperatures with stylish autumn classics. The choice is yours… By Sara Asoka Paulsen | Press photos

Olivier Rousteing, the bad boy of fashion, and Sweden’s H&M have collaborated to create an affordable line. With this hoodie, you can be smart and warm when running through the Scandinavian woods. Hoodie, £29

This coat has it all, the warm collar in a soft material and the stylish dark blue, making for a great contrast. It is difficult not to look handsome in this one, and the jacket is perfect for the cold evenings ahead too. Clinton Jacket, approx. £290

8 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary

As evidenced by Curious George’s friend, you can never go wrong with a yellow hat. It instantly brightens up any outfit, making it autumnal and fashionable at once. Try this one from H&M. Approx, £18

These wool pants from Swedish Filippa K make for a warm but classic look. Liam Cool Wool Slack, approx. £116

We love the small details at the back of these booties and the gorgeous red lining. Approx. £320

The Jaida Con Dress from Tiger of Sweden in a warm golden colour with metallic details on the shoulders is perfect for Christmas parties. For a more casual look, wear a dark-coloured top underneath. Tiger of Sweden Jaida Con Dress £299

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 9

Scan Magazine | Design | Street Style

Nordic Humans of Helsinki Scan Magazine’s brilliant Sanna Halmekoski has once again hit the streets of London to find out what the Scandinavian fashion fanatics are wearing. Cool, sleek and full of statements, this is a little piece of Scandiland in the United Kingdom. Text and photos by Sanna Halmekoski | Twitter: @suomigirl |

Maryam Razavi, Finnish stylist, model and writer “Clothes are part of my work and I recently launched a stylebook called EXCLSV, which features the style philosophies of well-known Finns. My style is relaxed and feminine. I am wearing shoes by, jeans by Levis, a bag by Michael Kors, and a jumper by Finnish KMMS-design.”

Yuki Abe, Finnish designer and founder of MottoWASABI “I wear comfortable and easy-going clothes that suit my busy working life. I am wearing trousers by Danish label Anerkjendt, a shirt by Cos, a jacket by Wemoto and shoes by Asics.”

Katariina Guthwert, Finnish artist (

Maryam Razavi

“I like simple style with colourful accessories. My necklace is called Brighton and is part of my own line. I am wearing a raincoat by Danish label Rains, trousers by Filippa K, and a shirt by Weekdays.” Yuki Abe

Katarina Guthwert

10 | Issue 82 | November 2015


Scan Magazine | Design | AIRTOX

Founder Henrik Boe Wiingaard-Madsen with an S-LINE safety trainer, which is comparable to regular trainers but with all the necessary features that qualify them as safety shoes by European standards.

Intoxicating comfort Using highly advanced technologies, AIRTOX, a Danish innovator within work and safety shoes, has come up with a new and different approach to professional footwear. The result, comfortable and trendy safety trainers, has been received with so much enthusiasm that when the company recently added regular sneakers to its collection, they sold out in less than two months. By Signe Hansen | Photos: AIRTOX

When it comes to the safety footwear worn in millions of workplaces including kitchens, factories and construction sites, neither comfort nor style have previously been given much priority. In fact, due to the many statutory standards that have to be adhered to, safety shoes are often heavy, inflexible and without any reflection of current trends. However, among the approximately ten per cent of people (in the developed world) who use this kind of footwear, many have been longing for something different. 12 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Thus, to enable the workforce to stay healthy, comfortable and, at the same time, happy with their looks, Henrik Boe Wiingaard-Madsen decided to set up AIRTOX. “The idea with AIRTOX was to create the ultimate safety shoe and then twist the design so that it would look more like a regular trainer or sports shoe. But at the same time, because of all the new technology, we have created shoes that are really comfortable; you could say that the design and branding are targeted at the more trend-focused

young crowd while the quality and comfort will appeal to almost everyone. What we have is a premium product, the like of which has not been seen in this industry before,” says the CEO, who has more than 20 years’ experience within the industry. The result means that even though workers have to wear the same pair of shoes for eight to ten hours every day, they can feel comfortable at all times and are more likely to avoid joint or back injuries later on.

Impenetrable and lightweight One might wonder how much technology can actually be involved in the creation of a shoe. The answer is a great deal. AIRTOX implements a total of five patented technologies, and the result is a shoe

Scan Magazine | Design | AIRTOX

Left:The M-SERIES consists of safety trainers for men and women made with the highest standard of materials and equipped with all the latest technology and materials.

that boasts protected toe caps, the lightest anti-penetration layer on the market, slip resistance, shock-absorbing and cooling insoles, a superlight and flexible midsole as well as a multi-dot direct massage system and a wide Scandinavian fit. “We have brought some completely new technologies to the market. The biggest game changer is our patented WHITELAYER® technology, which is a unique non-metal anti-perforation material. It’s a really big thing for the people who wear these shoes because it weighs less than half of the lightest of all other similar materials. This again means that you can have safety without compromising on comfort,” says Wiingaard-Madsen, who is also known at the company as the ‘commander in chief’.

Among the other technologies is AIRTOX’s own UTURN®, a small knob that enables the user to tighten shoelaces quickly and evenly, ensuring a stable grip all the way down the foot.

Take the comfort home While getting an enthusiastic response from the workwear market, AIRTOX also started to receive enquiries about non-safety trainers with the same comfort and quality as its safety range. “In the Scandinavian countries, people who work within the professions where our shoes are worn are very conscious about their needs and their role in the workplace. They demand comfortable footwear and at the same time respond to a cool brand and image,” explains the commander in chief, adding that the brand also quickly received interest from other markets.

The positive reception led AIRTOX to launch two styles of regular sneakers, which turned out so popular that they sold out in less than two months. “It’s like an all-round sneaker shoe but much more comfortable. It’s just as comfortable as a running shoe but it does not have that running shoe look,” explains Wiingaard-Madsen and adds about the launch: “The whole thing turned out very dramatic – we were just flabbergasted at how much response we got.” There are currently just two AIRTOX styles of non-safety shoes on the market, but more are to follow, so before long everyone will be able to enjoy the intoxicating comfort of AIRTOX.

For more information, please visit:

FACTS: Wiingaard-Madsen set up AIRTOX together with his wife in the beginning of 2015. AIRTOX develops its shoes from scratch in Scandinavia using highly advanced patented technologies and materials sourced from all over the world. The company is located in Nærum, Denmark. Above: The story goes that the AIRTOX birds, the icon of AIRTOX, originate from a distant planet. For unknown reasons, they have settled on earth where they use their advanced technological knowledge to create shoes with special properties.

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 13

Scan Magazine | Design | Schmuck Seifert / Valona Design

Inspired by the north Silver jewellery designs by Sabine Seifert are everything but conventional. The German designer’s pieces are inspired by the raw nature of Norway and impress with their contemporary yet timeless and powerful character. By Nane Steinhoff | Photos: Andreas Brandt

Everything started with a more incidental apprenticeship as a goldsmith. Only during Sabine Seifert’s further education to qualify as a master goldsmith and jewellery designer, did she discover her passion for independent working and designing. “After my apprenticeship, I noticed a big wanderlust and thus, I coincidentally landed in the north of Norway for 15 years,” she smiles. “The wild nature overwhelmed me and the Viking traces inspired my imagination. I’m curious by nature. I want to learn, understand and develop personally. My jewellery design is similar.” Now living in Hamburg in Germany, she designs collections that are time-

less, minimalist and unisex, comprising beautiful silver necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings, sometimes decorated with precious stones. The fact that her collec-

tions are inspired by the north is immediately evident as her designs are influenced by the likes of blueberries, anchors, snowmen, fish, sails and Viking shields. Her new design collection, the first made in Hamburg, shows shows the development from a square-shaped sail to an anchor and eventually a belief-hope-love symbol. “Nordic, maritime, Hanseatic... and the circle is complete,” Seifert concludes. The highlight of the collection is an exclusive item in gold, studded with sparkling brilliants.

For more information, please visit:

Breathing new life into old traditions Finding inspiration in the forests of Finland, Elina Mäntylä, the artist behind Valona Design, uses birch wood to create hanging crystals and intricate jewellery. Reminiscent of the traditional ‘himmeli’ folk decorations, they make for perfect gifts this Christmas. By Stephanie Lovell | Photos: Laura Reunanen

In all Mäntylä’s designs, light is key. Her birch crystals appear to glow, while her earrings and necklaces glisten like morning dew. This vital element is duly honoured in the name of her company, Valona Design, with ‘valona’ coming from the Finnish word for light. Inspired by traditional Finnish Christmas ornaments known as ‘himmeli’, Mäntylä’s delicate hanging crystals would bring some Nordic chic to your festive decorations. “Although the products are sold year-round, Christmas is definitely the peak season,” says Mäntylä. “They come flat-packed in envelopes – ideal to send as a Christmas card.” The beautiful Octagon jewellery continues with the ‘himmeli’ theme. Last year, the wooden earrings in this series 14 | Issue 82 | November 2015

were awarded first prize in the Taito national design contest Folkista Poppia. “When I’m making something, I consciously take away all the frills,” explains Mäntylä. “One of the trademarks of Finnish design is that it’s plain and simple but, personally, I love beautiful objects. That’s what attracts my attention and what I strive for through my work.” Like many Finns, Mäntylä feels a strong connection to nature. “It’s important for me to go to places far removed from human information,” she says. “When I’m in the woods or by the sea, I can find inspiration.” For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Seinabo Sey

Seinabo Sey: Serious soul-searching With a voice powerful enough to win a Swedish Grammy for Best Newcomer in 2014 off the back of two critically acclaimed EPs, it is no surprise that Seinabo Sey has been compared to the great Aretha Franklin. But the lecturing lyrics on her debut album Pretend paint a picture of a humble artist who takes nothing for granted. Scan Magazine spoke to Seinabo Sey about cultural identity, the creative process and being too hard on yourself. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Patricia Reyes

“I used to write like a rapper, like three verses in one,” 25-year-old Sey laughs. “It was just about getting it all out. But then I met Mange and I started to look at music differently and understand pop music better.” Sey met producer Magnus Lidehäll, who previously worked with acts including Mapei, after moving to Stockholm to study music at age 15. After sending Lidehäll a demo, their mutual love of hip-hop and reluctance to label music with predefined genres led to a strong, fruitful connection. Sey’s debut album, Pretend, is as much of a genre-defying creation as the pair might have hoped, sparking associations with everything from Erykah Badu’s Worldwide Underground to Alicia Keys’ Songs In A Minor, referencing old-school hip-hop, neosoul and gospel. Surprisingly, even the lyrics stand out from the mainstream pop crowd, far less banal than those of your average chart-topper, offering insight into somebody who has been through some serious soul-searching. Fitting in It is not just her voice that has been dubbed mature, and it would be easy to assume that Sey’s wisdom is the result of having had to grow up at a young age, in part due to losing her father in 2013.

“To be honest, I haven’t really digested all that properly yet,” she reflects. “But I write about what’s happened to me, and I’m quite aware of how things affect me, like moving at such a young age, which certainly wasn’t easy.” Sey was born in Stockholm to a Swedish mother and Gambian father, but in aid of her father Maudo’s music career the family moved to Gambia when Sey was only four years old. Forced to get used to a wildly different and much stricter culture, she quickly became good at observing people and reading social situations in order to fit in, internalising the Gambian culture of constantly being told what to do.

a society where, because of who I am, I’ve had to work that bit harder than everybody else to get where I am, to prove myself.” To anyone who listened when Sey went on air as part of Swedish radio P1’s celebrated Sommar series, this sentiment will sound familiar. In a brave and frank 88-minute show, the singer spoke about what happens to a person’s self-image when they are never represented in media or society, in Sey’s case being constantly surrounded by models and presenters and news anchors who were all white. Half-sarcastic but brutally honest, Sey assured a younger version of herself that it is not alright for people to feel your hair or use the n-word, recalling watching MTV at the time when Alicia Keys broke through and desperately holding onto the fact that

This inner journey appears to have had far more influence on her lyrics than the impact her time in Gambia, and listening to the Sufi singing of Senegalese hymns, has had on her music. Not only does she admit to having a well-developed empathetic ability, but many of the tracks are half pep talk, half lectures. Is she too hard on herself? “Definitely, I’m way too hard on myself! It’s got something to do with growing up in a very strict culture,” she says and pauses. “But to be honest, it’s not just that – I’ve also grown up in Issue 82 | November 2015 | 17

Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Seinabo Sey

sets in, from the simple soul ballad Still through the vocoder vocals of You and anthemic chorus on Ruin to the emotional modern gospel of Burial, complete with gospel choir and key change. There is endless room for goosebumps and a growing sense of wanting to hang out with Sey all day every day. A happy plan It has been ten years since Sey made her mind up and headed for Stockholm, and since then she has acted sidekick for rapper Afasi, released two EPs named after her parents, worked with Swedish stars including Salem Al Fakir and Oskar Linnros, and won three prestigious awards: a Swedish Music Publishers Prize for Breakthrough of the Year, a Grammy Award for Best Newcomer, and a Kingsize Award for Soul/R&B Artist of the Year, all for her achievements during 2014.

she too was black. “I have never felt beautiful in Sweden,” says Sey, admitting to wishing she could have back the endless hours spent dissecting her own body in despair. With some perspective, the idea of Sey being hard on herself suddenly appears ridiculous. Redemption Of course, there is some sense of redemption, with the singer’s face now adorning a new series of Swedish stamps and indeed the recognition of being asked to host said legendary radio show, getting the opportunity to tell the girls who used to bully her that all is forgiven. Perhaps the turning point was the move from Halmstad, where the family lived after four years in Gambia, to Stockholm for music school. Or maybe it was meeting Lidehäll and going on a journey that went far deeper than the purely musical. “I can’t speak for him,” she says, “but I think he was in a weird place too when we met, and that making the record helped him. It most certainly helped me: 18 | Issue 82 | November 2015

I was making music when I wasn’t very impressed with myself, and he changed that in me.” Sey does not believe in the idea of the tortured artist as such, but admits that a not-so-happy time is often followed by a creative, almost cathartic wave. “When you’re at your worst, you can’t create. But just as you pick yourself up, while the memory of the pain is still fresh, you can create something beautiful,” she says. “I know my lyrics can be quite serious, but I try to always add a positive twist so that it doesn’t get depressing.” From the opening track, Younger, slowly building through a marching band beat into a full-on dance tune, to the hip-hop-influenced title track, Pretend, and the club perfect Words, the album is more likely to start a dance-off than cause depression. But there is a lot to be said for the singer at her rawest, the positive twists discarded. During the final four tracks of the album, a sense of calm

Her highly anticipated debut album is, as of last month, finally out, and the lyrics on the title track, Pretend, reveal a mindful attitude to happiness. “Someone just told me to leave all my sorrow / If that is true, I don’t know who to be / Could be these troubles are part of the plan / Could be we need the bad just to take a chance.” And on that note, there is a plan indeed. “I want to make loads of music that reaches loads of people, perform on the biggest TV shows and on the biggest stages, meet as many people as possible and visit as many countries as possible,” she says and almost interrupts herself: “And be happy! I want to be happy, or else I don’t care about any of it.” If you ask, she will reveal that said happy Seinabo Sey will someday be found in her beloved Gambia. As she put it during Sommar, describing a 70-year-old self dressed in white: “I will have fat speakers, blasting out dancehall across the sea.”

Seinabo Sey’s debut album, Pretend, is out now on Virgin Records. For more information visit or find her on Facebook or Instagram.



Charlottehaven | Hjørringgade 12C | DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø Contact +45 3527 1520

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Scan Magazine | Culinary Feature | Mandelhuset

Photo by Gro Røhne Andersen

Seaside delight Like a white idyllic treasure, just off the immediate waterfront, lies Mandelhuset. The two wooden houses with their green rims and little dock were once an old fashioned convenience store. Now it is a warm and friendly restaurant serving homemade deliciousness to everyone who steps inside. By Stine Wannebo | Photos: Camilla Korsnes Foto

Just a little more than an hour away from Bergen, there is a small, blissful island called Tysnes. Located on the west coast of Norway, it is a popular summer retreat and calming winter getaway. Mandelhuset is situated at the heart of Våge, one of the island’s small idyllic villages. There are luscious trees, waves gently rolling against the shore and laughing children playing on the grass. Just metres from the blue, shimmering water, guests can arrive by foot, by car or even by boat if they like. It is the perfect setting for a delicious meal, a quiet drink or a memorable outdoor concert. 20 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Mandelhuset means the Almond House, and was named by the Arnesen couple when in 1993 they decided to open a maritime restaurant in Våge. Despite a change of owners, the name has stayed the same. The restaurant is still lovingly referred to as Mandelen, the Almond, by most of the locals on the island. “A friendly atmosphere, simple but exceptional food and a wonderful time are what’s most important to us here at Mandelhuset,” owner Patrick Madsen says proudly. Traditional simplicity Local home-cooked food is Mandelshuset’s speciality. Food should be good,

filling and made from fresh, local ingredients. Much of the seafood that is served has been sourced from the water surrounding the island and brought in by local fishermen. New potatoes are bought from the neighbouring farm and apples and berries all come from the area surrounding the restaurant. The same goes for the meat and beer. “We take care of the produce we get, making sure that nothing goes to waste,” Madsen explains. Simplicity is key; everyone should know what is on their plates. Traditional dishes, such as the signature home-cooked deer burger and the house’s own creamy fish soup, are always on the menu and something that guests definitely come back for. From bread to pastries, confectionery to ice cream, everything is made in Mandelhuset’s own kitchen. “We want to serve up genuine, tasty dishes with

Scan Magazine | Culinary Feature | Mandelhuset

lots of solid, natural flavours,” Madsen says. “And the best way to do that is to make everything ourselves.” A good time There is more to the little white house by the sea than just a restaurant known for its divine home-cooked dishes and sweet treats. There is also a boat, five apartments and a large outdoor space, which are all frequently used for special occasions and local events alike. Just last month, some of Norway’s most celebrated voices held a concert at Mandelhuset, attracting both locals and visitors to spend their evening near the docks. During winter there are usually several anticipated performances at the venue, which many choose to combine with a delicious meal before the festivities start. Spectacular weddings have been catered for and the traditional Christmas meals are booked months in advance. When temperatures and weather allow, Mandelhuset will also arrange for a relaxed boat trip around the island. Nothing beats eating freshly cooked shrimp on a boat, in good company on a breezy summer’s day.

At the heart of the community Mandelhuset serves local, sincere and carefully cooked dishes all year round. However, during the winter the restaurant encourages guests to book a table in advance. “We are a part of the community here in Tysnes, no matter the season,” Madsen says. Visitors come from near and far from January to December, and they are lucky to have the option to stay over in one of Mandelhuset’s little apartments. The charm of the west coast might change in character depending on the season, but it is always there. The views are as beautiful in spring as they are in autumn, and when it gets cold one can always enjoy a luxurious cup of hot chocolate from behind Mandelhuset’s great glass windows, overlooking the water.

For a building constructed in 1923, it is surprisingly modern. But for a modern, deeply adored local restaurant, it is delightfully traditional.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 21

Scan Magazine | Feature | The Scandinavian Education Systems

Photo: Aline Lessner/

Education with human values Scandinavia may not always offer the best of weather, but it can in turn offer a highly sought-after and globally recognised school system. Why? Because students in Scandinavia are regarded as much more than just future contributors to society. And in a society where knowledge plays an increasingly important role, having a school system to be proud of is a coveted thing indeed.

academically. But, crucially, Scandinavia’s hankering to be among the best is not at the expense of the students’ own interests and talents.

By Stephanie Brink Harck

In Denmark, for example, it is possible to attend a boarding school that specialises in exactly what the individual student is interested in, or attend tenth grade before high school if a student does not feel ready or just needs a little bit more time. This part of the Scandinavian school system reinforces the student’s sense of being an individual, which is very important, according to Ulla Dyrløv, psychologist and author of the book Det professionelle kram, a guide for professionals who work with children For morepeople. information and young “It isplease aboutvisit: seeing the www. student and showing the student that you have seen him or her,” she says.

It is Monday morning and dark outside. Your eyes still feel a little bit heavy and, most of all, you just want to stay in bed all day. But you cannot. You know that. You have to get up. In Scandinavia, it is compulsory to attend school from the age of around six to 16. And although having to get up might feel tiresome at times, students in Scandinavia should count themselves pretty lucky. Not only is school mandatory; it is also free, because in Scandinavia everyone has the right to go to school, regardless of income, hous22 | Issue 82 | November 2015

ing or other factors of life. This means, among other things, that Finland promises that no student should live further away from their school than they can travel by car or bike. Furthermore, Scandinavian countries put a great deal of effort into improving its school systems. They develop new school reforms, continuously test their students and compare themselves with each other and other countries to ensure that their own students do not fall behind

More than just a student

Scan Magazine | Feature | The Scandinavian Education Systems

Photo: Lena Granefelt/

Photo: Christofer Dracke/

Photo: Denmarks Mediacenter

This also applies to the classroom. “You don’t have to do much. A simple gesture or a glance from the teacher is better than doing nothing. If there is trouble at home or in school, a glance from the teacher, showing the student that they know about the situation, can help tremendously,” Dyrløv says, explaining: “I usually compare the child’s working memory with a desk. If the desk is messy there is no room for anything else, not even new knowledge. In other words, if the student does not feel comfortable and happy, they might not learn anything new in school at all.” A safe environment is key According to a report by the Danish Evaluation Institute (EVA) in 2014, one way to ensure a safe environment is to focus on strong teacher-student relationships more generally. Steffen Krøyer, principal at Bjerget Efterskole, could not agree more. “My experience is that if you want to learn something, then it is important

that you have confidence in and access to an adult. For that simple reason we operate with smaller classes with no more than 15 students.” Some teachers create a safe environment simply by being present in the classroom, while others create a clear structure in their teaching or help students overcome barriers for learning. No method is really more correct than the other. Krøyer has his very own approach: “We have an expression that says that we are together to do what we do. The term is based on the principle that we are all equal – we just carry out different roles. Some of my colleagues laugh when I tell them this, because they think it sounds a bit strange, but the truth is that it really works.”

Photo: Simon Paulin/

Experts exchange experience Fortunately, Krøyer is not the only one to believe in the Scandinavian school system. South Korea has some of the best students among the OECD countries

Photo: Vinoth Chandar

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 23

Scan Magazine | Feature | The Scandinavian Education Systems

Photo: Sofia Sabel/

Photo: The Municipal Archives of Trondheim

when it comes to reading and math skills, revealed already in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) study in 2012. Still, Park Geun Hye, South Korea’s recently elected president, searched for inspiration from the Danish school system, more precisely tenth grade, boarding school and the Danish folk high school. Christine Antorini, Danish politician for the Social Democrats and former Minister of Education, explained in 2013 what she thought was the reason: “In South Korea they have academically clever students with very high ambitions, but they also know that they will need the broad skills that are part of the Danish school system.” As such, South Korea is aiming for what they refer to as ‘happy education’ by introducing a semester during school where the student’s dreams and talents are being explored through creative courses, such as sports and arts – and perhaps most importantly without the traditional examinations. This semes24 | Issue 82 | November 2015

ter will be introduced to all schools in South Korea from 2016 with the Danish school system as its model. From religious education to a knowledge society Focusing on how to create the best environment for students to learn really seems to be paying off. All Scandinavia’s school systems have gone through an almost identical historical development, from the religiously oriented education to the Latin schools and the schools of today with teachings in humanities, science and practical arts. The development has followed the changes in society; we are in the midst of what experts call a ‘knowledge society’, characterised by the fact that the majority of workers no longer are engaged in the industries, but working in knowledge-intensive professions. Suddenly, knowledge is one of the most important resources. This applies to Scandinavia, but just as much to the rest of the world.

Societal changes make it all the more important for Scandinavia’s schools to keep developing and become even smarter – and they have to develop incredibly fast. Only 15 years ago, the computer was a rarity in the workplace. Today, PCs, mobile phones and the internet make an integrated part of everyone’s working day – and this is just one of many examples of how fast society is changing. Whether we want to or not, this places new demands on society to adapt to new ways of working, new technology and quite possibly even new professions. Education, it seems, has always been important. Today it is downright essential.

What is OECD? OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is an international economic organisation of 34 countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. In addition to the Scandinavian countries, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are member states, to name a few.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Education Special: Denmark

Imagine a school of life Imagine a school without tests, without a curriculum and without grades. A school where you learn simply because you have the desire to learn – a school that gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world around you. A school not just about teaching and theory, but where the reality of living with one hundred other students and teachers is a vital part of the experience. Where living together, learning together, eating, partying, singing, laughing, crying and sharing our stories so that we become a part of each other’s lives is key. In other words: imagine a school of life. Text and photos: Højskolernes Hus

This is a school where theory and books lend qualities to the conversations we have with each other, instead of being text for us to learn by heart in order to pass an exam. It is a school where teachers do not hold the truth to the questions asked, but seek it together with the students – a school where education is not solely about preparing for a job, but an essential part of being human. There are 69 folk high schools across Denmark, most of them situated in ru26 | Issue 82 | November 2015

ral areas or smaller towns, and they are typically named after the local district. Some are quite old, others founded recently. Some are large and can accommodate more than 100 students, while others have room for only 30. Some are well consolidated, others less well off. Some are architectural gems. Most are characterised by stylistic confusion. However, the most important thing about them is not their appearance, but rather their atmosphere. As one teacher once said: “The task of the schools is to create a climate where culture is a reality.”

You can also join a folk high school for a short-term stay with a special-themed event schedule. These are often offered during holidays and include courses intended for families or seniors or even a special craft. There is something for everybody. The Danish folk high schools offer non-formal adult education. Most students are between 18 and 24 years old and the length of a typical stay is four months. You sleep, eat, study and spend your spare time at the school. There are no academic requirements for admittance and there are no exams – but you will get a diploma as proof of your attendance. That, and memories to last a lifetime.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Invite Tanzania into your living room Feel like having an inspirational adventure? Then Zanzibar Højskolen is the perfect place to be. It is not just a school for those who want to learn about another culture; it is a school for anyone wanting to live in Africa while doing so. By Stephanie Brink Harck | Photos: Zanzibar Højskolen

‘Karibu’ means welcome in Swahili. And at Zanzibar Højskolen, anyone with an urge to travel is very welcome indeed. “I believe it is important to explore other cultures, because I don’t think that you can fully understand yourself until you understand others,” says Jan Iversen, principal at Zanzibar Højskolen. That is also one of the reasons why he and his friend Maksi Mbesi decided to establish the folk high school in 2004. “By discovering different cultures you will also become better at reflecting on what you see and experience. And that’s not only an advance in your studies – it will also make you happier in general.” To make sure that the students have the best possible opportunities to learn,

Iversen and Mbesi have gathered the perfect combination of teachers from Denmark and Tanzania. They teach students about self-awareness, environmental awareness and cultural understanding and, with sand between their toes, students get to explore the many different breath-taking nuances of Africa both between and during the classes. “Equality is a keyword at our school. No matter where we are from, we are all equal, and we can all learn from each other – our teachers and the location of our school are living proof of just that,” says Iversen. ‘Karibu’ is just one of many important African phrases but, just like Zanzibar Højskolen, it is a great place to start.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 27

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

AT A GLANCE: The only 100 per cent Englishspeaking academy and boarding school in Denmark A brand new campus An international learning environment Prioritising student welfare and social interaction Trips to Europe and beyond

The International – meet your world With a philosophy firmly rooted in the Danish boarding school tradition, The International – Academy and Boarding School of Denmark is a hub for young people wanting to improve their linguistic, intercultural and social skills in an international environment. The International gives its students the tools to navigate in a diverse world and meet the challenges of a global marketplace. By Alex Mason, The International | Photos: The International

As Denmark’s first and only 100 per cent English-speaking academy and boarding school, The International is redefining what is possible within the field of international education. Here it is not just about offering IGCSEs or international trips, it is also about creating a multi-cultural learning environment where the development of students’ intercultural competence and cultural awareness is paramount. The International offers a unique programme for Danish and international students aged 14-17 years old, which combines high academic standards with the opportunity to specialise in media, languages, dance and football. Understanding the world and oneself in an international context prepares students to meet their world – 28 | Issue 82 | November 2015

scholastically, linguistically, personally and socially. Citizens of the world An integral part of The International’s philosophy is to promote cross-cultural understanding and develop students as competent citizens of the world. Through project-based cooperation with international partners and cultural exchanges within Europe and beyond, students participate in the cultural debate and enhance their ability to empathise with others whilst having fun. Moreover, students will gain valuable networking and communication skills in a global framework. By prioritising personal and academic development, student welfare and social interaction, The International remains true to Danish educational philosophies.

The International enriches the efterskole experience by providing an authentic learning environment in which students can establish long-lasting friendships and professional working relationships free from linguistic barriers and prejudice. The school celebrates all things international and encourages activities with international themes. Furthermore, the school offers an exciting range of elective subjects in sports, the arts, humanities and more. Fantastic facilities A brand new campus is being built for the new intake of students in August 2016, and students will benefit from the world-class sports facilities on site at The International’s sister school, Vedersø Idrætsefterskole. Additionally, students can enjoy the natural surroundings of West Jutland, including beautiful fjords, lakes and coastline right on their doorstep. For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Discover knowledge and make friends for life The ‘efterskole’ is a unique Danish independent and residential school for young people between 14 and 18 years of age. Currently, more than 28,000 students attend one of the approximately 250 schools spread across Denmark, and the schools are also open to students from abroad.

cation and democratic citizenship. The efterskole has something to offer educationally as well as socially, because the students live together.

Text & photos: Efterskoleforeningen

It can perhaps be said that the teachers who work at an efterskole are not entirely ordinary. They are prepared to involve aspects of themselves other than the professional, so that the pupils have a positive relationship with the teachers. The teacher is responsible for both teaching and supervision outside of school hours. This means that teachers and students are together all day from the time the students wake up until they go to bed. This often engenders a close, personal and non-formal relationship between students and teachers – something Grundtvig himself would most certainly approve of.

Historically and culturally, the efterskole is related to the Danish free school movement, and the efterskole is often regarded as a junior form of the Danish folkehøjskole (folk high school), closely related to the educational ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), who wanted schools to provide enlightenment for life rather than formal vocational training. The first few efterskoler were founded about 150 years ago and, especially within the last 25 years, the number of students has increased considerably. Most efterskoler offer the same subjects and final examinations as state schools, but many focus on special subjects such as physical education, music or theatre,

or offer various kinds of special education. Compared to a regular state school, the efterskole has substantial freedom in terms of, for example, the choice of subjects, the teaching methods and the educational approach. These vary in accordance with the school’s political, religious and pedagogical orientation. The freedom of the efterskole is assured by substantial state subsidies to both schools and students. Each efterskole is a self-governing independent institution, and they all deal with both the educational and personal development of the students. They embrace a common educational focus on enlightenment for life, general edu-

For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 29

The forefront of international secondary study in Denmark Two years ago, Ranum Efterskole College became the first international college in Denmark. Since then, more international students have realised the potential of the school and there has been a significant increase in the number of learners participating in the international programme. Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Ranum Efterskole College

“Education is not only about sitting at a school bench from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon. It takes place all day long. Making sure that a young person feels safe and develops in her own way is just as important as solving a math task,” says Joakim Philipsen. 30 | Issue 82 | November 2015

He is the vice principal at Ranum Efterskole College, a continuation school where personal development, understanding of other cultures and focus on the individual student, or learner as they are called, are among the key principles.

The school aims to find the balance between tradition and modernity, championing innovative education with an international outlook. As a self-governing independent institution concentrating on the educational and personal development of its learners, Ranum Efterskole focuses on personal and academic growth and democracy in a global context. “We see many educational courses in Denmark being taught in English, and I’m sure this number will only increase in the years to come. I am also positive that more young people will go abroad as a

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

part of their degree, just like more young people in the future will work for international companies,” predicts Philipsen. An international breakthrough The school started its international programme just two years ago, but the results they have achieved only prove the demand for a school with an international direction. 45 learners took part in the international programme in 2013-14, and it has turned out to be such a success that the number of international learners this year reached 144, 45 of whom represent 18 different countries outside Denmark. “We experienced an international breakthrough this year. We feel that the international families who get in contact with us already know about our school through colleagues, friends, family or some of the international associations we are a member of,” says Philipsen. Ranum Efterskole College has a strong network and collaborates with schools and global educational institutes from all over the world. Among its partners are international organisations such as Cambridge International Examinations, the Nordic Network of International Schools, American Fields Service (AFS), the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme. “Being

part of an international network means that we are continuously developing our programmes to meet international standards in education and that we can offer our learners educational programmes of the utmost quality,” the vice principal continues. A new chapter for Ranum Efterskole College begins this school year as they have introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award. This international award sets great precedent on informal education and youth development, through the setting of long-term goals that are tailored to the individual. “By integrating the Duke of Edinburgh Award into our efterskole, we offer learners a chance to shine and excel in a way that is internationally recognised. A single year at Ranum Efterskole College is invaluable, but when married with the Duke of Edinburgh Award it becomes priceless,” says Carl Bennison, co-ordinator for the D.O.E. programme at the school.

ules. “For instance, a learner can take mathematics at level 1, English at level 3 and Danish at level 4. This is possible because all subjects are taught at the same time. The learner attends lessons together with other learners at the same level, and that helps them to progress,” Philipsen explains. The international profile does not mean that Ranum Efterskole College has forgotten about the classic ‘efterskole’ values – on the contrary. The school maintains a rich legacy, delivering the very best opportunities and social engagement for its learners. “We watch these young people mature a great deal in the year they spend here. Turning young people into responsible adults is a key aspect of what we do, and by combining social and professional development we believe you are in for a unique experience here at Ranum,” says Philipsen. >

420 individual timetables It is not just the international aspect that separates Ranum Efterskole College from other continuation schools. All subjects have different academic levels, from one to five, and the learners can choose their own profile subjects. This means that all 420 learners at the school have their own individual sched-

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 31

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL Challenge yourself personally and academically, strengthen your social competences and meet friends from all over the world. Ranum Efterskole College offers young people the opportunity to join a summer school. Choosing the next step of your educational path is never easy, because figuring out if the lessons are right for you and whether you will fit in are questions you usually cannot predict the answers to. Except at Ranum Efterskole College, you actually can, since the school this year created an International Summer School, where young people can stay for a few weeks to see if they like it. “Every week begins with a team-building introduction, so the learners will get to know each other and there will be excursions during the week. It is a great

opportunity to experience the life at an Efterskole, learn something new during your holiday and make friends from all over the world,� says vice principal Joakim Philipsen. The school offers different academic levels in all classes and learners can choose one or two profile subjects during the afternoon. Academic classes are mainly taught in English. The classes are primarily project-oriented and learners will work either in groups or individually on presentations of various themes.

Profile subjects: Sailing, SUB boards, kayaking, climbing, football, basketball, dancing, music, design, mountain biking, gastronomy and beach volleyball. International study trip destinations: USA, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Germany, UK, Austria, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Scotland, Greece, Nepal, Oman, South Africa, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Peru, New Zealand and Hawaii.

For more information, please visit:

RANUM EFTERSKOLE COLLEGE IN NUMBERS 420 learners 85 employees, 52 teachers 19,600 square metres of teaching and boarding facilities Students live in one-, two-, four-, or six-student apartments Assembly hall with 460 seats 22 classrooms all equipped with ActiveBoards Four science laboratories Three music rooms Four specialist classrooms: design/ art, craft, multimedia, and IT. Four gyms plus one full-size gym Outdoor sports centre CONTACT INFORMATION: Ranum Efterskole College Seminarievej 23, 9681 Ranum, Denmark Email: or

32 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Name: Nell Fingleton Age: 16 Nationality: Irish Why did you choose Ranum Efterskole? Before coming here, I was living in Turkey and attended an international school there. The city I lived in didn’t have an English high school, but I wanted to continue in international education and finish IGCSE. I looked at many different international schools across Europe and came across the website for Ranum Efterskole College. The uniqueness of the school really caught my eye. I felt that it offered opportunities that no other school could and that it was the right choice for me.

What have been your best experiences so far? One of my favourite things has been meeting so many different people. I loved getting to know my roommates and it’s great to always have friends close by. We also just came back from our first profile trip, which was a great experience. Would you recommend Ranum Efterskole to your friends? I definitely would! Life is never boring and I’ve made some amazing friends. I feel that there is a place for everyone and there is never time to feel lonely or homesick. Just one year here offers so many experiences and opportunities to grow and learn that you cannot get anywhere else.

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 33

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Though it is one of Denmark’s oldest efterskoler, Halvorsminde’s facilities include many new additions including a large new fitness centre and sports trampolines.

Similar children play boring games In Denmark there is a saying that similar children play the best games (‘lige børn leger bedst’), but that is not what they think at Halvorsminde Efterskole. Having boiled down a century of experience to create a unique combination of traditional efterskole and vocational programmes, Halvorsminde is more than ever honouring the principles of diversity and inclusivity. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Halvorsminde Efterskole

Founded on the outskirts of Hjørring in Northern Jutland in 1903, Halvorsminde Efterskole is one of the country’s oldest. Today, the school attracts youngsters from all over Denmark, including the Faroe Islands and Greenland, with a diverse programme of subjects. “We have taken the experience from 112 years and boiled it down to create a powerful fundament bursting with culture,” says school principal Jens Beermann, who took over the management of the school almost two years ago. Since then, he has worked to develop the school’s new profile, which 34 | Issue 82 | November 2015

was launched last year. He adds: “At the heart of our identity is still the fact that we are a Grundtvigian [Grundtvig was the founder of the Danish Efterskole concept] institution and, as such, believe that people from different backgrounds contribute positively to each other’s identity and learning formation. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on attracting young people from a wide range of backgrounds.” The school’s diverse selection of core subjects comprises 14 subjects includ-

ing everything from football and handball to philosophy, drama, and wood and metal work. Living together, learning together To create as fertile a learning environment as possible for an extensive range of abilities, all students at Halvorsminde Efterskole are divided into seven different learning profiles. The learning profiles define the way subjects are approached to suit each student’s ability and strengths. “During school hours students are allowed to dedicate themselves to their areas of strength and to work with other people with the same interests. This means that we create a homogeneous learning environment and give students the opportunity to learn through interdisciplinary exercises,” says Beermann, adding: “This creates an educational safe zone that allows

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

all students to immerse themselves completely in the subject regardless of whether they do it through a creative, practical or academic approach.” The different learning profiles cover around 15 of the week’s lessons; the rest are taught in mixed classes so that students can, in Beermann’s words, experience how they can contribute to each other’s learning even though, or rather because, they are very dissimilar. More than academic skills During Halvorsminde Efterskole’s long history, more than 13,000 youngsters have lived and learned at the school. They have received an experience firmly rooted in history but nonetheless aimed at improving the individual student’s ability to cope with the changing demands of his or her time. “In Denmark there has been a lot of focus on academ-

FACTS Halvorsminde Efterskole offers 14 core subjects within the official ninth and tenth grade curriculum as well as vocational training. Subjects include: football, handball, challenge, table tennis, gymnastics, fitness, drama, music, handicraft, art, wood and metal, media, language, psychology and philosophy.

ic skills up until now, but it has recently become evident that academic skills alone do not add value to the work space, society or individual life; sturdiness and social competences are just as crucial in enabling people to fully fulfil their capacities. The ability to function in groups is, in other words, very important to be able to build onto one’s strengths when it comes to both working and studying.” The belief that everybody has and needs more than one area of strength is also behind the schools’ subject structure, which implies that students have to choose not one, but two main subjects. This means not just that the school attracts a wide variety of students but also that it gives them something new in addition to what they already have. Because, Beermann says, quoting his predecessor: “Similar children play boring games, and young people with the same kind of interests do not teach each other anything new.”

Pupils from all over Denmark study and live at Halvorsminde in North Jutland.

Halvorsminde Efterskole offers not just traditional efterskole subjects but also vocational training programmes.

The school boasts a new fitness centre, sports trampolines and high-level football and table tennis facilities in collaboration with local sports clubs. The school has 136 pupils who live at the school in shared rooms. The school is located on the outskirts of Hjørring, meaning that pupils can easily take advantage of the town’s many facilities.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 35

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Prepare for an international future It is no coincidence that as many as 97 per cent of students continue on to a postsecondary education after a year at SKALs Efterskole (SKALs International Boarding School). The school, which offers the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), strives to give its Danish and international students both a personal and an educational journey. The approach has earned it the highest grade average of its region.

fered by 14 Danish gymnasia, as well as numerous educational institutions all over the world. Furthermore, if students take the tenth grade IGCSE, the exam qualifies them to skip one year of the Danish threeyear version of the IB.

By Signe Hansen | Photos: SKALs Efterskole

The IGCSE subjects are taught in English and the course is attended by both Danish and international students with global ambitions. Others of the school’s growing number of non-Danish students, however, enrol in SKALs’ International Project Class, an exam-free, project-based class taught in English. “This transition year attracts students of high academic levels from both Denmark and abroad, students who want to explore other ways to work with their competences and improve their media, communication and presentation skills,” explains Primdal, adding: “Our aim is to prepare our students not just for their further education but also for their role as global citizens.” The different programmes all take annual study trips to Cambridge, the UK; Dublin or Belfast, Ireland; Hanoi, Vietnam; Nepal or Zimbabwe. Students from all classes travel together to Berlin.

Founded in central Jutland in 1990, SKALs Efterskole had the ambition to provide an alternative to the then majority of free boarding schools focusing on personal development and social interaction. The founders of SKALs wanted to combine these traditional efterskole ideals with more tangible preparation for students’ continued professional and academic lives. From this ambition the school’s current international profile naturally germinated, captured in the slogan “the world must be conquered every day”. “What we mean by this is that we have to relate to and choose how to relate to the world every day. As a young person today, you have to realise that you are part of a generation of people who, to a much greater extent than previous generations, 36 | Issue 82 | November 2015

must be able to conduct themselves professionally and socially all over the world,” principal Sven Primdal explains and adds: “A cultural ABC, the ability to move in and understand different cultures, will be essential and requires two sets of competences: the academic – the languages, knowledge and so on; and the social – the ability to interact as an individual with people different from yourself. We want to give our students both.” An international set of skills Of the 150 students enrolled annually at SKALs, 50 per cent choose to study and take the IGCSE examinations. The class, which is approved by the University of Cambridge, gives access to the International Baccalaureate (IB), which is of-

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Wanting to learn Students enrolled on SKALs’ regular ninth and tenth grade programmes are divided into several smaller sub-groups of varying academic levels and teaching styles across different subjects. All classes have a strong academic focus and aim to prepare students for the specific line of post-secondary study they wish to pursue. This does not, however, mean that it is all about books, stresses Primdal. “SKALs is not a rigidly academic school where we pace our students through hard subjects. On the contrary, it’s about involving both your head and your heart. Being a student here is not about being academically strong: it’s about wanting to be.” All students have to spend at least one hour daily doing homework, but the school, which is located just a 15-minute bus ride from the regional capital of Viborg, also offers an array of possible afterschool activities including swimming, kayaking, soccer, fitness, media, gymnastics and pursuits for the body, mind and soul.

AT A GLANCE: SKALs is located in Skals, a town of approximately 2,000 inhabitants, 12 kilometres from Viborg and 75 kilometres from Aarhus. SKALs’ 150 students share four-bed dormitory rooms; students can choose between single or mixed-gender floors as well as an English-speaking floor. SKALs offers ninth and tenth grade education based on the students’ different learning approaches and academic levels (Danish National Curriculum) as well as an English language, project-based tenth grade with no examinations, and Cambridge classes (IGCSE/O-level). SKALs is among just a handful of schools in Denmark offering the entire IGCSE curriculum and, furthermore, is the Danish headquarters for IGCSEapproved education in Denmark.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities – for the whole world Is there ever a better time to challenge yourself and pursue your own passions than during young adulthood? Nørgaards Højskole, a Danish folk high school in Jutland, lets students in their late teens and early twenties explore their own capabilities and completely emerge themselves in a fun, friendly and inclusive environment for three to five months. In the past few years, the school’s reputation has spread beyond Denmark’s borders and today, international students from Scandinavia, Europe and much further afield come to Nørgaards to explore special interests and make new friends. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Nørgaards Højskole

Have you ever wanted to try out photography? Improve your fitness? Or perhaps build up a portfolio of contemporary art or electronic music? At Nørgaards, you can pick and mix to suit your exact interests. Students pursue two main subjects during their stay and then add options from a range of specialty minor subjects. The main topics currently offered in English are music, art, dance, photography, cross fitness, outdoor, and electronic music, while minor subjects range from guitar workshops and band practice to arts and design and culture and literature.

Jan Bo Rasmussen, Nørgaards’ PR manager, stresses that no prior experience is required for any subject. “Some of the most important values in the Danish high school tradition are tolerance and inclusivity. Our physical classes, for example, are adapted to individual fitness levels, and anyone can join in at their own level.” The teachers are young and approachable, and they are experts in their fields, teaching only the subject that they love. At the end of their stay, students do not take exams: the emphasis is on personal development and building up experience, although students do receive diplomas

and can work on portfolios and ask teachers for references. The social experience at Nørgaards is just as important as the curriculum. Students often make friends for life thanks to the 24/7 nature of the school. Students live in fully catered high-quality dorms during their stay. “One of our biggest strengths is the diversity of our students,” Rasmussen notes. “They may come from hugely different backgrounds, but a real community spirit always develops here.” The school’s facilities are free to use during evenings and weekends, including the neighbouring swimming centre, and events are often put on by students or touring performers. Students are also free to explore the rest of Denmark, and some courses even include trips to Norway, Berlin and New York. International students learn about Danish culture from their teachers and Danish friends, and complimentary Danish classes are offered to those who are interested.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Diversity is strength Svankjær Efterskole is not like every other boarding school. Svankjær is a place, a home, where students are allowed to do exactly what they are passionate about alongside many other determined students. And the bonus? The most spectacular surroundings. By Stephanie Brink Hark | Photos: Svankjær Efterskole

No less than four very different courses of study are offered at Svankjær Efterskole. You can learn how to ride a horse, explore the adventurous outdoors, spend time in the motor workshop or play an immense amount of rugby, an option that is not offered at any other boarding school in Denmark. No matter which option the students choose, they get to use their body and develop their physical skills, and with good reason: “The students need to go through our theoretical curriculum, which means they have to sit down and listen carefully. Our more physical strands are good supplements to these school hours. A human being is not built to sit still all

day, and at our school there is lots of room to wriggle,” says Rene Thomsen, principal at Svankjær Efterskole. And there really is room to wriggle at Svankjær. The school is located in the middle of what is often referred to as ‘cold Hawaii’, and its closest neighbour is Thy National Park, which is diligently used during school hours and specialisation courses. “It is not our park, but we like to brag anyway,” Thomsen smiles. It may be spacious, but the school only accepts 80 students a year. According to Thomsen, this is very deliberate indeed: “The small number of students means that we become increasingly like a family. Students come here because of different

interests, but that only makes it easier to learn from each other and grow together as complete human beings.” For more information, please visit:

‘We focus on the whole person’ These are the words of Anders Boll Mikkelsen, principal at Staby Efterskole. The school accepts around 175 pupils but makes an effort to make every single one of them feel at home. The school building is originally from 1923, which gives a cosy ambiance in addition to plenty of new architectural features added to modernise the boarding school. By Sara Asoka Paulsen | Photos: Staby Efterskoleskole

By having a healthy environment and a high level of professionalism as their key values, the boarding school has managed to attract well-educated teachers that often stay there for sever-

al years, adding to the homely, familial atmosphere. The facilities offer plenty in regards to increasing extra-curricular skills, especially in sports and music. In addition, equally well-designed facilities are available for all other aspects of study as the school is keen on offering a broad range of opportunities. As Boll Mikkelsen puts it, “this is a school that is planned out very well in every aspect.” This is evidenced by the course structures, which allow the pupils to choose a main subject while trying out an additional few. “Life has many aspects, so at our school the students can

try a lot of activities to figure out who they are,” Boll Mikkelsen says. The combination of sports and music makes for a diverse mix of personalities, which strengthens the experience of a stay at Staby Efterskole. “The students get curious of each other and each other’s interests as well,” the principal explains. The school places great emphasis on teaching the students life skills. They will learn to create a safe environment and take responsibility for themselves and their classmates and get to be involved in many decisions at the school with the aim of stimulating engagement – all in a fun way, naturally.

For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 39

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Speak English like never before The ability to speak English opens up doors for travelling and working abroad. Therefore, Skovlund Efterskole prides itself on being Denmark’s leading boarding school when it comes to learning Cambridge English. By Stephanie Brink Hark | Photos: Skovlund Efterskole

In 2003, Skovlund Efterskole became the first boarding school to specialise in Cambridge English. Since then the school has only grown bigger and more popular among its students, as has its courses in English. Today the school offers four different levels of Cambridge English studies. “We always test our students to see how well they speak English. But no matter at what level they start, they can easily improve during the year and move upwards. In fact, most students do,” explains Hanne Gonzalez, principal at Skovlund Efterskole. In addition, the school offers its students an international tenth grade

where all lessons are in English, taught by native English speakers. Right now the classes are preparing for a two-week trip to South Africa, for the fourth year in a row. “The students always learn so much about the culture and how people live there. They get to experience firsthand some of the things they are reading about during the year, and it really moves them,” says Gonzalez. A trip like this fosters very close bonds between the students, and this is only enhanced throughout the year. Skovlund makes sure to give students the chance to mix with different people at different times: they eat with some, share

a room with others and play football, music or bake cakes with others still. The principal smiles: “Students are often surprised that they know each other so well after only the first three months.”

For more information, please visit:

A folk high school for everyone – disabled or not Known as Denmark’s most inclusive folk high school, Egmont Højskolen houses both disabled and non-disabled students who come to learn, socialise, practise sports, party and enjoy the special experience of staying at a Danish ‘højskole’ – side by side. By Sanne Wass | Photos: Egmont Højskolen

“My father’s dream when he founded Egmont Højskolen was for people with disabilities and people without disabilities to work together, learn together and understand each other,” 40 | Issue 82 | November 2015

says Ole Lauth, who is today principal at the school. It was back in 1947 that Lauth’s parents met at a Danish folk high school during a stay that inspired Lauth’s father, who was himself disabled, to start Egmont Højskolen in 1956 with a special obligation towards people with disabilities. This obligation still remains. Of the 200 current students, 80 have a disability. Whether they choose music classes, sailing, sports or media studies, all students are equal. And the rooms, sports centre and swimming facilities are all specially designed to suit the needs of people with

disabilities. “What we say is this: ‘We don’t care about your diagnosis. What’s important is that you are now a student along with everyone else.’ It means that they go from being a disabled person to being a real person,” Lauth insists. Outside teaching hours, the non-disabled students assist the students who need help. Most of them have chosen Egmont Højskolen to challenge themselves and find out what they want to do in the future. “It may be difficult at first, but they learn to understand what it means to be disabled, and it contributes to their personal development,” Lauth says. “I believe we have realised my father’s dream.” For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

A home away from home Nearby Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, in the Municipality of Odder, you will find Odder Folk High School. “Odder is the geographic El Dorado of Denmark,” says principal Søren Winther Larsen. “The location means that both city and nature are within reach.” And, when the weather allows, the pupils can cycle to the sea for a refreshing swim. By Sara Asoka Paulsen | Photos: Odder Højskole

This year, Odder Folk High School is at its largest with 95 pupils, around one-fourth of them international. In spite of the size, the school manages to create the feeling of a home away from home. “We have an ambition to be the best place for the pupils. We want to get to know each one of them and really take part in their lives,” Winther Larsen says. “Because of the homely feeling, the pupils are more willing to push themselves in terms of learning. They feel safe and aren’t afraid of making mistakes, and that’s the key to success.” A normal day at Odder Folk High school can be very eventful or the exact opposite. This is due to the individual schedules the

pupils make. They can choose between a wide range of subjects and activities such as film, art, design, journalism, sports and music. Each subject covers a myriad of different activities with the facilities to match. It is even possible to mix and match so the stay fits the pupil’s interests perfectly. This ensures that everybody gets a fair chance to try out activities or immerse themselves in their sole interest. Odder Folk High School also offers a trip abroad, included in the accommodation fee. “That way, no one is excluded and everybody gets to experience the joy of a shared adventure. This is quite rare and

something we are very proud of,” Winther Larsen elaborates. A large part of the activities are in both English and Danish, which benefits all nationalities as the Danish students improve their English skills and interactions with students from different cultural backgrounds. “We also urge them to take part in activities that are good for the body and soul, like reading poetry or swimming,” says Winther Larsen. “We see a remarkable change in the pupils when they leave here. That they learn something in a theoretical sense is a given, but they also take away something regarding themselves as young adults – a real pleasure to observe for me and the other teachers every time.”

For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 41

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Students in a global world “My absolute favourite thing is to enter a classroom and see children from all walks of life, from very different cultural backgrounds, coming together and mixing in this one little space in Denmark,” says Jenny Rohd-Thomsen, head of the international department at Skipper Clement School, the oldest international school in Jutland. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Skipper Clement School

Founded in 2001 to cater for the children of international employees in the popular business region around Aalborg, the international school was joined together with the well-established Danish private school Skipper Clement ten years ago. The move proved a great success, helping the assimilation of international students into Danish society, and provid-

ing Danish pupils with the opportunity to gain an international outlook and understanding through a Danish tenth-grade Euro Classes course. “Our absolute priority is to ensure that all our students are well-equipped for their future, whether in Denmark or abroad,” Rohd-Thomsen says. Secondary students in the international branch follow the English language Cambridge International Examinations and IGCSE syllabuses alongside governmentcertified Danish lessons. Long-term students become fluent in both languages and confident in third and fourth languages, usually Spanish and German taught by native speakers. Alternatively,

students can opt for independent study of their mother-tongue language. In addition to teaching traditional subjects, the school is keen for students to adopt a modern, well-rounded attitude to the ever-evolving world in which they live, brought to life through subjects such as information technology, physical and mental health and European studies. Extracurricular activities and several national and international trips help cement the international and social understanding at the heart of the school. “It’s really moving to see children from many different backgrounds and cultures just living and working together in happiness and harmony,” Rohd-Thomsen concludes. “You can’t help thinking that this is how the world should be.” For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

FACTS: Suhrs Højskole was originally founded as a traditional school of home economics in 1901. The school offers long (15 or 19 weeks) and short (one-week, day or evening classes) courses. The school is located five minutes from Nørreport Station. 22 of the school’s 50 students live at the school in triple rooms. All students change their main subject halfway through the course.

Explore the world of food in central Copenhagen Suhrs Højskole is not just Denmark’s only exclusively food-focused folk high school – it is also the only school of its kind offering boarding in central Copenhagen. The special set-up and a wide range of food-related subjects attract Danish foodies from all corners of Denmark and beyond. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Suhrs Højskole

Although everything centres on food at Suhrs Højskole, it would be wrong to assume that students learn nothing but how to cook. In fact, the school offers a total of six main subjects, which include food lab, gastro, communication, food trends, health and nutrition, and urban self-reliance. ”It’s not just about being good in the kitchen – it’s also about the social, environmental, nutritional and historic significance of food, so even though all students are sure to get plenty of hands-on experience, what it’s really about is food culture,” says principal Lars Sonne-Hansen. While about half of Suhrs Højskole’s students live at the school, the other half live

on their own in Copenhagen. One of the results of this is that all students become naturally integrated in the city and its famous food scene, which is also explored via many excursions outside of the classroom as well as in-house workshops run by some of the capital’s most passionate food professionals. Another effect of the folk high school’s untraditional set-up is that the school attracts a wide variety of students, including young ex-pats looking to get back into the Danish education system and culture. “Of course all our students have an interest in food that they want to broaden; they want to play around with new things and perhaps explore if food is

going to have a role in their professional life. But it is not necessarily everyone who wants to be the next René Redzepi [chef and co-owner of NOMA]. Most are just young people who want to explore what role food is going to play in their life,” stresses Sonne-Hansen. For more information, please visit:

Students at Suhrs Højskole get to explore a range of food-related subjects and activities.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

When sports show the way For Kristian Madsen and Camilla Tange Nielsen, ISI Sports High School opened doors to more than just sports: it has given them valuable personal insight and has helped them discover their passions. By Jette Aaes also translated by Sanne Wass | Photos: Mingo and ISI Idrætshøjskole

Kristian Madsen loves golf. So after finishing high school, he wanted to reward himself: a full year dedicated to his favourite sport became the treat. Because of its strong golf environment, ISI Sports High School in Ikast in central Denmark came recommended. “I chose ISI because of the golf, but I had not predicted how much the stay would develop me as person in other ways,” he explains. Madsen, who is from the Danish island of Funen, was a student at ISI in the autumn of 2012 and spring of 2013. In addition to enjoying plenty of golf training, he be44 | Issue 82 | November 2015

nication or perceptions. I also found out what it means to contribute to a community, which was a very useful experience to bring with me to university. And I realised that my passion was something I could make into a career.”

came part of a group of about 60 sports high school students. “Beforehand, I hadn’t thought much about what it meant to be part of a community,” he reflects. “It was a big challenge to live so closely with people I didn’t already know, and it made me understand that when you give something, you get something back.” Madsen’s original plan was that he would go on to study structural engineering. “But at ISI,” he says, “I realised that I’m passionate about movement and sports. I discovered the value that sports can bring to people; it can be about commu-

Kristian Madsen

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Madsen discovered his calling and followed it. Today he is studying sports at Odense University, plays golf at a high level as part of Odense Golf Club and has just moved in with a girl he met at ISI. “So in many ways, the sports high school has shown me the way,” he smiles. A push in the ‘adult direction’ For Camilla Tange Nielsen from Fredericia, the stay at ISI was intended as a preparation for higher education. She chose the ‘fit for fight’ course because she wanted to be a physiotherapist. “I love sports and exercise, so I wanted to learn more about the body and its functions to prepare me for my studies,” says Nielsen, who was a student at ISI Sports High School in the spring of 2013. “In the beginning I was very shy. But I had to put that behind me. Having to take responsibility for building a community has made me more mature, so for me the stay was a big push in the ‘adult direction’,” she explains. At ISI, Nielsen combined her main course with another passion, golf, and also trained to be a fitness instructor. “ISI has excellent facilities for all sports, and the school’s size makes it easy to get to know all the other students,” she says. “The buildings are quite new, and we lived in nice and cosy rooms.” Today, Nielsen is studying nursing at Aalborg University. “Nursing is very much about interacting with people, so I’m very glad that I, along with all the good experiences at ISI, got that aspect with me as well,” she ends.

ISI SPORTS HIGH SCHOOL IN IKAST: The school offers five main sports courses: handball, football, golf, ‘fit for fight’ and horse riding. Students can combine their main sport with either a fitness instructor or skiing course. The school provides unique sports facilities, including a sports hall, a driving range, a weight training centre and an outdoor crossfit area. In addition, ISI works closely with sport clubs in Ikast, including FC Midtjylland, Ikast Håndbold, Ikast FS, Ikast Rideklub and Tullamore Golf Club.

For more information, please visit: Camilla Tange Nielsen

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Sorø Lake provides students with a beautiful setting for rowing, kayaking and canoeing.

Four centuries of new thinking Sorø Akademi may be one of Denmark’s oldest boarding schools but its history is not one of dusty dogmas, but rather a will to renew, challenge and explore. Situated on the grounds of an old monastery, the upper secondary school, which today takes both day and boarding students, comprises not just a historic on-campus environment but also a world-class natural science centre. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Sorø Akademi

Already at its foundation in 1586, Sorø Akademi broke with the norms of its time by allowing commoners to study alongside noblemen. “We’re a school that is more than 400 years old and, of course, we have plenty of traditions, but we also have an important heritage which is to break norms, go new ways, and think new thoughts,” says principal Kristian Jacobsen and adds: “When you first come here, you immediately notice this special atmosphere. I think it’s the knowledge that 46 | Issue 82 | November 2015

we’re all part of an institution that has made a difference, where people have thought new thoughts for many centuries – it’s inspiring to our students.” The stately buildings of the old academy have been complemented by several new boarding houses, a new canteen for day students and, most recently, a world-class natural science centre. All are stunningly located facing the natural scenery of Sorø Lake, a popular area for

running and biking and the location of the school’s rowing activities. But despite the school’s many obvious attractions, the main pull is something you cannot see: its strong academic profile. “When we get applications from students from outside our local area, it is primarily the seriousness with which our school is associated that they mention,” says Jacobsen. Life as a boarding student As the only state-run upper secondary school in the country, Sorø Akademi has a unique status, emphasised by the fact that it accommodates both boarding and day students. Out of the school’s 570 students, 135 live at the school. Boarding students live on campus, the youngest students in six adjacent halls housing 12 students each. Each student has his

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

many young people don’t go through until after they leave home for university.” Building a network in Denmark Approximately ten per cent of boarding students at Sorø Akademi are young ex-pat Danes attracted by the school’s strong academic profile. Jacobsen says: “We have quite a few young expats who are considering pursuing a Danish University degree. Many arrive having never used Danish as their educational language, but here they get the chance to strengthen their proficiency so that, when they leave, they can participate in academic discussions, use subjectspecific terms and write theoretical essays in Danish.”

An extra bonus for students without family in Denmark is the fact that it is pretty much guaranteed that they will leave the boarding school with a strong network. “When you are a boarding student your friends become your family, and that means that the students who build good memories do so to a degree that will affect generations to come,” Jacobsen says. This is also reflected in the school’s society for old alumni which, with its more than 1,700 members, is one of Denmark’s largest school societies. It also owns and runs a centrally located residence hall in Copenhagen exclusive to Sorø Akademi alumni.

“At Sorø Akademi, students get the chance to strengthen their proficiency so that, when they leave, they can participate in academic discussions, use subject-specific terms and write theoretical essays in Danish.”

or her own room, and each hall also has a flat for a resident teacher with family. The older students live in a larger, older building, the Principal’s House, where the principal also has his home. This arrangement provides a safe structure for study, socialisation and sports. On a typical day students get up, go to breakfast together and go to school; after school a range of sports and leisure activities are on offer, but the two hours after dinner, which students must spend in their own rooms or the homework café, are dedicated to homework. But though the structure and the permanent presence of teachers create an organised and safe atmosphere, students also learn to stand on their own two feet, stresses Jacobsen. “You build up a lot of personal and social competences at our boarding school. You have to get up and out of bed and manage your day on your own. If you don’t learn to do that, you simply won’t graduate. That’s a process

The laboratories in the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Science Centre at Sorø Akademi provide some of the best natural science facilities for upper secondary students in Europe.

FACTS: Founded in 1586 by King Frederik II Total number of students: 570 Boarding students: 135 Number of teachers: 64 Special facilities include: state-of-theart science laboratories in the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Science Centre and outstanding outdoor facilities for sports and leisure activities, such as a football field, canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, tennis courts, a basketball court, and a cricket field.

For more information, please visit: or email:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 47

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Where classical music rules It is not often you see someone picking Beethoven over the pop queen Beyoncé, but the students at OrkesterEfterskolen do. Their passion for classical music is exactly what brings together students from all around the world, no matter whether it is merely a hobby or something they want to work with professionally. By Stephanie Brink Harck | Photos: OrkesterEfterskolen

OrkesterEfterskolen offers three programmes: the Orchestra Programme, where students join a symphony orchestra; the Vocal Programme, where students have the opportunity to sing in a choir; and the Piano Programme. No matter what instrument the students play, they will have solo tuition in their chosen instrument and take courses in music theory and history. “In other words, OrkesterEfterskolen offers something for anyone who wishes to immerse themselves in classical music,” says Charlotte Faurschou, principal at OrkesterEfterskolen. According to Faurschou, attending a school where everyone is passionate about the same type of music strengthens the bonds between the students. 48 | Issue 82 | November 2015

“You could say that they have a community even before the school year starts because of their music preferences. They understand each other better. Some don’t have friends who play the same type of music, but at our school they will have plenty.” Music is such a big part of the school that it has been generously interwoven with all parts of the curriculum – with great results. The students are skilled both professionally and musically, partly because all the teachers have trained at the Academy of Music. This is something that makes Faurschou very proud and that attracts students from all around the world. Music, after all, is an international language. “We have had students from countries like Australia, Ireland and

Mexico to name but a few.” When the international students arrive they start an intensive three-month course in Danish, and soon afterwards, they get to join the Danish students in their regular classes. “Our international programme is incredibly rewarding for the students,” explains Faurschou. “You become more accepting towards other people when you know a lot about different cultures.” Travelling is also a big part of life at OrkesterEfterskolen, which gives the students an opportunity to collaborate with other musicians and perform to bigger audiences. “Standing on stage is such an experience for our students. They grow as individuals because they realise that they too have something to give the audience.”

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Denmark

Teaching individuality, community spirit and self-confidence Specialising in academically keen teenagers with learning disabilities from dyslexia to developmental disorders, Denmark’s Dybbøl Efterskole sets high educational standards and knows that its students can live up to them. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Dybbøl Efterskole

Students at Dybbøl Efterskole receive all the help they need in peaceful, secure, supportive surroundings. The subjects range from academic to businessoriented and physical activities such as horse-back riding. “We seek to bring out the well-rounded individual,” headmaster Erik Rosenbæk Bollerslev explains. “Our students go on to do great things in life. They make positive contributions to society and, most importantly, they are confident in their own abilities.” Rosenbæk Bollerslev has headed up Dybbøl Efterskole ever since its beginnings in 1992, but is retiring after 24 years in January. “The school is extraordinary,” he says. “There’s nothing better than seeing students who’ve struggled in the past leave our school as positive, confident, capable young adults.” Thousands of the school’s ex-students are now in the midst of successful, fulfilling careers, and several alumni are currently in tertiary education. “One of our most important roles here at Dybbøl is simply to not give up. We often hear that students think a subject is boring. What they usually really mean is that they find it difficult. And that’s much better: difficulty can be overcome; that’s what we’re here to do.”

of hands-on subjects including food and health, music or textiles. Classic efterskole subjects such as drama, role-play and outdoor activities encourage students to work together and build confidence in the school’s natural surroundings. “Our current role-play team is fantastic. They work together and even have the confidence to turn up to the following English lessons in character!”

Rosenbæk Bollerslev says. “I’m so proud of our fantastic teachers and amazing students. I’ll miss it tremendously, but I’m certain the school will continue to be the best of its kind in the future.” For more information, please visit:

Encouraging mindfulness is just as important as Dybbøl’s academic focus. Students live at the school 24/7 and help with cooking and cleaning, developing essential skills for future independence and, most importantly, making friends for life. Students are also taught business skills, and career advice and work experience are important components of their stay. “We want our students to have the skillset and confidence to achieve anything they want further on,”

The school’s experienced teachers work alongside local psychologists, therapists and coaches. Teaching takes place in small, adaptable groups along a shared timetable that includes regular Danish, English and maths for everyone. Other academic subjects, such as history, geography and science, are taught through narrative storytelling, topped up by the students with a selection from a range Issue 82 | November 2015 | 49

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

Education Special: Norway

Gain friends and knowledge for life When you first encounter the concept of a Norwegian folk high school, it might seem a bit odd. What is it really? Do the pupils learn anything or do they just play sports and paint pictures for their grandparents to enjoy? The answer is that they most certainly have the option to do so – but if they wish, they can strengthen their more classical education in subjects such as languages and politics too. By Sara Asoka Paulsen | Press photos

Norway has 79 folk high schools spread across the scenic country. The boarding school element is incorporated into the concepts of most modern folk high schools, at least for international students, and you can even take classes in Norwegian and learn about the local culture. This only adds to the positive experience for locals and international students alike.

The key element of a Norwegian folk high school is that the students have themselves chosen to go there, and there are no exams to stress them out. It is all about creating an environment where people feel free to acquire new knowledge out of sheer curiosity and interest. But despite the fact that there are no exams, you walk away with a diploma and a whole lot of life experience.

The original concept of the folk high school came from Denmark and the ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig and spread to all the Nordic countries. Today, there are more than 400 folk high schools in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

A stay at a folk high school is most commonly used as a productive gap year for young people to find themselves and perhaps figure out what they may want from a future career. Most pupils attending Norwegian folk high schools are in their

50 | Issue 82 | November 2015

twenties: young adults who need a break from their studies, for example. With a concept somewhat similar to that of a boarding school, everybody eats together and sleeps in dorms. The teachers normally live at the school, so there is always someone nearby to give comfort or whom you can talk to on a rainy day. This, and the fact that these schools are all about being a part of a community, where everybody has a shared responsibility to make each other feel safe. This creates a cosy and homely ambiance and a place where you are certain to make friends for life.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

Placing respect on the map At Oslo International School (OIS) there is a world of knowledge just waiting to be discovered. Through respect, cooperation, care and challenge, the students learn to encourage and support each other in a way that makes everyone feel included. By Stine Wannebo | Photos: Iren Christina Sordal

Amidst a few brown fields, luscious trees and even a few modest mountains lies one of Norway’s most culturally diverse schools. Over 46 countries are represented among the students and staff, who spend their days in a spectacular piece of colourful architecture that perfectly captures the intercultural spirit of the school. “Oslo International School embodies more than high-quality academics,” Janecke Aarnæs explains. She is the head of the school and knows exactly how important an inclusive and encouraging learning environment is to a student’s personal development and achievements. “It’s why our students are so successful in their studies at OIS and beyond,” she says. “Most of our students move on to prestigious universities such as Cambridge, Harvard and NTNU.”

A caring community The distinguished school opened in 1963 and has since then educated new global citizens from pre-school at the age of three and all the way through to 19-yearolds graduating from upper secondary school with an IB Diploma. Respect, cooperation, care and challenge are the school’s core values, permeating all their activities. Small classes ensure that everyone is truly seen and included. “Our experience is that when children are taught respect and compassion from an early age, they grow up to become more considerate adults who know and appreciate the fact that we’re all different,” Aarnæs says. Positive discipline is important, as it ensures a respectful, constructive and inclusive learning environment. This also

extends beyond the traditional school hours. A wide range of afternoon sports, music and art classes mean that both students and their parents are very much involved in the broader community that exists around the school. Nordic at heart In addition to being an international institution, the school has some very Nordic traits. “We take our students out to explore our surroundings through field trips in and around the capital,” Aarnæs says proudly. “We go skiing, biking and hiking in the mountains, but we also take our students on language trips and to do service learning in impoverished third-world countries.” There is no doubt that the leaders of tomorrow are in exceptionally good hands.

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Issue 82 | November 2015 | 51

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

Photo: Gunvor Guttorm.

Photo: Mattias Sikku Valio.

Photo: Mattias Sikku Valio.

Promoting Sámi culture globally The Sámi University College takes its role in promoting and protecting Sámi cultures and languages seriously. Championing indigenous studies globally is a natural extension of its vision. By Maria Lanza Knudsen

Located in the Sámi territory in northern Norway, the Sámi University College merged with the Nordic Sami Institute in 2005 and today can be found in ‘Diehtosiida’, the house of knowledge, in Kautokeino. Around 200 students from the Sámi areas in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia study at the institution. “Through various programmes of study and research we wish to secure and promote the future of Sámi societies,” says Gunvor Guttorm, the rector of the Sámi University College. “We conduct research in a range of scientific fields, from language science and cultural heritage to reindeer husbandry and other traditional industries.” With Sámi as the main study and administration language, the Sámi University College is a leading higher education and research institution in the Sámi territory and indigenous world. Promoting Sámi cultures specifically, and indigenous cul52 | Issue 82 | November 2015

tures more generally, it is a member of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) and follows its research standards. One of the main study programmes is the Sámi language, which is offered at all levels, including a bachelor, master’s and a planned PhD degree. The beginner’s level is a popular course that attracts large numbers of students, many of whom continue on to other programmes of study. Courses and degrees for pre-school and school teachers offer specialised learning for educators. To position itself internationally and among other indigenous cultures, the institution offers certain programmes in English, including a Master’s in indigenous journalism, attracting students from around the world. The majority of programmes offer flexible and online-based teaching.

Two other specialised programmes include bachelor and master’s degrees in indigenous ‘Duodji’ and art, and a bachelor degree in reindeer husbandry. ‘Duodji’ describes art and crafts associated with traditional Sámi artistic forms of expression. Reindeer husbandry offers a both practical and theoretical education of a traditional Sámi livelihood and industry. “Indigenous societies such as the Sámi need to build their own scientific capacity, educate their experts and evolve on level with the majority society,” Guttorm concludes. “We wish to be the leading Sámi institution in the world, but also a promoter of all indigenous cultures, through our course offerings, exchange programmes and partnerships.” Promoting and protecting Sámi cultures and languages is thus an integral part of promoting and protecting all indigenous cultures and languages.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

Above: Romerike Folkehøgskole offers programmes spanning from scenography to costume making and theatre makeup. Photo: Romerike Folkehøgskole.

Lighting design at Romerike Folkehøgskole

Romerike Folkehøgskole boasts the best-equipped lighting design programme in Norway. Photo: Sindre Ross.

Theatre and music through 50 years Romerike Folkehøgskole has been described as one large youth theatre, where creative programmes such as scenography, costume-making and theatre makeup meet disciplines including lighting design and sound technology. Here students work just like professionals in the creative industries, creating memories to last a lifetime in the process. By Romerike Folkehøgskole and Julie Lindén

A noted and coveted school, Romerike Folkehøgskole has trained a number of famous actors and actresses as well as other professionals in the cultural field. Students attending the technical programmes earn a high degree of knowledge, and many go straight into employment after one year of practical learning. 109 students with an average age of 19 attend the school around the clock for nine months, living together in boarding school facilities. They eat together in the canteen and work with theatre and music at all times of the day. This provides them with motivation, a joy of learning and numerous soft skills, including teamwork and communication proficiencies. Stu-

dents experience what it takes to put on a theatre show, event or concert ‘in the flesh’. As most students attend the school just after they have finished high school, they welcome the absence of exams and formalised grades. The year at Romerike Folkehøgskole allows them to work with a subject of their interest without any external pressures. This is valuable for their physical and mental health, which are further aided by the school’s dedication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle on campus. Exercise and good, healthy food help students master the labour-intensive year, fuelling their development and wellbeing.

Romerike Folkehøgskole boasts the bestequipped lighting design programme in Norway, sure to challenge your creative skills. At the school, you will be able to use 200 spotlights and floodlights of all shapes and sizes, in addition to scrollers, dimmers, moveable lighting and light boxes (GrandMA 1 & 2, Prego, Congo etc.). You will get to light three theatre and concert halls in addition to working with: - the use of light as a storyteller in a theatre; - technology and electronics; - basic photo and video training; - creativity / form and colour theory; - and different lighting projects of your own, indoors and outdoors, to create space, atmosphere, cold and warm light.

About Romerike Folkehøgskole: - All 109 students at the school work with theatre, music and design. - Programmes offered: costume-making and theatre makeup, lighting design, sound and music, scenography, theatre and musical theatre. - Romerike Folkehøgskole is situated two kilometres from central Jessheim and ten kilometres, or ten minutes, from Oslo Airport Gardermoen. Phone: +47 63970910 Trondheimsveien 176, 2068 Jessheim.

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 53

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

A sanctuary for green design and floral expertise Vea, Norway’s State School for gardeners and horticulturists (Statens fagskole for gartnere og blomsterdekoratører), has clearly carved out its position as the leading institution within floristry, horticulture and green design in Norway. It not only attracts future leaders within the field, but has also received national and international acclaim. By Maria Lanza Knudsen | Photos: Vea - Statens fagskole for gartnere og blomsterdekoratører.

Situated on the rolling banks of Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa, Vea has a long history that stretches back to 1923, when it was established as a horticultural school for women. More recently, in 2007, the school received accreditation as a tertiary training institution and, in 2012, it 54 | Issue 82 | November 2015

received approval for presenting degrees and certificates of apprenticeship within the discipline of green design and environmental studies. The name Vea is presumed to derive from the Old Norse word ‘Ve’, meaning

sanctuary, as it is located just 100 metres north of Tolvsteinsringen, the historic Twelve Stones Ring made up of 12 boulders arranged in a circle. Today, the institution is a sanctuary for horticultural and floral design studies and a place of devotion for artists, artisans, designers and professionals in the green sector. “Since Vea’s inception, it has become well known for its expertise nationally and internationally as a tertiary vocational college producing florists, horticulturists, landscape gardeners, and other professionals in the green sector,”

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

explains Dorte Finstad, marketing and information adviser at Vea. “It is the college of choice for artists, artisans, designers, landscapers and gardeners wishing to gain further specialisation.” The reason is obvious: Vea focuses on vocational training that provides the skills and competence needed to succeed in occupational life. Green expertise Its right to establish new degrees without having to re-seek approval by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance (NOKUT) exemplifies the clear vote of confidence in Vea as a centre of excellence within the green sector. What distinguishes Vea is perhaps that the college offers part-time as well as full-time courses to students in all phases of their education: to those completing their secondary education, to those who have a previous degree and are seeking new challenges and skillsets, and to those who wish to specialise even further within their discipline. “We aim to offer something for everyone,” adds Finstad. “The mix of ages and backgrounds among the students adds to Vea’s diversity and exemplifies our welcoming approach to teaching.” At the secondary level, Vea offers courses in floristry. For adult students who are

new to the discipline, a corresponding education is offered in floristry and gardening. Meanwhile, at the tertiary level, Vea offers courses and programmes in garden design, botanical design, experimental floral design, landscaping, the green environment and garden design. Given Vea’s accreditation, the college offers certificates of apprenticeship in its various areas of specialisation. In addition, it offers a leadership course, Leadership in Craftsmanship, for those with certificates of apprenticeship from relevant artistic and craft disciplines seeking management experience and development. The course attracts students from floristry, pottery, furniture design, the arts and other design disciplines. International floral design As part of its policy of internationalisation and to attract students from beyond Norway’s borders, Vea offers one of its popular programmes, Experimental Floral Design, in English. The programme targets all types of artisans, designers, interior designers, florists, artists, teachers of design and craftsmanship, and aestheticians. The one-year programme focuses on plant materials and their aesthetic and technical possibilities. Students explore and experiment with plant materials and other materials to expand technical boundaries and create

new forms of expression within their own disciplines. “It has become a very popular course,” says Finstad. As part of Vea’s various courses and programmes, field trips and international exchanges through the Erasmus+ exchange programme are encouraged to ensure that inspiration, creativity and learning among students transcend national borders. Students at Vea often participate at various floral and horticultural educational events in Norway and abroad. As several of Vea’s courses and programmes touch upon other disciplines, the school has strong relationships with various industry bodies, including the Norwegian Farmers’ Union (Bondelaget), NAML (Norske anleggsgartnere – miljø og landskapsentreprenører), Interflora Norway, and others. Being part of a network not only helps Vea attract potential new students but also positions the school as the premier institution within its discipline. With such green expertise, it is no wonder that the school boasts several national champions in flower decorating and, even more impressive, the international champion from the annual international competition that was held in Shanghai in 2010.

Vea school for gardeners and horticulturists is the only certified vocational college in Norway recognised by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), which grants certification based on the quality of teaching, educators and training facilities. It offers part-time and full-time courses.

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Issue 82 | November 2015 | 55

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

Take a year to do exactly what you love the most Elverum Folkehøgskule offers an impressive variety of programmes, ranging from photography and theatre to snowboarding and Norwegian culture. This is the perfect place to spend a year doing what you love the most.

subjects, seminars and theme weeks. “The students appreciate the great mix of people and options,” Andersen notes.

By Helene Toftner | Photos: Elverum Folkehøgskule

Unique to the school is its Norwegian language and cultural programme. It gives the students hands-on experience with the language from the very start and includes no less than three trips around Norway during the year. “All programmes include at least two trips, but this is special as they get to experience all 19 Norwegian counties, as well as the Danish capital, Copenhagen,” Andersen says. “Elverum is perfectly situated near Oslo, Oslo Airport and Trysil, one of the country’s finest ski resorts, so there is plenty to explore nearby too.”

Unique to the Nordic countries, folkehøgskoler (folk high schools) offer adult education that grants its students the opportunity to study absolutely anything they fancy, including snowboarding, theatre and music. Elverum Folkehøgskule offers a broad variety of programmes, giving their students a year they will never forget. “We take great pride in offering a great variety so that people interested in extreme sports come together with aspiring actors from the theatre programme,” says vice chancellor Per Egil Andersen. The school is a boarding school for students who have finished college and 56 | Issue 82 | November 2015

fancy a year to explore their interests before university or work. While the majority of students are from Norway, many come from other places across the world, including the United Kingdom, Nepal and the United States. “We have experienced a remarkable increase in applications from international students in the past few years, and most of them are interested because of recommendations from friends,” Andersen says. The school has nine programmes: backpacker, Norwegian culture, snowboarding, drama, band, photography, Africa, outdoor life, and arts and crafts programmes. Additionally, it offers more than 25 elective

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

Celebrating 100 years of bringing people together across interests For 100 years, Bakketun Folkehøgskole has functioned as a meeting point for youngsters from all over Norway and abroad, bringing people together from different backgrounds, cultures and interests. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Bakketun Folkehøgskole

Based on the ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig, Folkehøyskoler (folk high schools) offer adult education to youngsters before they venture into work life or university. Students get to spend a whole year indulging in activities ranging from sports to chess, from international relations to drama, all in a safe environment. Boasting a wide range of programmes and encouraging interaction across interests and regional cultures, Bakketun Folkehøgskole currently offers nine programmes of study: adrenalin, aid Peru, film and tourism Peru, challenge

explore, sound engineering and music production, extreme sport Australia, theatre and acting, music artist, and chess, the latter of which is completely new. “This year, we are celebrating 100 years of bringing people together,” vice chancellor Erling Helland says. “We offer a wide variety of programmes, which contributes to a great social environment. Here, people who spend most of their time in front of the computer come together with the sporty adrenalin junkies.” Helland is proud of how folk high schools across the country have led the

way ahead of state education. “We see that the primary education system is incorporating subjects that were traditionally only offered at folkehøyskoler, such as music and sports. From day one, youngsters are exposed to and encouraged by social competence development, which is becoming increasingly important everywhere.”

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Education in Norway

Above left: The UNIS campus. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen. Bottom right: Biology students on fieldwork in Billefjorden. Photo: Steve Coulson.

Cold, hard science Arctic conditions mean living in impenetrable darkness four months of the year, yet some of the world’s most enlightening research is conducted at 78 degrees north. The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) is located on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, halfway between Europe and the North Pole. Here, students truly experience the meaning of cold, hard science.

far from remote. A blues festival, a jazz festival and three gourmet restaurants are just a few of the perks of living at 78 degrees north. There is also a rich and modern cultural scene that all students are encouraged to enjoy.

By Stine Wannebo | Photo: UNIS

“Students who come here are not afraid of the cold,” Eva Therese Jenssen laughs. She is the information manager at the world’s northernmost institution for higher education, the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). Last year, over 600 students from 74 countries travelled to Longyearbyen as part of their studies. By spending a semester in the exceptional arctic climate, students from across the globe get a chance to finally observe their chosen study for themselves. All students entering into one of the UNIS programmes have already studied for one or more years before they set off. No other institution is able to offer the same amount of practical knowledge in fields such as arctic biology, arctic geology, 58 | Issue 82 | November 2015

arctic technology and arctic geophysics. “There is no other place on earth where the students can get the same hands-on experience as they do here on Svalbard,” Jenssen explains. “The conditions are truly unique.” From thousands of years’ worth of history in the massive frozen glaciers to unexplored marine conditions beneath two metres of solid sea ice, there is no shortage of research subjects. All courses are taught in English and, like most Norwegian universities and colleges, UNIS takes no tuition fees. Despite Longyearbyen being the northernmost permanent settlement on earth, the city beneath the northern lights is

“Students love it here, because it’s so remarkably different from anywhere else they have ever studied,” Jenssen says. The classes are much smaller than at other European universities, usually fewer than 20 students, which leads to a warm and friendly academic environment. Acclaimed guest lecturers and experienced researchers come from all over the world to teach at UNIS. There really is no better place to experience the fascinating science, and the incredible beauty, of the north.

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Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen


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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Christmas – a safe bet for retailers? The Christmas shopping season is approaching and the retail industry is preparing for this year’s highlight. Swedes love Christmas and, most importantly, spending time with their loved ones. When Swedes gather to celebrate Christmas, they do it around the dinner table. Christmas and New Year are the two single most important occasions for Swedish food retailers. Giving away Christmas presents is also an important part of the celebration, and retail sales rise by about 30 per cent compared to an average month during the year. Christmas is a joy for children, and toy retailers make 25 per cent of their an-

Photo: Iris Hantverk

nual turnover during just a few weeks in December. Succeeding during the last few weeks of the year is thus crucial for the whole year’s net takings. Books, jewellery, electronics and home furnishings are other retail sectors whose success almost entirely depends on a successful Christmas season. Just as important as the festive shopping season is the traditional post-Christmas sales spell in the days between

Photo: Emelie Ek

Christmas and the New Year, when Swedes go crazy finding bargains among all the deals offered in the sales and through campaigns. The trend towards a more promotiondriven retail industry is welcomed by the consumer, who now enjoys special offers before, during and after Christmas. But the retail industry is concerned about declining profitability as the proportion of goods sold on discount steadily increases. As many as three retail companies now go bankrupt every day in Sweden. As safe a bet it is that Santa will come again this year, is the prediction that Christmas shopping will break new records. The forecast is a three per cent sales increase on last year, meaning that Christmas sales will have increased in 19 of the past 20 years. Our hope is that this year’s record will be accompanied by increased profitability for struggling retailers across every sector. Karin Johansson CEO, Svensk Handel – Swedish Trade Federation

For more information, please visit: Photo: Svenskt Tenn

60 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Morakniv 1891 series. Available in Sweden at

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

A partner when investing in Sweden The Swedish tradition of innovation and globalisation has been essential for our economic growth and domestic development. At Business Sweden, we are experts at connecting global companies with investment opportunities in Sweden. By Business Sweden | Image Bank Sweden, Simon Paulin

Sweden consistently ranks as one of the most competitive, productive and globalised countries in the world. Our country is a global leader of innovation with a highly skilled and multinational work force, sophisticated consumers, smooth business procedures, openness to international ownership and a stable economy. Foreign investors can benefit from Sweden in many ways. One way is to tap into the skills and technologies of our industry clusters and research institutions. Areas of particular interest are cleantech, ICT, life sciences, automotive and the materials science industry. These are all areas where 62 | Issue 82 | November 2015

finding out more about how we help Swedish companies to reach their full international potential, please contact our offices or visit Business Sweden’s new website.

Swedish companies excel and compete at the highest international level. Our experts have a deep knowledge of our business areas and experience from leading positions and established networks, putting us in a position to find international business opportunities in a way that few others can. These experts will swiftly assist you with advice, guidance and contacts that help to grow your business on the Swedish market. If you want to learn about how Business Sweden can support a potential investment in Sweden, or are interested in

More about Business Sweden: Business Sweden’s purpose is to help every Swedish company to reach its full international potential and companies abroad to reach their full potential through investments in Sweden. We help our customers through strategic advice and handson support.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Last year, the result of Freemover’s collaboration with Swedese on some new designs for its celebrated Lamino armchair was unveiled.

Shining Scandinavian daylight on a bold freemover With a penchant for colour coordination and a strong strategic intuition, Maria Lovisa Dahlberg is the brain behind the candle holder so popular that it is now approaching international design icon status. Represented in 400 interior decoration shops worldwide, including The Conran Shop and Skandium, her company Freemover has reached an eight-million SEK turnover since its inception just over a decade ago, and now she prepares to launch her brand new webshop. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Freemover

“It seems a lot of people think that you’re either a creative or a business person, but I’ve had the chance to combine the two,” says the entrepreneur who has studied both design and economics, lived in seven countries to date, and did a work placement at the Australian department store David Jones at the tender age of 16, learning all about marketing, photo shoots and fancy magazines. “In some ways I’ve been lucky, but I’ve also always been hungry for knowledge and keen to 64 | Issue 82 | November 2015

test what I’ve learnt to see if it works. And most often, it did.” Determination and focus are present throughout the Freemover story, the entire venture being self-funded from the get-go and the growth carefully managed by accepting plenty of help from both mother and sisters. And sure enough, it has worked a treat – but being business-minded in a world of creatives can be tough, says Dahlberg, who prefers

the entrepreneur label to calling herself an artist: “It’s almost taboo to talk money in design and art circles in Sweden, but I can’t pay rent with gratitude alone!” Inspired by the world – and her father The Rolf series of candle holders, a modern interpretation of an old ’50s classic, made sure that paying rent would not be an issue. Initially launched at DesignTorget in 2004, the simple yet striking design became a huge hit, and with its three heights and countless colours it is now somewhat of a collectable. “I like the movement the combination of different heights creates, and the modern yet classic colours have been key to the concept’s success,” says Dahlberg, adding that her penchant for colours is a time-consuming vice as much as an invaluable skill. “I can spend hours on end

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

in paint shops!” she laughs. “I get a lot of colour inspiration during my travels around the world, but I always wait with the actual work on product colours until I’m back in Sweden. Scandinavia is the best place for this kind of work – the colour of daylight is very special here.” Dahlberg’s many travels have been significant in the development of her brand, not only for colour inspiration. In addition to her work placement in Australia, the designer has studied in France and South Africa as part of her MBA, worked in Rome, and has taken a fine arts degree in Bangkok – in addition to plenty of leisurely travel. Where the business name came from is not exactly a mystery: “I’m a freemover,” says Dahlberg. “I do things my own way.” Her own way it is, but highly influenced by a father who moved the family to Saudi Arabia for a few years when Dahlberg was only a baby, returning to Sweden to have a modern, very Scandinavian-looking house built for them. Dahlberg recalls him trying to explain to her at the age of six what made Danish design so nice and elegant – a slightly surreal experience that nonetheless made an impression on the young girl. Care to guess whom the Rolf candle holder series is named after? Still, while her father was a man of his time and a big functionalism fan, Dahlberg ended up developing her own more philosophical approach to design. “I can skip practicality for artistic reasons,” she insists. “The visual experience is something in itself and functionality can be added merely as a bonus, or indeed the visual experience can be its sole function.”

as we speak,” she reveals, a tad hesitant. “Textiles are interesting in that they come to life in different guises, so let’s see how the fashion industry takes to a bit of graphically sculptural freemoving…” In other news, Dahlberg has made the decision to bring her designs to the world in the most direct way possible. Not only is she attending the huge design trade show, Pulse London, next May – her brand new international webshop is being launched any day now, making it completely hassle-free for Freemover fans around the globe to get a piece of the magic. Busy, and perhaps challenging, times – but then again, what else would you expect of a determined entrepreneur? “I’d rather be a bit bold and remembered for it than create something bland,” says Dahlberg.

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The candle holder series Rolf, named after the designer’s father, has been so successful it is now approaching international design icon status.

Bold – and remembered for it Both the Freemover brand and the person behind it are often described as sprightly and energetic, something that fits quite well with Dahlberg’s own description of her style as “spicy with a contemporary interpretation of Scandinavian retro”. Yet her fierceness is turned down a notch as she talks about the next big step for the business. “I’m looking at pattern designs Issue 82 | November 2015 | 65

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

A brush that feels right Based on a tradition with roots over 100 years old, Iris Hantverk is the brush-binding business that produces lasting quality brushes that feel right in the hand – and on the conscience. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Iris Hantverk

“You can tell just by looking at them,” says co-owner and vice president of Iris Hantverk, Sara Edhäll. “Our brushes have been carefully designed with a purpose in mind; they’re made made to last.” Officially founded in 1953, the company grew out of a long struggle for rights to active participation in society by the visually impaired. Today they employ visually impaired artisans in both Sweden and Estonia, hand-drawing brushes that embody the meaning of the word handmade.

“Take a plastic dish brush,” Edhäll illustrates. “It may be a lot cheaper than a natural dish brush like ours, but wash a greasy frying pan once and that’s nearly the end of it. You’ll probably buy ten plastic brushes at least to make up the life span of a natural brush, so at the end of the day you’re paying the price – not just financially, but environmentally as well. And don’t get me started on our sweeping brushes – they’re almost impossible to wear out.”

The wood used comes from Swedish forestry companies, all of which have both a Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, ensuring that the wood has been sourced in an environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner. Moreover, Iris Hantverk recently stopped using paraffin oil in its production, instead opting for coldpressed, boiled linseed oil. As far as sustainability goes, it is a no-brainer.

While the clearly visible wire at the back of each brush makes for a beautiful hallmark, the design most certainly puts

66 | Issue 82 | November 2015

functionality over style. The materials used have been sourced specifically for the purpose of the product: tough materials handle heavy-duty cleaning; fine bristles such as cereal root make root vegetable cleaning a pleasure; and goat hair carefully cleanses the skin on your face. There is a great deal to be said for the care that goes into handdrawing brushes using natural materials, not least, as Edhäll insists, because the natural bristles sweep so much more effectively. “There’s the right to self-sustainability for our artisans, which is key to our existence, and there’s the fact that our products are kind to nature, kind to the skin and, yes, kind to your conscience,” says Edhäll. “At the end of the day, I think it comes down to a good choice.”

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Josef Frank’s design ethos was in part based on what he called accidentism, the idea that if one brings together things one loves in a context as if by accident, together they will create something beautiful.

How to live forever The famous Lion Pewter, designed by Anna Petrus Lyttkens in 1926, requires 30 hours of work. It takes a full day to screen print 60 metres of Josef Frank’s iconic Hawaii fabric, and one drawer alone for his 1938 19-drawer cabinet takes the carpenter a full hour. At Svenskt Tenn, there are no shortcuts. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Svenskt Tenn

Svenskt Tenn was founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson, since described as a stubborn woman who knew her own mind. Together with Austrian designer Josef Frank, she developed an interior design philosophy that was to become highly influential and celebrated in Sweden and beyond. In 1975, as Ericson was plotting her retirement, the Beijer Foundation purchased the company, promising the founder that it would live forever. As such, long-term sustainability is the primary goal, and any profit that is not immediately reinvested into the business goes to research into everything from ecological economics to genetic and neuroscience.

“It’s a blessing to get to work like this, always putting quality first,” says Thommy Bindefeld, Svenskt Tenn’s marketing and creative director. “I get endless requests from people who want to use Josef Frank’s prints on everything from wellies to refrigerators, but we don’t even work with resellers – we want to be in control to ensure that our designs never become mundane and ordinary.” A piece of silent theatre That control is nothing new. The eccentric founder ran her business with an iron hand and was known to redecorate the shop at Strandvägen in Stockholm in the middle of the night in order for it to look fresh every morning. She was

“directing a piece of silent theatre,” said art critic Ulf Linde about the one-of-akind boutique. Up until a few years ago, Svenskt Tenn devotees made pilgrimages to the Swedish capital to indulge in the colourful fabrics and experience Ericson’s creation first hand, but now the celebrated products can also be purchased online. “The web shop is a way for us to tell our story but also a safe, controlled way to make our products available outside Sweden,” Bindefeld explains. Back in its infancy, Svenskt Tenn was trailblazing by mixing and matching in ways previously unthinkable. Today, Ericson’s stubborn spirit lives on through a bold statement, refusing to succumb to the ‘more-products-faster’ philosophy and heralding the craft tradition’s ideals of local and handmade at a time when they may be more pertinent than ever. For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 67

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Sometimes nature provides the most stunning patterns - here as part of Woodgrain (left) and a tray adorned with peonies (middle) by Emelie Ek. Photo on the right: Amber Grimfalk.

Tech meets nature: as Swedish as it gets From faded red wooden houses dotted around the southern Swedish countryside and windswept seaside cottages fending off the water, wind and winter of the Baltic Sea to iconic inner city facades, every Scandophile knows there is something special about Swedish houses. By Bella Qvist | Photos: Emelie Ek

Graphic designer Emelie Ek has translated that classic Scandinavian architecture into beautiful textiles and crockery, and design lovers around the world are buying her products like never before. But her career path was not always as set in stone as the subjects of her popular illustrations. “When I was little I would draw things like flying pigs with nails and eyebrows,” laughs Ek, speaking from her studio on Ekerö, a leafy island outside Stockholm. The flying pigs have, so far, remained a thing of the past, but Ek’s attention to

detail has remained. She runs her design business alone and says that both her father, who was an artist, and her artistically gifted mother and two grandmothers inspired her as she grew up in Halmstad on the south-west coast of Sweden. “My grandmother was an architect from Iceland. I remember drawing house designs with her,” says Ek. Despite this, Ek avoided illustration for a long time. She studied graphic design in both Sweden and the UK, set on animation and started out making music videos and visual art pieces. It was all about

moving imagery until one day, in 2009 or 2010, she randomly entered a competition for Swedish interior design magazine Hus & Hem. They were looking for an illustration for a tray and Ek decided to give it a go. “It was awful and I didn’t win, but it gave me an idea,” the designer says. A seed was planted and not long after she had come up with the illustrations for Stad (City). It was an instant hit as trendy Swedish design shop Designtorget picked up on it, and soon Ek expanded her range, introducing the hugely popular collection Mitt Stockholm (My Stockholm) among others. Today her portfolio contains more than just trays and her designs, including illustrations of kittens, peonies and colourful chequered patterns, have gained recognition abroad. How has that happened? “Instagram,” she says, proving that, at last, she has struck that balance between hand-drawn illustration and digital media.

Emelie Ek Design is available online at and in shops across Sweden.

Emelie Ek’s career in design started off with the popular Stad tray design. Her hugely popular Harlequin design boxes are sure to brighten up any room.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Above: The new hemp rug collections Arctic, Archipelago and Field are inspired by nature. The new soft hemp rugs come in colours like dark mint, granite and yellow.

Timeless patterns from Sweden The family-run design company Brita Sweden is well known for plastic rugs in graphic patterns, but nature plays a vital part in its current autumn collection. The latest addition includes hemp and wool rugs inspired by Swedish mountains, fields, forests and the archipelago.

“People go trekking in the mountains and cook food from scratch. It’s not just in interior design – it’s a whole lifestyle.”

By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Brita Sweden

The new autumn colours range from minty green to rusty orange, golden yellow and beyond. “We take inspiration from colour trends but have our favourites too,” says Harrie. Their favourite? “Yellow!” the sisters say in unison.

The two sisters, Monica Harrie and Pia Gabrielsson, are passionate about textiles and have been creating patterns since their childhood, along with their mother, Margaretha Eriksson, who has also been a part of Brita Sweden from the start. Today, they co-own the company and collaborate on new designs and collections. “A new design can start with seeing a pebble in the street outside the office or beautiful colour combinations on a building,” says Gabrielsson, and Harrie adds that Paris is a favourite source of inspiration. They go quite often, thanks to design fairs such as Maison et Objet. Inspired by nature The Brita Sweden ranges include blankets, bedding, pillows, natural fibre

rugs and signature plastic rugs. When exploring new materials recently, the designers fell for wool and hemp. “Hemp rugs are really interesting and ours are unique thanks to the colourful patterns,” says Gabrielsson. Both hemp and wool are soft, very energy efficient to produce and bring pattern designs to life in a charmingly imperfect way. “Our typical style is very graphic, but when we weave the patterns into a natural material it turns out a little less perfect. It’s slightly warped, but very beautiful,” Gabrielsson says. With names such as Arctic, Archipelago, Canyon and Pine, the new rugs are spot on the latest Scandinavian trend. “We have a longing for natural materials right now,” says Harrie, and her sister adds:

Below: Plastic rugs are made in Sweden. The plastic rug Confect (below) is new for 2015.

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Timeless design for your home

Trends aside, they always opt for a classic look and timeless patterns. “In fact, one of our first designs, the zigzag pattern Gunnel, still works very well today,” Gabrielsson says. Sustainability is a core value, embedded in everything from quality, materials and production to the actual pattern. “We want to create designs that you can grow old with,” Harrie says.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Playful designs with a meaning New discoveries, stories and role models inspire Efva Attling when designing her jewellery in silver and gold with diamonds and gems. She also plays with words and expressions, providing beauty with a thought in every creation. By Malin Norman | Photos: Efva Attling

“Even if not always printed on the piece, all my designs have a name and a story,” designer Attling says about what characterises her collections. Twosome is one example, with one round and one square ring, symbolising the perfect couple with different personalities. Or Take No Shit, in aid of BRIS, which brings the message to respect each other and support children’s rights in society. Celebrating almost 20 years as a designer, with early bestseller Carpe Diem and celebrity picks such as Homo Sapiens, worn by Madonna, and Meryl Streep’s favourite, Rose Petal, Attling explains her lasting passion for jewellery. “Regardless of who wears my designs, it’s a privilege to create something that people

feel strongly about and wear every day or on special occasions.” Loving music and treasures When the former singer and songwriter received a hand-written letter from Paul Cole at the Beatles’ Apple office in London, asking if she wanted to create a collection dedicated to the group, she jumped on the opportunity. “It’s such an honour; this is a tribute to my first true music love. They were fantastic musicians with their amazing melodies and voices,” she says. The collection, Efva Loves the Beatles, is based on some of the group’s famous songs, including Let It Be, Here Comes the Sun, and It’s Only Love. For the new

range, Attling also used a rare crystal from Herkimer County, New York, with 18 facets and two terminations. The collection is launched this month and available among other places in the new gift shop at Abbey Road Studios in London. Music is an important source of inspiration for Attling, and so are strong role models. 94-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel, for instance, has inspired Attling’s new eyewear, Hommage à Iris. “She’s a fantastic woman, charming and tough, and tells it like it is,” says Attling. “I love people who are amazing in what they do, and who stand up for their life.” Attling talks about her many travels and how they provide ideas for designs, such as the seashell she found on a beach a few years ago, which influenced the new collection, Seashell. “I feel like Pippi Longstocking, curious and in search of treasures. Everything is waiting to be discovered!” Above: Efva Loves the Beatles is launched this month. Left to right: It’s Only Love; Here Comes the Sun; Let It Be. Bottom left: Efva Attling with Iris Apfel, the inspiration for the new eyewear range, Hommage à Iris. Eva Attling in her studio.

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Issue 82 | November 2015 | 71

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Left to right: Award-winning lamp Fog by Front Design; Elements XL by Note Design Studio; Silo by Note Design Studio; Camouflage by Front Design.

Capturing shades of light and darkness Based in the middle of the Kingdom of Crystal in Småland, family-owned Zero produces and sells pioneering lighting and electrical fittings for all types of rooms. Experimenting with technology and materials, and inspired by the Swedish light, Zero has put innovation at its heart since 1978. By Malin Norman | Photos: Zero

“We dare to develop original solutions, positioned somewhere between architectural and decorative lighting. While many other companies do either/or, we produce attractive lighting solutions with the latest technology,” explains CEO Per Gill. He mentions the lamp Camouflage as one of the company’s most challenging and awarding projects. The complex design was created by Front Design in 2007 and comes with laser-cut aluminium lampshades, requiring 24 hours of programming by the supplier before production could start. The company proudly markets the Made in Sweden concept with more than 80 per cent of its suppliers within 200 kilometres of its Nybro headquarters, where assembly and quality control still take place. Zero has also made a few significant changes to its direction and assortment over the years, in particular the introduction of new design collab72 | Issue 82 | November 2015

orations in 2007, involving the already mentioned Front Design as well as Mattias Ståhlbom, Thomas Bernstrand and Fredrik Mattson, who have since created some of the brand’s bestsellers. Awards for foggy globes One of Zero’s most famous products is the globe-shaped lamp Fog, developed in partnership with Front Design and winner in the category This Year’s Lamp at the ELLE Decoration Swedish Design Awards. The jury praised the timeless floating glass ball with its hidden light source and new expression bordering on alchemy. Zero has also received international prizes such as Red Dot, IF Design Award and the Wallpaper* Design Award. Among other striking products is the Elements range by Note Design Studio, taking inspiration from the Nordic mountains, nature and elements, as well as the different lights at dawn, during twi-

light and the midnight sun. Designed by the same studio is Silo, a minimalist, industrial series influenced by traditional grain silos. Further notable results of collaborations are the innovative Tilt lamp, created for Vida Arkitekter, the fruit-inspired range Pomi by Luca Nichetto, and Shibuya by Thomas Bernstrand. The Zero team of designers is currently developing five new lamps to be launched during Stockholm Design Week in February next year. These enlightening products will also be showcased in Milano in April and in London in May.

For more information, please visit:

Pomi by Luca Nichetto.

No Shortcuts - simply pure craftmanship The Spa Collection by Terrible Twins is made in Sweden. It has a stunning contemporary graphic design and the numbers mark the carefully selected fragrances. Himalayan salt, almond oil, vegetable wax and essential oils are some of the ingredients, all natural. All products are made by hand.

terrible twins

Welcome to M Picaut M Picaut Swedish Skincare is an eco luxury skincare line for the face. The ingredients has a documented Anti Age effect and are combined with the purest organic ingredients nature can offer. I have created what I always looked for, a line free from mineral oils, parabens, sulphates, unnecessary artificial ingredients and colours. All of the products are made in Sweden. I hope you enjoy the products as much as I do!

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Craft meets Nordic cool When Jöns Petter Magnusson took over an old wool spinning mill in the village of Klippan in 1879, the operations that were to become Klippan Yllefabrik produced hand-weaving yarns and yarns for upholstery fabrics. Fast-forward to today, and the family business creates handicraft products with a modern expression, sold in more than 30 countries globally. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Klippan Yllefabrik

This has been the company’s primary challenge, believes fifth-generation owner Pernilla Magnusson Roos: to broaden and modernise the brand while keeping one foot firmly in its craft tradition. “The demand for yarn dropped significantly during the ‘80s, so my father started looking for something new to add to our repertoire,” she says. “He came up with this idea of throws and blankets, which really complemented what we did.” Branching out in terms of output also meant diversifying the production process. Simply a spinning mill with around 100 staff in the 1970s, the company now runs a factory with 150 employees in Riga, its headquarters with marketing, distribution and admin functions still lo74 | Issue 82 | November 2015

cated in Klippan. “I guess this is what’s exciting about running the family business and having the privilege of managing its legacy, that you have to constantly be one step ahead and think about the next move,” says Magnusson Roos. “The textiles industry is pretty tough – the margins are small, yet you have to remain flexible.” The solution for Klippan Yllefabrik has been to stay in control of all aspects of the production, but collaborate with established as well as up-and-coming designers on the development of new collections. “Being in control means that we can experiment and try new things we might not have been able to try otherwise,” says the owner. “It’s also nice to

see that people really care about where products come from these days – and we can honestly say that we know what happens every step of the way.” Among the designers who help keep Klippan Yllefabrik fresh and give its products that distinct look of modern handicraft are pattern designer couple Bengt & Lotta, Birgitta Bengtsson Björk and famous ceramist Lisa Larsson. An immensely popular contribution to the brand’s collection recently came from Japanese Akira Minagawa, whose poetic designs are noticeably influenced by the Nordic design heritage. “We’re constantly working with new combinations and materials,” says Magnusson Roos, “but the aim is always the same: to preserve the old handicraft tradition while giving it a modern expression.” For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Functionality made attractive Maximal functionality and design have been the main focus of Swedish training brand Casall for more than 30 years. In the early 1980s, the company revolutionised the fitness world by opening the first female-only gym in Sweden. Training and fashion have gone hand in hand ever since. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Photo Bersa

It all started when Carl-Axel Surtewall drew on the family’s textile heritage and founded Casall, straight out of college in 1980. Two years later, he opened the first female-only fitness centre in Sweden and, when working alongside female instructors, he realised that there was a lack of sports fashion for women. This led to the launch of the first women’s sports fashion collection in 1984. “We believe that your training outfit and equipment really matter. It’s not only about the look, it’s about how it makes you feel. And how you feel reflects on your performance,” says Helena Nyström, head of marketing at Casall.

The head office is still located in Sweden, but the premium brand has so far expanded to 18 markets in Europe and beyond. Holistic approach Casall takes a holistic approach, offering innovative and high-end training wear and tools to inspire and motivate you every step of the training journey. “We all need to realise the huge importance of warming up and preparing our bodies, but also of recovering after a workout session. That’s one of the reasons behind Casall’s Recovery and Warm-up concept, specially developed for this,” Nyström says.

Two easy-to-use tools are the foam and tube rolls, inspired by pilates, where the rolls are used to increase core stability. The rolls can be used before and after your workout session and are perfectly suited to complement any kind of training. A pocket-sized personal trainer Technology plays a vital role in the brand today, with apps such as Training of the Day and HIT as well as YouTube playlists. Inspirational films cover topics ranging from yoga, strength and warm-up to cardio and exercises. Films also play a crucial role in the brand experience, drawing on power, individuality and personal style. “It’s in Casall’s DNA to always strive to fulfil the needs of our customer, and we value all kinds of interaction. We also work closely with our training experts,” says Nyström. The digital, pocket-sized training concept makes exercise fit into even the busiest of schedules, making it accessible on your smartphone or iPad wherever you are. As for the future, Casall has no intention to stop on their journey of giving the consumer what really matters when it comes to training.

For more information, please visit:

Casall believes that training and fashion go together like a hand in a glove. Training wear, tools and inspiration – Casall sees the whole picture.

Above left: Pocket-sized training wherever you are with the Training of the Day app. Above right: Pocket-sized challenges with the training app HIT.

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 75

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

A modern take on Scandinavian handicraft AnnaViktoria offers a range of delicate, feminine jewellery and modern interior design with a touch of Scandinavian simplicity, classic minimalistic patterns and functional craft tradition – with the familiar moose, reindeer and Dala horse as main characters. By Malin Norman | Photos: AnnaViktoria

Viktoria Månström started her Jämtland-based company in 2006 with the aim to create practical pieces with a contemporary look. “I wanted to revive established designs in a modern way to work with sleek, classic products for my own brand and other companies,” she says. “When I started almost ten years ago, this was rare, but since then many others have followed suit with a similar concept.” Encouraged by her upbringing in Dalarna with its rich folklore tradition, and grandparents who taught her craftsmanship skills and inspired her creativity, Månström discovered her talent for combining colours and patterns in drawing and designing. “I started to create new, functional and sustainable products that would be used every day and last a life-

time. But they can also be a memory of Scandinavia for tourists to bring home after a trip or for locals to treasure in their homes.” Bring home a piece of Scandinavia The AnnaViktoria collection consists of a wide selection of beautiful, feminine jewellery with the famous Dala horse as a subtle detail on earrings, bracelets and necklaces, while glassware, kitchen ware and black or white interior details such as trays, kitchen towels, aprons and pillows are adorned with the recognisable reindeer and moose silhouettes. Most popular amongst both international and local customers are the series of mugs and glassware and, unsurprisingly, the distinctive, modern take on the Dala horse in colourful stripes.

Ideas for her designs come not only from Sweden’s craft heritage but also, for example, trips to Denmark with its many talented jewellery and interior designers. “Copenhagen is such an inspiration, and I like to mix different Scandinavian designs in my own home.” Månström is currently working on next year’s collection, which also marks the tenth anniversary of the company and is likely to include a limited edition product to celebrate the occasion. AnnaViktoria’s range of products is available in many shops and at all airports in Sweden, in Scandinavian design and gift shops across the world and in the brand’s own online store, and it will be showcased at the Formex trade fair for Nordic interior design next year.

For more information, please visit and follow her on Instagram @annaviktoriadesign.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Johnstons of Elgin. With the skills involved in these productions, nothing is left to fate.

Classic style with a Nordic ethos Berg&Berg has come to stay in the world of fashion. With an impeccable sense of style combined with the most immaculate pattern design and production, this Scandinavian brand is a frontrunner in the representation of Nordic flair. Berg&Berg is sleek, chic and absolutely lush. By Astrid Eriksson | Photos: Berg&Berg

“Classic style has almost become a sub-culture in the world of fashion,” co-founder Mathias Berg says with a smile. “Berg&Berg stands for a modern version of classic style, seen from a Nordic viewpoint – the place where timeless elegance meets contemporary style and functionality.” Married duo Mathias and Karin Berg founded Berg&Berg in 2009 and has since built a customer base in around 50 countries where their long-lasting, high-quality accessories and fashion items have struck a chord. “Berg&Berg

equals timeless style with Nordic sensibility” Berg explains. “We pay attention to materials and execution and, while keeping the products reasonably priced, we never compromise on quality. When it comes to production and craftsmanship, we settle for nothing but the best.” Indeed, Berg&Berg’s products come straight from the best factories and tanneries in Europe: shirts and trousers are tailored in Tuscany and Naples, ties handmade by experienced craftsmen and women in Como and knitwear made by one of Scotland’s most famous mills,

“We rely on the most experienced and talented people in the industry – we only work with specialists,” Berg says. “The experience, expertise and knowhow in these factories are unbeatable. Our knitwear manufacturer has been in the business since the 1700s, and all our producers in Italy are also the best in their field. We want to provide our customers with clothes and products with that little bit extra, in terms of both design and execution.” The future is looking both bright and exciting for Berg&Berg, who will continue on its journey of spreading a Nordic ethos across the global fashion world. “We are planning to expand our range further,” Berg says, “but right now we feel that we have found our identity on the global market, and as long as our customers are happy with what we are providing, there is no need to rush into anything too quickly. We would much rather take our time so that our next step is as satisfying as the previous.”

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Issue 82 | November 2015 | 77

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Christmas Gifts from Sweden – Our Top Tips

Dare to discover: a traveller’s best friend Ceannis, pronounced ‘sia-niss’, is a globetrotter’s very best friend. International jet-setters, functional fashion fans and well-travelled individuals with exquisite taste have entrusted this Swedish design brand with its handbag needs for years – and it is no wonder why. By Bella Qvist | Photos: Helén P

We all know what it is like: rummaging through your handbag or briefcase to find passports, phones, keys or fitting a laptop, tablet and their leads on top of everything else in your hand luggage. It can be a real struggle but, as it turns out, Scandinavian design house Ceannis Living Accessories has been producing a solution to this headache for years. Founder and CEO Ann-Louise Andrén set up the business in Hong Kong in 1988. Inspired by the colours, the materials and ultimately the possibilities of the city, she followed in her milliner moth-

er’s footsteps when she began selling accessories combining style and functionality. Today Ceannis’ products are sold in boutiques, department stores and airports worldwide, and it is clear that the traveller is at the heart of the brand’s ideology. “I love to travel,” says Andrén. “To travel is to dare to turn a corner and to see the possibilities. If you don’t dare, you don’t discover.” Anyone who owns a Ceannis product will discover that they ooze quality. They are made of materials from the world’s finest suppliers and yet

The bags, which are tested to the highest standards, are made using the finest-quality leather.

they are available at a reasonable price, making them hugely popular across all ages. You will no doubt have seen their bags, pillows, quilts and more featured in your favourite fashion, design and homeware magazines. “Once you’ve bought one of our bags, you get it – and you return for another,” says Ann-Louise Andrén, citing a Swedish magazine editor who praised the Bucket Bag in one of her columns. It had managed to do the one thing no other bag had done for her: it helped her find her keys. The Bucket Bag has been a firm favourite for years, and recently the design house also launched a new backpack, another huge hit. The fact that they are light and come with additional straps for personal customisation of course adds to their attraction. Next time you find yourself struggling to find a boarding card, make a mental note to visit Ceannis. It is high time more of us dare to discover that we do not have to choose between style and functionality.

In addition to making much-loved bags, Ceannis produces interior design – with panache.

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From Sweden with love. Love your skin, love our planet.

photo JTA Media

Smoked salmon, gravlax and classic seafood sauces made from fresh Scandinavian produce. ”We guarantee salmon of the highest quality. It takes only a few hours from the moment the salmon is taken out of the sea until it is fully trimmed and filleted. The salmon is shipped fresh from Norway to Falkenberg, on the western coast of Sweden.” ”In our smokehouse, all salmon is smoked with alder wood and juniper berries. The alder trees are locally grown at a sustainable forestry. We chip the wood ourselves fresh from the log, every week. The slightly damp wood gives a dense, white smoke that is perfect for smoking salmon. In the smoking process we also add juniper berries, all this to extract as much as possible of the wonderful aromas and flavours naturally contained in the wood.”

Korshags’ fish is available to order online via Ocado ( and Scandinavian Kitchen (

d Servicevägen 3, Falkenberg, Sweden +46 346 71 57 57,

Photo: Kim Wyon, Visit Denmark.

Christmas spirit guaranteed Nowadays it is believed that the Coca-Cola adverts, showing a mass of red lorries adorned with lights and Father Christmas kicking back with a bottle of fizz, herald the beginning of Christmas. With the late autumn season and its absent snow and dreary, grey and dull skies, it is no wonder such a ‘tradition’ has caught on. Yet to the rescue comes the Scandinavian Christmas market guaranteed to instil a sense of warmth and peace in the hearts of even the most cynical of visitors. By Sara Asoka Paulsen and Isa Hemphrey

December has always been a time for compensating for the lack of natural light by lighting fires, candles and turning on fairy lights to add some warmth and festivity to the house – especially in Scandinavia, where the northern darkness is particularly deep, heavy and persistent. Fortunately, Christmas markets help by adding cosiness and sparkle, making our fantasies of a season with white rooftops, jewelled trees and snow80 | Issue 82 | November 2015

flakes come true. They also make the perfect excuse, if you ever needed one, to gorge on delicious food and sweets. Popular worldwide Attracting tourists as well as locals, travel agencies even give out offers to include trips to Christmas markets. With this growing popularity comes an expectation for a truly authentic Christmas experience. As can be expected for a thriving

tourist spot, traditional craftsmanship is sure to be on display, particularly wooden crafts that play with light by incorporating different kinds of wood. The atmosphere is enhanced by the dark Scandinavian winter sky, leaving traders to illuminate their goods for all to see. Rest assured, a heartfelt gift can be found with a local touch to bring back home. As far as locations go, a town square is the ideal choice. The local people naturally congregate to this spot and visitors will find the central location easily, although with the amount of delicious market food they could just follow their noses. Nevertheless, it makes it easy for visitors, who may be unfamiliar with the town, to get a taste for the best foods and crafts on offer, without having to venture to the outskirts.

Scan Magazine | Feature | Scandinavian Christmas Markets

Traditional treats Think of a Christmas market as a winter edition of a farmers’ market, welcoming events for locals to sell their produce and tell the stories behind them. It has the same ambiance of familiarity and the historical wisdom and passion of the locals shine through. Yet one important, and much anticipated, difference in most Scandinavian countries is that it is custom to serve mulled wine with spices such as cinnamon, star anise, rumsoaked raisins and almond flakes. There are several different versions of this mulled Christmas wine, called gløgg in Danish and Norwegian, glögg in Swedish and glögi in Finnish, but its unmistakable scent is a sure sign that the market you are looking for is not far off.

ly for the benefit of poor children so that they too could enjoy the festive season. Though mulled wine dominates as the festive drink of choice these days, a more punch-like hot drink was traditionally served around a century ago. It contained golden, spiced spirits but was normally diluted to meet the alcoholic level acceptable for a Christmas market. “The hot drinks and foods were mainly served to keep people warm during

Photo: Ulf Lundin, Visit Sweden.

Another Christmas treat sure to be found at a real Scandinavian Christmas market is caramelised almonds, also adding an atmosphere-heightening scent to the mix. Originally, caramelised almonds were served as sweets in people’s homes, not as market goods, but now they are available at every street corner and, of course, at every Scandinavian Christmas market. Old customs Christmas traditions differ somewhat throughout Scandinavia but are centred around food and crafts wherever you go. Until recently, there has not been much of a Christmas market tradition in Scandinavia but, with a little help from their German and English neighbours, the Nordic countries have discovered the joys of it – not to mention their aptitude for hosting them. At first, these markets were not about trading goods but revolved around charities and fundraising, typical-

Photo: Den Gamle By, Visit Aarhus.

Photo: Tivoli, Visit Denmark.

Photo: Michael Damsgaard, Visit Aalborg.

Photo: Ulf Lundin, Visit Sweden.

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Scan Magazine | Feature | Scandinavian Christmas Markets

the winter, which was normally far colder back then than what we experience today,” explains Lars Sonne Hansen, warden at Suhrs Food Academy, an old housekeeping school now functioning as a Danish folk high school with highly regarded food courses. An

Photo: Ulf Lundin, Visit Sweden.

old cookbook written by the founder, Ingeborg Suhr, dated 1909, includes among other things an old recipe for hot Christmas punch. Sugar and spice For an authentic Christmas treat, æbleskiver, which directly translates as apple slices, are a winner. These round balls of soft dough with a crispy crust were served at Danish Christmas markets from the very beginning. “Æbleskiver were especially popular as they were easy to prepare on a gas burner – normally without the apple slice though,” Sonne Hansen elaborates. While the name of the treat

might sound somewhat peculiar, an æbleskive is actually more about what surrounds it than the slice itself. Special pans are made of cast iron to secure a perfect round form, and the treats are normally served with powdered sugar and jam. Another important part of a successful Scandinavian Christmas market is the wide range of handmade ornaments reminiscent of the past, such as cornets made of glittered paper, which can be hung on the Christmas tree with small gingerbread biscuits, glass angels and bells reflecting the light from the small candles attached to the tree. These treasured and old Christmas decorations are a fun way to learn more about the origins of the Scandinavian traditions. For example, pepper was originally an expensive spice, and therefore the aforementioned Swedish gingerbread biscuits, which used the spice, were seen as a real treat only meant for special occasions such as Christmas. Starring in your own fairy tale

Photo: Ulf Lundin, Visit Sweden.

Photo: Ulf Lundin, Visit Sweden.

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Some of the oldest royal blood runs through Scandinavian veins. Many Scandinavians view the royal families as important assets and, as such, their castles are also cherished. Several of the buildings have such a historical value that Scandinavian law protects them. The owners are not allowed to make large changes; only historically accurate and accepted restorations can be made. But despite this, the castle owners are allowed to invite the public to events such as Christmas markets, making for a thoroughly enjoyable time and allowing visitors to feel as though they are in a winter fairy tale. This experience is hard to come by in other parts of the world, explaining to some extent why it makes such a popular tourist attraction. People come to Scandinavian Christmas markets to be part of the enviable festive experiences held in the north of Europe. Everybody is welcomed with warmth, despite the cold weather, sweets and treats, and an enticing, festive smell of cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.

Scan Magazine | Feature | ScandiMarket

ScandiMarket’s Scandinavian Christmas Market takes place on the following days and times: Friday 20 November: 11am–8pm Saturday 21 November: 10am–7pm Sunday 22 November: 10am–5pm Get to Albion Street in Rotherhithe by tube to Bermondsey, Canada Water or Rotherhithe.

A London Christmas, Scandi style The Scandinavian Christmas markets have become part and parcel of the build-up to the festive season in London, not just for Nordic ex-pats in the city who want to stock up on a few essential items, but also for locals who simply cannot resist the authentic, atmospheric experience. ScandiMarket, the gang behind three Scandinavian-themed annual markets in the UK capital, are back this month with the much-loved Christmas Market. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: ScandiMarket

Partnering with Southwark Council, Finndeli, the Norwegian Church in London and the Finnish Church in London, and taking place on Albion Street in Rotherhithe right between the latter two, the Scandinavian Christmas Market is the perfect place to kickstart the festive season, enjoy your first Scandinavian mulled wine (glögg, gløgg or glögi, depending on which Scandinavian ex-pat you ask), stock up on a few Christmas essentials and perhaps even find the first few of this year’s Christmas gifts.

Scandinavians celebrating Christmas in or around London come here for both food must-haves and traditional decorations, including Advent wreaths, little felted elves, Scandinavian mulled wine and some truly delicious luxury smoked salmon from House of Sverre. With stallholders including London’s Nordic food heroes from Bageriet, Scandinavian Kitchen and Stockholm Restaurant & Deli, design brands such as Moccis, Nordic Design Forum and Daniela Sigurd Jewellery and other favourites

including Maku Brewing and Gnomes and Angels, this market offers everything to please a homesick Scandinavian and bountiful Christmas spirit to boot. In addition to the outdoor market, where you can stay even as the sun sets to experience that truly magical glow along with a hot drink and a saffron bun, the Norwegian and Finnish churches open up their doors to their own indoor Christmas fairs to complement the main event. Whether you simply need a nudge in the right direction in order to get into the Christmas mind-set or you fear that you might be running low on glögg, julmust or decorative gnomes, head for Rotherhithe on the third weekend of November. That is where the Scandinavian magic happens. For more information, please visit: Issue 82 | November 2015 | 83

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Christmas Dinner the Norwegian Way

‘Julebord’: Christmas Dinner the Norwegian Way

A personal touch to your Christmas extravaganza Open arms, a welcoming approach and personalised top-quality treatment. That is how one could describe a Christmas party at Trugstad Gård, the quaint retreat only ten minutes from Oslo Airport that will show you just what true Norwegian holiday magic is all about. By Julie Lindén | Photos: Trugstad Gård

A noted establishment run by predominantly Danish staff, Trugstad Gård boasts the kind of atmospheric, service-minded culinary flair only years in the industry can provide. General manager Andy Friedrichs calls it “a flexible and forthright warmth”, which is noticeable from the moment you set foot within the premises’ white wooden walls. “We’ve been in the business for a long time,” he begins. “Therefore we know just how to create a relaxed, personal ambiance. From the moment we take your jacket at the door, that’s what we aim to achieve.” Situated in the Nannestad countryside, Trugstad Gård demonstrates a homely,

picturesque atmosphere in historic surroundings. With rolling hillsides perched in the background you may take in the snow-clad sceneries by way of horsedrawn sledges, arranged by the estate’s management, who will also supply you with some hot mulled wine for the journey. At the table, your party will continue in an equally charming and traditional fashion, all while indulging in a threecourse dinner encompassing all the nation’s culinary wealth on a plate. “Our wish is for your party to be as much of a high-quality culinary experience as a cosy evening void of pretention and stuffiness. We only book one party at a time,

so you can feel at ease and enjoy the evening to its fullest,” says Friedrichs. Entertainment can also be arranged through the estate’s partnership with local artists, creatives and speakers. “We welcome you with open arms and a great deal of care from the very first moment. That’s something we hope you’ll notice,” the general manager concludes.

More about Trugstad Gård: In addition to Christmas events, the staff at Trugstad Gård are happy to host your wedding, confirmation or Christening. The estate is also ideal for conferences and can accommodate up to 50 attendees. Overnight accommodation can be arranged with one of the estate’s many partners at favourable prices.

A taste of the Christmas menu: - Baked fillet of cod served with crispy bacon, shallots and a purée of peas. - Roast duck à la Trugstad Gård, served with red cabbage braised in red wine and brown potatoes. - Rice pudding with pickled cherries.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Christmas Dinner the Norwegian Way

Bergen’s one-stop Christmas party shop

“They are passed on to our meat provider, who uses them to feed the cattle.”

Located in the heart of Bergen, next to the traditional fish market, Zachariasbryggen offers its diners a panoramic view of Vågen, one of the arms of Byfjorden. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: Zachariasbryggen

With this view and no less than two restaurants and five different bars to choose from, there really is no need to go elsewhere. “As the weather in Bergen, particularly during the winter season, is known to be fairly unpleasant, we’re happy to be able to offer everything under one roof,” says manager Christine Marshall. Zachariasbryggen can offer everything from a classical piano bar to a night club in addition to Norway’s only authentic western bar, Jack’s Saloon. During the Christmas party season in November and December, several different Christmas party packages are available. All packages are based around the establishment’s warm Christmas buffet. While rib of lamb is the traditional Christmas dish of western Norway, the kitchen staff hail from a variety of backgrounds and Marshall promises that regardless of where you come from you will find something to enjoy.

“We have all the usual suspects, such as crackling Christmas pork belly – traditionally eaten in eastern Norway – and sausages, as well as the possibility to pre-order lutefisk. Also, as our head chef is British, he has really perfected our Christmas turkey. The only thing I can think of that we do not offer is smalahove [sheep’s head],” Marshall says with a smile. “As craft beer has become increasingly popular, many guests enjoy this opportunity to learn something about pairing beer with food. This summer we also opened our own microbrewery on the premises, which can be observed from the bar Bryggeriet,” says Marshall, adding that they intend to brew their own yule ale this year.

While dinner is a given at any Christmas party, guests at Zachariasbryggen can also choose to combine it with a show, either as part of a theatre package that includes a show by Vinskvetten, western Norway’s most popular cabaret group, or as part of the stand-up package with a show by Bergen Humorkollektiv, which has fostered some of Norway’s best known comedians. This year Vinskvetten, famous for their use of ‘strilamål’, a particular western Norwegian dialect, celebrate their 40th anniversary with a special show called Livet i Rotåhåla, comprised of their biggest hits as well as new material. “Vinskvetten is always a good laugh,” Marshall says. Both Vinskvetten’s show and the stand-up show take place at Rick’s, just a three-minute walk from Zachariasbryggen. All packages include free entry to Zachariasbryggen’s night clubs and bars after dinner or when shows have ended, allowing you to eat, drink and be merry – all in one place.

She also asserts that the kitchen makes every effort to use locally sourced ingredients and that they have a close connection with their suppliers. Leftover grains from the brewery make a good example.

Photo: Joar Håland.

Photo: Joar Håland.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Christmas Dinner the Norwegian Way

A Christmas in the fjord With Christmas around the corner, the Norwegian traditional Christmas party, julebord, is one of the best ways to experience all that the season has to offer. Visit the historic hotel and establishment Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun for the ultimate comfort and culinary experience. By Maria Lanza Knudsen | Photos: Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun

In western Norway, by the fjord in Os, lays the family-run Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun, made up of grass-roofed traditional wooden buildings. Run by the eighth generation of the Bjørke family, the establishment offers a rich history. It used to be part of the old Lyse Cloister that was established in 1146 and even hosts a Viking Age cemetery. Some of the guestrooms are housed in the oldest building, the barn, built in 1655. It is when winter extends her chilled embrace and a blanket of snow covers the ground that Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun is at its most charming. Decorated for Christmas, Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun offers 35 guestrooms and has meeting and function rooms for corporate and leisure visitors alike. “We are a popular place for 86 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Christmas lunches, dinners and parties, and guests often cite the fantastic level of service in a distinctly relaxed atmosphere,” says Christine Mowinckel Reksten, the sales and front desk manager. It is the restaurant’s culinary craftsmanship that the hotel takes the most pride in. “We aim to serve a fusion between tasty local Norwegian dishes and gourmet food,” Reksten explains. “All dishes are made from scratch and ingredients are Norwegian and preferably sourced locally.” Fish specialties feature throughout the year but traditional Christmas meat dishes take centre stage during the festive season. Beyond Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun’s doorstep, there is an abundance of opportunities, including nature trails along the

mountains and fjords and, in springtime, even killer whale spotting in the fjord. Other cultural activities nearby include the shipyard where Oselvaren boats have been built since the Viking Age. Music and art lovers can visit the house of Ole Bull, the Norwegian violinist and composer, and the Oseana Cultural Centre, where artwork by famous Norwegian artists such as Munch, Kittelsen, Tidemann and Gude can be found. In addition, the hotel can arrange a broad spectrum of activities through its partner, Bergen Base Camp, including activities such as archery, GPS obstacle courses, quizzes and more. Only a 35-minute drive from Bergen, Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun offers a very special way to experience a true Norwegian Christmas season. After all, its promise is this: ‘with us you sleep well, work well and eat well’.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Christmas Dinner the Norwegian Way

Rustic Christmas in a candlelit mountain grotto Outside the bustling city of Stavanger, tucked away in a valley between fjords and majestic mountains, the impressive Byrkjedalstunet ascends. The restaurant, hotel and conference centre is a relaxing oasis where you can fully embrace a traditional Norwegian Christmas. By Celine Normann | Photos: Byrkjedalstunet

“We pride ourselves on providing a stressfree, calming and true Christmas atmosphere to suit all needs,” says personnel and administration officer Päivi Seland. “Byrkjedalstunet is a place where people can swap their busy lifestyle for a homely and real getaway experience.” Realness is one of the pillars of Byrkjedalstunets, and the food is certainly no exception. “All our recipes are local, and many have been passed down through generations,” says Seland. All the food is made from scratch, using only fresh ingredients that are locally sourced as far as possible. “At Christmas we usually serve a traditional Christmas buffet

including everything from crackling pork belly to lamb ribs and cod, followed by a range of lovely puddings.” ‘Everything is possible’ The idyllic location and authentic cabin-like atmosphere makes Byrkjedalstunet a popular place for friends, families and corporate groups in search of Christmas spirit. “No group is too big or too small. Two of our popular premises are Gloppehallen, our impressive candlelit mountain grotto that seats up to 300 people, and the smaller, romantic farmhouse, Randastølen, where a chef cooks up a feast on the wood fire stove in front of you,” says

Seland. While staying true to the traditional feeling is important, the centre has top modern facilities to accommodate any needs. “From DJs to brass bands, everything is possible. Only your imagination is the limit.” For more information, please visit:

Christmas in the vault In the heart of Kristiansand on the south coast of Norway stands an impressive century-old neoclassical building. Surprisingly, however, it is the basement of this building that has the most to offer. A Christmas party at Bankkjelleren, the old bank vault, is one of the most extraordinary ways to ring in the Christmas season. By Maria Lanza Knudsen | Photos: Terje Drivdal Sollie

Built in 1892 by the private bank Søndenfjelske, Bankkjelleren was designed by the architect Richard Mauritz Tønnesen, who won the competitive bid. With four monumental Greek-like columns placed diagonally on the corner of the two streets, Dronningens Gate and Markens Gate, the building has a distinctive character with its mix of neoclassical design and early signs of jugendstil, the popular decorative art form from the late 1800s, on the small pillars on the roof. After a century of operation, the bank finally shut its doors for the last time in 1992 and the new tenant, a fast food restaurant, moved into a section of the premises. It was in 2012 that the im88 | Issue 82 | November 2015

pressive building was acquired by the new owners, Hillegarn Eiendom AS, who subsequently renovated the property, opening up the old bank vault in all its former glory as Bankkjelleren’s function rooms. Earlier this year, Bankkjelleren introduced another function room on the first floor, expanding its capacity to host larger groups, just in time for the Christmas season. “We are incredibly proud of how the vault has been preserved and made available to the general public,” says the owner, Martin Graham. “In the vault, Bankkjelleren offers a most unique atmosphere – a fascinating mixture of old world charm and modern functionality.”

A special venue Bankkjelleren has hosted conferences, seminars, memorial services, concerts and even a fashion show. Most recently, the famous musician and activist Bob Geldof dined in the vault. Today, the establishment offers space for all types of events and parties: from small, intimate dinners of ten to 15 people to parties and weddings of over 85 people. The main hall seats 85 people for dinner while the new first-floor hall seats 100 people or can host 120 guests for conferences and other events. At Christmas time, the establishment is decorated appropriately to herald in the festive season. Glowing Christmas stars are suspended on the walls and over a hundred candles are lit to complement the light fixtures in the floor, creating a spectacular atmosphere no matter the time of day.

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Christmas Dinner the Norwegian Way

Artistic treasures Few establishments can boast the exclusive features of an original bank vault. In the basement, the renovation in 2002 ensured that the original masonry and other features were preserved. The main addition is what now adorns the walls and the floor. The renowned deceased Norwegian artist Kjell Nupen, a Kristiansand native and friend and mentor to Queen Sonja, was commissioned to do Bankkjelleren’s artwork and light fixtures. Distinctive, colourful glass trails have been inserted into the floor and run throughout the venue, complementing Nupen’s colourful paintings and glass pictures on the walls. The venue is to some extent a miniature art exhibition. Culinary treasures

(aged stockfish) and meat dishes such as ‘pinnekjøtt’ (salted, dried ribs of lamb or mutton) and ‘ribbe’ (crackling pork belly). For those seeking a modern twist, Bankkjelleren even offers a Christmas-themed tapas menu. “From buffets, sandwiches and finger food to three-course dinners and lunch meetings, Bankkjelleren caters to all,” says Graham. Interestingly, Bankkjelleren also offers a full event management service to provide inspiration and help plan all aspects of an event or party, ensuring that it is a oncein-a-lifetime experience, whether at Bankkjelleren’s own venue or elsewhere. The catering function is available for private parties and can cater to groups of over 1,000 people with door-to-door delivery, a popular choice for Christmas events hosted elsewhere.

When planning your next Christmas julebord, why not unlock the vault’s treasure and host it at Bankkjelleren for a truly original occasion?

FACTS: Bankkjelleren consists of the main hall in the old bank vaults in the basement and the recent addition of a second hall on the first floor. The establishment also has a lounge room with a stage, a licensed bar, and a fully equipped kitchen served by a team of talented chefs and waiting staff.

For more information, please visit:

Christmas time is a busy period for Bankkjelleren, when the establishment hosts Christmas lunches and parties, known in Norway as a julebord, for both small and large groups. With its fully equipped kitchen, Bankkjelleren delivers culinary delights to its guests, all served on elegant white porcelain dishes. During the Christmas season traditional Norwegian dishes feature strongly, including the fish dish ‘lutefisk’

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | ‘Julebord’ Buffets: Christmas Dinner the Norwegian Way

Geiteberg’s caterer can cook up everything from Spanish tapas to Norwegian Christmas food.

Elegant parties at the barn In 2006, when their vintage harvester gave in, husband and wife Guri Bergan Holt and Kjetil Haugbro decided to use their experience in arts and culture management to turn the farm into an events space. Geiteberg Kulturbruk made its debut hosting two performances of Knut Hamsun’s play Markens Grøde, and since the first play in 2007 the cultural activities at Geiteberg have gained momentum. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: Geiteberg Kulturbruk

Today the farm even hosts an annual international folk music festival, the only one of its kind in south-eastern Norway. Back in its heyday in the early 1900s, Geiteberg used to be the venue for the village’s weekly dances, and when theatre-goers pointed out how charming the barn was, Holt and Haugbro decided to rent it out as a party venue once again. Since then the barn has become a popular venue for everything from weddings

to corporate events, particularly during the Christmas party season. “I think we appeal to many companies because of our exclusivity. The barn only fits 60 to 70 people, so they don’t share the venue with anyone else, and they’re free to create their own programme,” says Haugbro. The arts manager at Geiteberg Kulturbruk can help customers book performers ranging from local musicians to entertainers of national calibre, such as Ingrid Bjørnov. There is also the possibility to make arrangements for a dancefloor. In addition to entertainment, food is one of the most important aspects of a great party, and at Geiteberg it is brought in from Kreativ Catering in the capital. “When we started out we wanted to hire the best ca-

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terer we could find, and we found it in Oslo,” Haugbro explains. Based on the ingredients of the season, Kreativ Catering serves elegant yet simple dishes, whether the menu consists of tapas or of traditional Norwegian Christmas foods. The beer served is from the local microbrewery, MikroMeyer in Spydeberg. “We have kept much of the old barn aesthetics and added more modern design, because we want our guests to get the authentic farm feeling but still feel a little bit pampered,” says Haugbro. Even though Geiteberg Kulturbruk is located a 40-minute drive outside Oslo, the venue promises to get you home safely, as Haugbro explains: “It shouldn’t be any more difficult to get home from us than from any of the clubs in the city, and we take pride in taking good care of our guests all the way to the end.” Geiteberg was the place to dance a hundred years ago, and in 2015 it still is. Sometimes the best parties really can be found outside the borders of the city. For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

Left: An eight-storey wooden apartment block, Puukuokka by OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture, is one of the first high-rise prefab cross-laminated timber (CLT) designs in the world and the winner of Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2015. Photo: Mikko Auerniitty. Middle: Merenkulkijanranta. Photo: Antti Luutonen. Right: Opinmäki School Complex. Photo: Antti Canth, Esa Ruskeepää Architects.

Special Theme: Finnish Architecture & Design

A courageous and ambitious architectural revolution When the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2015 winners were announced earlier this month, both Sweden and Denmark were represented among only five overall winners. So what did prestigious design magazine Wallpaper* mean when, earlier this year, they claimed that an architectural revolution is taking place in Finland?

Wallpaper* did describe said revolution as ’quiet’, to be fair. Yet what sets Finnish architecture apart, the magazine claimed, is its courage and proactiveness. At this year’s Alvar Aalto Symposium, the central theme was ’Do!’, emphasising work that takes action above theoretical debate. As it happens, the conference was chaired by Anssi Lassila, principle of OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture, which went on to win the second ever Finlandia Prize for Architecture for its Puukuokka residential building, Finland’s tallest wooden apartment block and one of the world’s first high-rise prefab cross-laminated timber (CLT) con-

structions. The timber-framed building in Jyväskylä serves, according to the Finnish Association of Architects, “as a prime example of how to create original and individualistic housing design using new production and manufacturing techniques”. The other Finlandia Prize nominees were the Kangasala House cultural centre in Kangasala, the residential high-rise buildings at Merenkulkijanranta, the Opinmäki School in Espoo, and the new OKOBANK office block in Helsinki. What the shortlisted candidates have in common, according to Jorma Mukala, chair of the pre-selection jury, is that they represent high-quality visionary architecture – despite representing several genera-

tions of architects across diverse disciplines and sites. Some might call it the Aalto effect. Wallpaper* described it as “a boom in ambitious educational, religious, residential and public building design up and down the country”. Composer Kaija Saariaho, who selected the Finlandia Prize winner, referred to “values that I appreciate in life as well as in architecture: it is a courageous and ambitious work that brings together an exploration of new possibilities for building and construction, a humane sensibility, and a quest for ecological solutions as well as a strive towards a better quality of life”. If the Finlandia Prize shortlist and winner are anything to go by, it seems talking about a Finnish architectural revolution is appropriate indeed. At next year’s WAF, the other Nordic countries may have to watch their backs.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

Stefan Lindfors – Finland’s creative superpower Stefan Lindfors is not just a creative force – he is a superpower. During his career, the 53-year-old Åland-born Finn has created no less than 400 projects of all sizes within interior architecture, design, sculpture and film. With creations including everything from an egocentric coffee cup to a seven-metre tall sculpture with integrated solar panels, this is a man who has managed to get the famously taciturn Finns talking about everything from dildos to sustainable energy. By Signe Benn Hansen | Photos: Marco Melander

It seems apt – or, actually, undeniably true – to say that, like his work, it is hard to put Stefan Lindfors in a box. However, if one were to try, it would be necessary to describe both the inside and the outside of that box. On the outside is the spontaneous, talkative artist who jumps from subject to subject the same way he, in his own words, shifts between projects because he does not have the patience to do just one at a time. On the inside is the Finnish designer who, though proud of his achievements, hesitates to assume the approval of others and, when talking about his juggling of jobs, hurries to stress that he has never missed a project deadline or broken a budget. Of course, when it comes to his work, it is all on the outside. Design, sculpture, interior architecture and film make out the box’s four supporting walls, but there is neither top nor bottom because that would pull the fields together and make them an entirety, and that is not what Lindfors wants. No, he wants to explore

each and every one of them for what they are. And the reason he does not, like his contemporary colleagues, stick to one field? It is simple: he was born curious. “I just want to do things – perhaps make a difference, write history,” says Lindfors and hurries to add: “But I actually regard myself as very conservative in my work. I always take each case separately.” A hybrid Though it is almost 25 years since Lindfors first impressed the Finnish audience with a 700-square-metre one-man exhibition at the Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki, the artist has not lost his appetite for grand creations. On the contrary, he has, through the years, created some 30 large-scale sculptures in different shapes and materials. All have been commissioned works. “I work in such a wide range of fields that the idea that I would wake up and just make a sculpture really isn’t plausible – in my life, commissions work perfectly. If I get a commission, there are two important

Above: Sculptor, designer, interior architect and film director Stefan Lindfors. Right: Wings of Change, Lindfors’ seven-metre-high sculpture spins in the wind and is equipped with integrated solar panels to light up the night. The sculpture was unveiled in Helsinki city centre on 3 September 2015

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fixed points I know that I can lean back on: where it’s going to go, and the timeframe and budget. That means I can treat the project as an artist or as a designer,” explains Lindfors. “What I have, which might be different from my colleagues in sculpture, is an education and background in the design industry, and in that context it is natural for me to think about who I am doing my art for. But artists generally don’t think that way; they make art, so it’s more like ‘this is my piece, take it or leave it’, whereas I’m sort of a hybrid.” At the high-tech, windy American embassy in Helsinki, Anima, a LED-light illuminated sculpture that moves in the wind, perfectly embodies the artist’s words. The work was unveiled in November 2014, the same year that Lindfors’ 8.5-metre long Symbiosis was unveiled in the seaside city of Turku. Symbiosis is, however, still in the making as metal name tags are continuously added to it, creating a second surface. The name

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design


Design Award, the Design PLUS and the Tokyo Design Award.

In 1988, Lindfors’ lamp Scaragoo, manufactured by Ingo Maurer, launched at the Milan Furniture Fair.

In 1998 Lindfors created an installation for the façade of the Gershwin Hotel in New York City declared by the New York Times as a ‘New Landmark on Manhattan’.

In 1991, Lindfors created the Concorde, a permanent tenmetre-long suspended sculpture for Helsinki International Airport. In 1992, Lindfors received the Nordic Väinö Tanner Trailblazer Award. He has also been awarded the Georg Jensen Prize, the Good

In spring 2015, the European Airports Association (ACI) voted Lindfors’ exit hall installation

Finnaviatore at Helsinki International Airport one of the ten most innovative airport solutions in the world.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

tags are ‘bought’ by making donations to save the Archipelago of Finland and the Baltic Sea on the shores of which the town of Turku lies.

idealistic. We have so much of everything already, so why make anything, why design anything, advertise anything if it’s not really new?” says Lindfors.

More but never of the same

Lindfors is currently working on a boat design, a minimalistic coffin inspired by the story of Superman, and a luxury sauna collection. But having many projects on the go does not stress him out – on the contrary. “I prefer to work on as many and as diverse projects at the same time as possible. I’m very focused when I work and I cannot work on anything like that for more than an hour or two at a time. That means that if I have four projects on the go, I can work all day, and they feed off each other. To me it’s perfect,” he says.

If Lindfors has a more pragmatic approach to his art than some of his colleagues, the opposite might be said about his approach to the design industry. As a young design and interior architecture student he refused not only to limit himself to one field but also to work within preconceived ideas of how a product should or could take shape. This refusal has resulted in a string of eye-catching design products, such as the EGO coffee cup, which rests on its handle, a one-litre beer glass and a snake-shaped dildo. “Designing is not styling; I always have to find a new angle. It’s not just a narcissistic drive – it’s also

There is no hiding that, especially in earlier years, Lindfors’ cross-field explora-

tions rubbed many of his contemporaries up the wrong way. This did, however, not stop the artist when one day, whilst living in New York, he felt an urge to explore the world of filmmaking. Returning to Finland, he set forth to create, amongst many other films, an award-winning music video for the Finnish rock band HIM. “It really disturbs me that we have this idea that creativity and a creative mind is somehow particularly belonging to the world of art. I don’t believe that one bit! You cannot succeed in any profession unless you have a creative mind. No way,” he insists. A fresh take on saunas In 2004, the urge to try out new things led Lindfors to a leading advertising firm, where he was asked to create a new product for a chain of erotica stores. This

Top left: In 2008-9 Lindfors created the terrace for the iconic Helsinki restaurant Kosmos, using several eye-catching sculptures to support the removable terrace roof. Top right: Kaos, a tram stop like no other, was created by Stefan Lindfors for the city of Helsinki in 2012. Below: The striking 8.5-metre-long Symbiosis sculpture in Turku, Finland, is an ongoing project as Lindfors continuously welds new metal name tags onto its surface, creating a second ‘skin’. The metal tags are in the names of private and corporate donors to the association of saving the Baltic Sea and the archipelago of Finland.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

This autumn sees the launch of Sawo Dragonfire, a complete range of sauna products designed by Stefan Lindfors for SAWO. The SAWO Dragonfire collection comprises a wide range of sauna products as never seen before, from a stylish standing ladle to a burn-protected heater. The idea for SAWO Dragonfire originated after Lindfors accidentally burnt down his girlfriend’s sauna. His search for a replacement led him to SAWO, a producer of high-end sauna products for the international market. One talk led to another, and soon he was given free reins to create a ‘fresh take on sauna’ for the company.

resulted not just in a campaign that raised the chain’s sales by 43 per cent, but also in the creation of Finland’s most talked about sex toy, the Serpent. Even the artist was surprised when an elderly lady at the drycleaners kindly asked how the sales of his new dildo were going. And they were going brilliantly. A project that could have proved even more litigious than the Serpent is Lindfors’ brand new and exclusive sauna range for SAWO. The Dragonfire collection was initiated when Lindfors accidentally burnt down his girlfriend’s sauna and, in the search for a pleasing replacement, discovered SAWO. “The Finnish sauna market is very conservative. That’s why when the first person from SAWO asked if I would work with them, I said I didn’t think I was the right person for them because I’m not going to do something that’s already been done, and in Finland people will not accept anything new,” says Lindfors. However, when the company’s owner told Lindfors that they wanted a fresh take on saunas for an international market, he signed up. The result, a full range of distinctive sauna products, from buckets and ladles to an entire sauna designed by Lindfors, has, despite the designer’s fear, been well received even in Finland. For more information on Stefan Lindfors and his work, please visit:

Top: The Sirius coffin, manufactured by Honkasen ruumisarkkuliike, Finland, is just one of many distinctive design projects Lindfors is currently working on. Middle: Jungle Food Kitchen wall panels designed by Lindfors for the company IDEAL. Below: The one-litre beer glass was created by Lindfors in 2014 for Beer Fest Finland. Right: In 2014, Lindfors’ Anima, a seven-metre-high LED-light illuminated fibreglass sculpture that moves to stand against the wind, was unveiled at the American Embassy in Helsinki.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

Left: Sigge Architects use different materials to create unusual, sustainable designs that focus on simplicity and functionality. Right: The Finnish Embassy in Berlin won the prize for Best Building in the World in 2001. Photo: Jussi Tiainen.

From practical functionality to futuristic, floating eco-islands Finnish architecture firm Sigge Architects believe in designing sustainable buildings with real functionality. Since its establishment in 1956, the company has won numerous international awards including Best Building in the World for the Finnish Embassy in Berlin. By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Vesa Loikas

From cities, government institutions and individual homes to private businesses, Sigge Architects have a host of clients. “Everything begins with functionality when we start to design a building,” says Pekka Mäki, CEO and partner at Sigge Architects. “We look at the local culture and surroundings, and try to incorporate these in our buildings.” Finnish countryside in award-winning design In 2001, the Finnish Embassy in Berlin won the prize for Best Building in the World at the Arup World Architecture 96 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Awards in Hong Kong. “As with our other buildings, we wanted to create something simple, something that would not only serve the building’s functionality but would also be visually striking,” Mäki explains. The building’s glass façades are covered with slats of larch wood, designed to resemble a traditional Finnish barn during the day, filtering incoming light. “It is a mixture of the Finnish national identity and timeless simplicity, adjusted to the Embassy’s daily function,” Mäki elaborates. The different positions

of the slats animate the façade during the day while, in the evenings, the wood contrasts lights glowing from inside the building. The detailed design and mixture of materials continues in the interiors of the building, ranging from a circulating aluminium staircase to a birch-covered conference room. Floating eco-islands and luxury hotels At the moment, Sigge Architects have several projects in the Middle East, including a series of floating hotels and luxury apartments. The floating structures range from small individual houses to whole towns, hotels and sports facilities, including their bid for a floating football stadium for Qatar’s 2022 football World Cup. The floating designs come with independent power supplies, waste management and recycling systems. “The float-

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

ing hotels are space saving and energy efficient. They have been developed by keeping in mind environmentally friendly principles and all have their own power supply. We try to utilise sun and water power where possible – and cars are hidden from view in underground tunnels,” Mäki explains. “The idea in the long term is that these hotels can be serviced, repurposed and even towed to alternative locations if needed.” Not just about grandiose structures, Sigge Architects have also designed numerous smaller-scale individual houses. One of these is VillAma, a villa in the archipelago near Turku, Finland. Instead of a traditional villa, the owner wanted a concrete home. “We chose materials that would blend into the rocky hillside backdrop of the archipelago. The design is minimalistic with a box-like appearance, which continues in the interior features as well: the kitchen island and the large table as well as the tables and benches on the outdoor terrace are also concrete structures,” says Mäki.

slope, the building is testament to Sigge Architects’ ingenious designs. The building was inspired by organic shapes, and the main materials used are copper and printed glass to maximise incoming light. The Ikituuri student apartments in Turku, Finland are another example of Sigge Architects’ quirky, creative designs. The oval-shaped tower is made out of individual copper cassettes, giving the building a streamlined, futuristic look and feel. “Once again, functionality is key when designing a building,” Mäki reiterates. “Despite the oval shape of the tower, the rooms are designed not to cause difficulties when furnishing or decorating them.” The different shades of copper cassettes reflect light, giving the whole building a distinctive glow. The building is also geothermally heated, giving it an ecological advantage: it produces heat in

wintertime, and in the summer geothermal wells are used to cool the building by pumping warm air into the wells. Perhaps the most notable theme throughout Sigge Architects’ projects is how they use different materials to create unusual, sustainable designs that focus on simplicity, functionality and clarity with a human aspect.

For more information, please visit: Right: The Ikituuri tower is made out of individual copper cassettes. Below left: The Pyynikki Health Centre has generated a great deal of interest due to its shape and, for a hospital, unusual design and use of materials. Photo: Sini Pennanen. Below right: VillAma’s design is minimalistic and box-like, a theme that continues throughout the interior as well.

Materials and shapes for sustainable, unusual design The Pyynikki Health Centre in Tampere, Finland has generated a great deal of interest due to its shape and, for a hospital, unusual design. Built on a steep

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 97

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

Top row: The ‘Original drawing by kids’ concept uses children’s drawings in wallpapers and textiles to bring life into hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and nurseries. Left: Some of Lapland’s traditional elements are incorporated into the interior design of the Tundrea holiday apartments. Middle: Pinja Metsäkoivu designed the Mörönsyötti album cover for Finnish musician Viljami Kukkonen. Right: PIBO Creative’s designs feature on everyday products including the Coquus designs on bread packages and ice cream labels.

Reinvigorating spaces and illustrations Pinja Metsäkoivu’s multifaceted approach to design stems from over ten years’ experience of working at top design and ad agencies around the world, in addition to working as a graphic designer, art illustrator and interior architect. Metsäkoivu’s company, PIBO Creative, is a quirky design and consulting company with several projects worldwide. By Ndéla Faye | Photos: PIBO Creative

Having designed packaging and adverts for companies including Absolut Vodka and Adidas, Metsäkoivu is able to bring multi-disciplinary knowledge to her current ventures, one of which is an interior design project for a hotel lodge in Lapland. The Tundrea holiday centre is situated on the shore of Lake Kilpisjärvi, right on the border of Finland, Sweden and Norway. “The idea is to remain true to Lapland’s traditions in the look and feel of the interior,” Metsäkoivu says. “We have incorporated some of Lapland’s traditional elements in the interior design of the holiday apartments: rocks, water and the northern lights are all part of the surroundings and have been considered in the design.” 98 | Issue 82 | November 2015

PIBO Creative is also involved in the design of a new campus at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. “It is a great opportunity to get to work alongside experienced architects and interior designers. This project is my ‘dream job’, where the space is part of the artwork,” says Metsäkoivu. Her ‘Original drawing by kids’ concept incorporates children’s drawings into her designs. “The idea is to spruce life into hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and nurseries by incorporating the kids’ drawings into wallpapers and textiles. Each product is designed for the respective space,” Metsäkoivu explains. “The way in which children draw and

simplify things is exceptional; it is something that adults are simply not capable of doing. It allows many opportunities for design and creativity.” Among other illustration projects, Metsäkoivu designed the Mörönsyötti album cover for Finnish musician Viljami Kukkonen. The illustration was featured at Mikkeli’s tenth illustration triennial competition, showcasing a wide range of Finnish illustrations and graphics. “I always think of the company first, then build my ideas to suit each individual project and try to create fun and refreshing designs that stand out from the crowd,” says the designer. Her designs also feature on everyday products, such as the Coquus designs on bread packages and ice cream labels. “I am living the life I have always dreamed of,” she says. “I live in the Alps with my family, doing work I really enjoy.” For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

Respecting surroundings and natural beauty Whatever the scale of the architectural project, Arkkitehtitoimisto Tarmo Mustonen aims to make its designs a natural part of the surroundings: from town planning to interior design, each project is carefully designed to look like it truly belongs. By Ndéla Faye

Since Arkkitehtitoimisto Tarmo Mustonen Oy was founded in 1989, the firm has worked on projects ranging from city planning to interior and furniture design. The bases for each of their designs are quality, timelessness, clarity and functionality. “We achieve this by ensuring that we understand the client’s brief fully from the start,” says Tarmo Mustonen, owner of Arkkitehtitoimisto Tarmo Mustonen Oy. “Our way of working is analytical: we map out the needs of the clients for each project and design accordingly.”

make sure they naturally blend into the background.” One of the firm’s designs is a summer house on an island in the Finnish archipelago. “The house has a breathtaking sea view and is situated on a steep cliff top. It is a truly spectacular place. The main idea in the design was ‘see, but not be seen’ – we took the client’s privacy into careful consideration. With our choice of materials and garden design, we were able to incorporate the amazing views into the design while ensuring that the inside of the house remained out of sight from the public.”

Mustonen explains: “We do not want our designs to stick out like a sore thumb; we

The timelessness aspect is of course all about making sure that projects do not

Photo: Jussi Tiainen.

Photo: Tarmo Mustonen.

Photo: Osmo Varjonen.

age. “We don’t do ‘impulse designs’ that might look old fashioned in 20 years’ time. The architecture needs to be durable, in terms of both its design and the use of materials and the surrounding space,” says Mustonen. “We use natural and ecological materials, and many of our designs make use of the materials’ own beauty as we leave a lot of them untouched. The golf club we designed in south-west Finland used to be an old, dark pig shed. We re-designed the windows to bring in light. There is plaster of Paris that we have left unpainted, giving the place a unique feel.” At the heart of Arkkitehtitoimisto Tarmo Mustonen Oy is a belief that when you design something that naturally blends in with the surroundings, you create a feeling that the building has always been there. “Careful planning respects the surroundings, and moulds the designs to fit it accordingly,” Mustonen concludes.

For more information, please visit:

Photo: Jussi Tiainen.

Photo: Tarmo Mustonen.

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 99

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

Photo: Mika Huisman.

A new way of learning Finnish schools are at the forefront when it comes to global education – something that Arkkitehtitoimisto Perko Oy holds onto when designing new schools. The curricula are leaning increasingly towards a new concept of ‘open learning’, rejecting the idea of traditional classrooms in schools.

& Pursiainen for over 15 years. At the moment, we are collaborating with pedagogic specialist Pasi Mattila and Finpeda on a number of school projects,” says the owner.

By Ndéla Faye

“One of the reasons Finland is continually at the top of education league tables is no doubt our unorthodox approach to education,” says Tomi Perko, owner of Arkkitehtitoimisto Perko Oy. One of the basic principles of the Finnish education system is that everyone must have equal access to high-quality education and training, most of which is funded by the state. Arkkitehtitoimisto Perko Oy’s focus is the design of schools and nurseries. Their other work includes smaller-scale building designs to large public ventures. “As we offer many services, from reno100 | Issue 82 | November 2015

vation to urban planning projects, we are able to tailor our services to the needs of each client. We work to maintain a close relationship with our clients throughout a project by listening to their wishes and incorporating their ideas into our designs,” says Perko. Adjusting to new ways of studying “We co-operate with other public and private sector building industry operators and often enter into long-term partnerships. For example, we have collaborated with Arkkitehtuuritoimisto Meskanen

Recently, Arkkitehtitoimisto Perko Oy won a competition arranged by the municipality of Hollola, Finland. “This particular project comprises of two school buildings that represent the latest knowledge and innovation in open learning schools,” Perko says. The buildings have been designed to accommodate a new way of learning, endorsed by the Finnish Education Ministry. Arkkitehtitoimisto Perko Oy also won a ‘life cycle’ project competition in Porvoo for their design of three nurseries and two schools, the latter being part of an open learning environment. “We are working with pedagog-

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

ic specialists to create spaces that can easily be modified for multiple purposes; there are no traditional classrooms in open learning schools,” Perko explains.

spaces, which include larger learning spaces, closed-off ‘learning nests’ and smaller group spaces,” says Perko.

An open learning environment is based on the idea that traditional teaching is increasingly transforming into collaborative, research and phenomenon-based learning. All of the schools’ spaces, especially its designated learning spaces, are social meeting points designed to motivate and activate learning and collaboration. This approach to learning can help students take more responsibility over their own learning as well as the students’ collective learning. Therefore, design solutions help direct learners’ engagement, increasing school satisfaction and motivation to learn among students.

“We assess carefully whether the buildings are energy efficient, and whether the use of the school premises has been optimised,” states Perko. “Acoustics are especially important when designing schools, but it brings its own challenges in big, open spaces. This is something we also need to consider in each individual design. The starting point for any of our projects is the inside space – it is the heart of the building. The theme is often the creation of multipurpose spaces. A thorough understanding of how the space will be used is crucial – after that we can start thinking about other aspects, and the exterior.”

“The idea is to maximise the use of the spaces in question and to create new learning environments. There are no traditional corridors or classrooms – these new kinds of schools can be adjusted and adapted. We have created multipurpose

The heart of the building

For more information, please visit:

Simplicity and clarity are both very important to Arkkitehtitoimisto Perko Oy, as is durability. “We use brick, concrete and wood that will not require much maintenance – this is very important when de-

Photo: Mika Huisman.

Photo: Antti Hahl.

signing schools,” Perko says. “The world of learning has changed, and we need to adjust our buildings accordingly. As for current projects, we were recently chosen to be a part of a large architecture project on a school in Sipoo, Finland. We are actively seeking competitions to enter as well as challenges to take on abroad.”

Photo: Mika Huisman.

Photo: Antti Hahl.

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 101

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

Whatever the scale, the primary challenge is to create beautiful, functional and liveable spaces. Photos/illustrations, clockwise from bottom left: Marja Vantaa; Kivistö centre, Harris-Kjisik Architects; Helsinki eastern harbour, Harris-Kjisik Architects; Jyväskylä travel centre, Jussi Tiainen.

The urban pioneers With a reputation in Scandinavia and the Baltics as one of the most influential architectural and urban design practices, Harris-Kjisik Architects has worked on projects spanning three decades and three continents. With nearly 40 awards and prizes from national and international competitions under its belt, the firm’s work is at the forefront of Scandinavian urban design and architecture, putting its focus on the social and health sectors. By Ndéla Faye

“We believe that architecture and urban planning are one and the same – we do not differentiate between the two,” says Hennu Kjisik, co-founder of Harris-Kjisik Architects and Planners. The firm’s expertise lies in innovative architectural and urban design projects, with a focus mainly on the design of public buildings, urban spatial regeneration and strategic planning. Their office has had professional and academic involvement in more than 30 countries. 102 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Trevor Harris and Hennu Kjisik founded Harris-Kjisik Architects and Planners in 1985. In addition to offering expertise in the health and social services sectors, both architects are actively involved in teaching and research in Finland and abroad. Kjisik is the professor of urban design at the University of Oulu while Harris is the professor of urban design at Aalto University, together representing two-thirds of Finland’s academic urban design elite.

Some of their completed works include new builds and restoration work, the most significant being various schools in the Helsinki area, a transport interchange in Jyväskylä and a building maintenance depot on the historic island fortress of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The firm also recently completed a major report on tall building principles for the city of Espoo, Finland. “Each project is designed in the context of an existing space; we carefully consider the surrounding space and design accordingly to ensure that the design subtly completes the urban fabric. We also believe sustainability to be a key aspect; we take it into account in the design and shape of the buildings, as well as in the materials we use,” Kjisik explains. “The spaces in between buildings are just as important as the buildings themselves,” he continues. “We use the Italian Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti’s saying as our motto: ‘A city is like a small house and a house is like a small city’. Whatever the scale, the primary challenge is to create beautiful, functional and liveable spaces.”

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Finnish Architecture & Design

Compassionate designs Architect Group Reino Koivula, Inc. (Arkkitehtiryhmä Reino Koivula Oy) is an experienced specialist in hospital design with over 60 years of experience in the field. The firm has contributed to hundreds of hospital and healthcare projects in Finland and around the world. By Ndéla Faye

“The starting point for each one of our projects is adjusting the physical space in accordance to the patients’ needs. Firstly, we establish the causes behind the patient’s hospital visit: whether it is surgical, psychiatric or a long-term illness, for example. Each condition has completely different requirements, and therefore we adapt each space accordingly,” says Pekka Koivula, chairperson and partner at Architect Group Reino Koivula. “For example, in a psychiatric institution, we need to minimise reflections and echoing, whereas in a surgical setting the fact that surfaces are easy to keep hygienic is key. “Our office is a mixture of hard experience and youthful freshness. We attend

conferences in Finland and abroad to ensure that we are able to add to the knowledge and advancement of hospital design on an international level,” says Mikko Sinervo, art director and partner. “We need to keep up with the fast-changing world of medicine and ensure our designs support this. Our buildings need to be spacious and easily adjustable to accommodate big medical equipment to be moved around – medical equipment tends to go through cycles of five to seven years before it is renewed.” Architect Group Reino Koivula’s current projects include the design of a new children’s hospital in Helsinki in collaboration with Sarc Architects Ltd., as well as various international projects. “We

want to create light-filled spaces that are pleasant to healthcare staff and patients alike. We strongly believe that a well-designed space supports the important work that leads to the recovery of the patients,” says Sinervo. “We try to maintain a humane and compassionate streak in our designs – the patients’ needs are paramount. For example, in Jorvi Hospital, part of Helsinki University Central Hospital, we wanted to bring warmth into the hospital setting, so we used a lot of wood and warm colours – we tried to stay away from an ‘institutional look’. However, we do not experiment with any of our designs either – hospitals are not the setting for trying out quirky ideas,” Koivula clarifies. “Putting the patient first is key to everything we do. That is where our knowhow comes from.”

For more information, please visit:

Photo: Mikael Lindén.

Photo: Mikael Lindén.

Photo: Olli Koivula.

Photo: Olli Koivula.

Photo: Jukka-Pekka Hyvönen.

Photo: Anders Portman.

Architect Group Reino Koivula believes that a well-designed space supports the important work that leads to the recovery of the patients.

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 103

Restaurant of the Month, Norway

Pure taste The name Paleo might have its origins in a prehistoric era, yet there is nothing primeval about Brasserie Paleo. Since last year, it has been serving exquisite, locally sourced natural dishes in the heart of the Norwegian capital. If you thought that delicious food can never be healthy, expect Brasserie Paleo to prove you wrong. By Stine Wannebo | Photos: Brasserie Paleo

Every day, more Scandinavians discover the Palaeolithic way of life, usually referred to as the paleo diet. Contrary to popular belief, this lifestyle has little to do with living like a caveman but more to do with eating like one. Pure, organic ingredients are key, excluding sugars and fast carbohydrates in favour of protein and natural, saturated fats. Brasserie Paleo’s chef, Andreas Andersson, is intent that everything that enters his kitchen is locally sourced and alternates both his meats and vegetables according to season. “We cook a lot of asparagus in the early summer while, in the autumn, we serve mushrooms in all shapes and forms,” he says. “That way, we use all Scandinavian produce at its best.” 104 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Skill and creativity Brasserie Paleo was the first restaurant of its kind to start up in the Norwegian capital and last month the already favoured establishment celebrated one year in business. In a country where everything, even pasta, can be eaten with a few boiled potatoes on the side, the paleo concept might seem particularly foreign to some. “In the very beginning, we did have to explain why there wasn’t any bread, potatoes or rice on the side,” manager Ola Larsson laughs. “Now, a year later, it seems most people know what they’re in for.” Neither sugar nor gluten were common in the hunter-gatherer societies over two

and a half million years ago. Such foods are marked as ‘extra carbohydrates’ on the Brasserie Paleo menu. There simply is no need for those when skilfully prepared meats, colourful berries, crisp vegetables and sweet fruits are bursting with their own natural flavours. All natural ingredients There is a wide range of innovative yet timeless flavours to be discovered when entering the modern, glossy venue on Oslo’s Rosenkranzgate 1. The atmosphere is calm, and the wonderful cuisine and anticipating guests are the centre of attention. One magnificent dish after another is being carried out from the kitchen, accompanied by luscious wines and juicy cocktails. With an excellent bar manager, there is no reason why the drinks should not be just as enticing as the food. A new menu of fresh, creative cocktails is put together several times a year to both complement and enhance a meal’s natural flavours.

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Norway

It takes considerable skill and originality to come up with a menu filled with pure and natural cocktails – sugar is never an option. In addition to having an extensive wine list, an intoxicating set of cocktails, a tempting lunch menu and a dazzling main menu, there is also an outstanding à la carte menu that changes several times a week. “We are here to prove that paleo is so much more than just seeds and nuts,” Larsson says proudly. Flavours and textures One of the main ingredients on Brasserie Paleo’s excellent menu this autumn has been reindeer meat. The flavourful and quite traditional meat comes from Kautokeino in the north of Norway, where for hundreds of years reindeers have been kept and cared for. In true Palaeolithic style, chef Andersson uses all parts of the animal to extract different tastes and textures. “Every piece is prepared differently to secure the best possible result,” he explains. “Often we choose to combine these separate flavours and textures in our dishes, to give our guests a complete and exceptional culinary experience.” One of the dishes currently on the menu is reindeer sirloin with smoked reindeer tongue. Both are laced with beer and juniper berries, topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds and a rich sauce. It sounds fantastic and tastes even more so. Nutritious and tasty The kitchen also makes sure that the dishes are beautiful to look at with colours and textures in an elegant fusion, as pleasing to the eye as to the taste buds. Larsson describes his restaurant as modern. The focus is on healthy, nutritious and local food that is also incredibly tasty. And there seems to be no limit in regards to the flavours, combinations and calibre of the dishes that are served. “Pure, natural and flavourful ingredients make the inspiration for everything that we do,” Larsson explains. “The rest is just curiosity.” For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 105

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Denmark

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

A restaurant with a secret ingredient Located right on the water, close to the city of Aarhus in Denmark, there is a charming restaurant. What makes Restaurant Himmel og Hav so special is that its owners, Bjørn and Britt Olsen, add what might be the most important ingredient to their cooking: personality. By Stephanie Brink Harck | Photos: Restaurant Himmel Og Hav

Olsen and his wife fell in love with the restaurant the first time they saw it. They were out for a walk with their firstborn son in the pram when a small summer

paradise suddenly appeared in front of them, just the other side of a hill. “It had the most amazing location. The fact that you can sit in a green area with no neighbouring buildings while looking out across the water was enough for us to fall in love with the place,” says Bjørn Olsen. The Olsens’ affection for the restaurant is reflected in the way they have decorated the building. The colourful flowers, the candlelight and the rustic wooden tables give the restaurant an intimate feeling, despite it having room for up to 80 guests. “Our guests often ask if we live here, because it almost feels like entering someone’s home. We don’t live here, but I have to admit that sometimes, because we work so much, it almost feels like we do,” Olsen smiles.

106 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Guests come to the restaurant because of the atmosphere and, of course, the food. “We want to give our guests an experience when they come here. In the summer time, for example, we serve pizza outside on our terrace,” Olsen explains. “But we don’t serve normal pizza. Instead of tomatoes, we might use pesto and our very own cold-smoked coalfish.” Every week, the menu changes to keep the food on offer interesting and new. But even though the dishes may change, the restaurant always makes sure to give the food its own special touch to make sure that there is no doubt that the mouth-watering food is courtesy of Restaurant Himmel og Hav. The kitchen always uses local produce, for example, with a focus on high quality and lots and lots of fish. Olsen laughs: “Sometimes people come into the restaurant saying that they don’t like mussels. Then they taste mine, and suddenly they want seconds.”

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Sweden

Badhotellet is the perfect winter hideaway, complete with a modern spa and long-running wellness traditions.

Hotel of the Month, Sweden

The spa wheel has come full circle The launch of a Kneipp-inspired spa ritual sees the spa wheel come full circle at Badhotellet in Tranås, southern Sweden. You can once again enjoy a spa treatment going from steaming hot to ice cold, just like the founder intended at the turn of the century.

sonal crayfishing can be arranged. “This is a highly appreciated activity where teams compete against each other to see who gets the most crayfish,” Hamilton explains.

By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Badhotellet

But there is no need to catch your own food – other than for fun, of course – as the restaurant offers delicious dishes based on organic and local ingredients. The restaurant even has its own farm nearby, producing organic beef, and the entire resort is eco-certified by Green Key.

In 1899, businessman Axel Andersson got tired of having to travel to seek remedy for his precarious health and opened Tranås Wattenkuranstalt, today known as Badhotellet. Fresh air, a riverside location and healing hydrotherapy quickly proved to be a winning combination. Fast forward to 2015 and Badhotellet is still found by the river Svartån in Tranås, between Linköping and Jönköping, and the new spa ritual is influenced by the Kneipp method used in the old days. “The Kneipp method means that you mix hot and cold springs alternately,” says Regina Hamilton, marketing coordinator at Badhotellet. Guests receive a spa kit from organic wellness brand Maria Åkerberg before

enjoying the ritual at their own pace. The DIY treatment is believed to have several health benefits, such as getting the blood circulation going. Classic luxury and relaxation The spa is not the only place where you can really sense the long-running history. All 102 rooms have been renovated and carefully restored over the past two years. “The entire hotel is embedded in history. We try to preserve everything and renovate it carefully,” says Hamilton, eagerly describing grand dining rooms, high ceilings and beautiful, old paintings. Weekdays are primarily booked by conferences and the largest room can accommodate 250 participants. In addition to the spa, lake excursions and even sea-

“Our mission is to brighten up people’s everyday life – that’s the feeling we want guests to hold onto when they leave,” says Hamilton. And when asked what is the best thing about working at a historic health resort, she replies: “The whole setting is fantastic. You walk through the doors and see the grand drawing rooms. It’s a unique setting that I have never experienced before.”

For more information, please visit:

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 107

Scan Magazine | Humour | Columns


By Mette Lisby

Who can’t help getting nostalgic when stumbling upon the occasional old-school photo album on family visits? You know the dusty ones your grandparents and parents keep? There’s something special about those photos. Nowadays, we take a thousand photos a day, and it is no big deal. Maybe that is why people so desperately try to make it a big deal by over-posing. Seriously, nobody looks normal in photos anymore. Everybody is acting like they are in an episode of Girls Gone Wild, even though it is a slow Monday night and they are having cold pizza in Leeds – alone. But when I look at the photos from my confirmation, for instance, it is obvious that people took it seriously. People were looking into the camera, solemnly, with a certain ceremonial look, giving a wry smile and a humble glance. Because it was a big deal back then: taking photos was something you prepared for – literally! You had to buy film, and a lot of thought went into that: you could choose between 12, 24 or 36 pictures depending on the importance of the event. Weddings were of course a 36-picture event – birthdays probably only 12, and in between there were events such as confirmations: a typical 24-photo occasion.

At my confirmation it so happened that only 22 photos were taken (I blame that on the combination of the free bar and my uncle, the family’s self-proclaimed photographer, who was a thirsty man). With only 22 photos taken out of 24, the last two photos had to be taken before we could expose the film – which of course meant that we had to wait for another proper occasion to come along. The thought of just taking photos willy-nilly of everyday occurrences – “look, I’m eating” or “this is me hanging out at home” – would have never crossed anybody’s mind back then. You would typically have to wait for the holidays when we were off to Mallorca, or at the very least a weekend getaway in Brighton. I can hear the scorning voices of today’s teenagers: “Whaaaat? How ridiculous – a party with only 14 pictures taken?” Yes, well, at least we didn’t look like complete idiots in all of them.

Schools There were many things about British life that baffled my family when we first moved here. The various types of schools, for example: private, grammar, comprehensive – we were genuinely clueless. Dad’s new employer generously offered to pay for my education, so Dad lined up some options for when I arrived. I was 15, depressed about the move, and now also very confused. A number of the posher schools in the area allowed me to spend a day with them, after which I was able to conclude the following: firstly, that they all resembled the set of a Victorian horror film, and not in a good way; secondly, that there was a strong religious element to the syllabus, which felt very weird (I was rejected on the spot by a Catholic school); and finally, that they were all single-sex schools. The uniforms alone were enough to make me want to run for the hills, but with these three wildly alien factors thrown into the mix I was prepared to forego on my education entirely. Until I visited a run-down comprehensive, that is. Here there were girls and boys, 108 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad ble to say whether I made the right decision. Who knows what would have happened if I had given one of the posh schools a chance. I probably would not be writing these lines but, on the other hand, I might have a sensible job. What I do know is that I am glad that I was allowed a choice. And I did learn some very useful things at my comprehensive. Like how to make fake ID cards and microwave socks dry. You can’t put a price on life skills like that.

the building looked – at least from a distance – normal, and religion stayed out of the classroom. Needless to say, this seemed like the most normal option. In hindsight, it is impossi-

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 | Business | Keynote

Scan Business Keynote 109 | Business Profile 110 | Conference of the Month 112 | Business Column 114 | Business Calendar 114




Is consistency the most important factor in leadership? According to Sir Alex Ferguson, yes. By Annika Goodwille

I recently watched a fascinating programme in which Sir Alex Ferguson was interviewed about the secrets of his prolonged success. These days we hear a lot of management speak about leadership styles and what makes a good leader. For me, Sir Alex added a new dimension. Interestingly, he stressed that all members of a team need to be equal. Not necessarily managed in exactly similar ways, because everyone’s different, but no one can be more important than anyone else. This must have been a great challenge considering the variety of al-

pha males he has had to deal with. The analogy he used was of a skein of geese flying in formation and how they change lead positions to support each other. He stressed the need for values and respect. Paramount to him were strong family values – hard work, discipline, effort, ambition and looking after each other. These values he learned from his parents – his father was a shipbuilder on the Clyde. Because Sir Alex was genuinely interested in people, he had a great memory for names – not just all the playing staff and youth teams, but everyone from the kit washer and tea lady to the ground staff. They were all part of his team. Most leaders tend to forget this as they become more important and busier. Sir Alex did not! Discipline, attention to detail and making hard decisions are essential to good leadership. When letting someone go or giving them the boot for disobedience – these strengths enabled Fergie to maintain control and, like the head of a family, command respect as well as affection. ‘The hairdryer’ treatment was what his team called the way he shouted in the

faces of his players when they underperformed. But his apparent losses of temper were just part of his controlling style. Did he lead by fear? No, his judgement was good and he was superb at keeping the balance between authority and encouragement. The constant challenge for Sir Alex over the years was the inevitability of players moving on due to age, injury, discipline or simple trading. But he was a great enthusiast for bringing younger talent through. He would sometimes push them into matches they had not expected, where they often outperformed themselves. His motto was ‘listen, learn and rebuild’ in four-year cycles – forever improving. Finally, when asked what was the most important aspect of leadership, he said: “Consistency”. And he is right. Do the same thing over again – just better every time. Situations change, so you are always adapting. His message is a strong one – emotional intelligence at its best. These days, companies are expected to be built overnight. But building a solid company takes time, and Sir Alex surely built Manchester United into a hugely successful, globally respected company – over time. Issue 82 | November 2015 | 109

Scan Magazine | Business Profile | SIMON Estates

The Malteasy life Winter in Scandinavia and northern Europe certainly has its charms. Christmas, warm drinks and fresh air see us through the darker months, but few would deny longing for sun, sand and seaside during months of relentless darkness and cold. If you long for a warmer climate, but want to avoid the holiday hordes bedecking the coastlines of our best-known Mediterranean neighbours, Malta might just be for you. The tiny, ancient island state tends to go under the radar, but it has consistently punched above its weight throughout history, from the time of the Knights of St. John to its career as not one but two main locations in Game of Thrones. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: SIMON Estates

Simon DeBono is proudly Maltese, born and bred in Malta. He spent years working in the UK but, in the end, the pull of the quiet, easy life of his home country became too great to bear. Back in Malta, he started working in real-estate in 1988. In 2000, he set up SIMON Estates in order to help northern Europeans find the perfect property from which to get to 110 | Issue 82 | November 2015

know this beautiful, peaceful EU nation of just over 400,000 people. “The weather here is among the best in the world, and foreign companies with an office here pay only five per cent in tax,” DeBono says. “Just two weeks ago, a survey by AMPILOT found that Malta is one of the best countries for British ex-pats – as voted by ex-pats!”

Brimming with history This is perhaps unsurprising, given Malta’s historical connection to the UK. “We were a protectorate of the British Empire,” DeBono explains, “but the de-colonisation here was unbelievably peaceful. We basically told the British that we would like to manage our own affairs in the 1960s, and the British soldiers left, leaving behind a string of crying girlfriends, unfortunately – but the soldiers returned a few months later as tourists!” DeBono believes the connection has left the people of Malta with a unique outlook on life. “We have the lifestyle of the Mediterranean but the attitude of northern Europe, and we speak both Maltese and English here,” he says. “We enjoy life and each other, but we also keep to ourselves. We live by the rules, and we’re very unpretentious.”

Scan Magazine | Business Profile | SIMON Estates

It seems the Maltese have had a taste of just about everything through the ages. Long before British rule of the island, Malta interacted with everyone from the ancient Phoenicians and Romans to the later Byzantine, Arab and Norman empires before famously becoming the seat of the Knights of the Order of St. John in the 16th century. “The Knights themselves came from all over Europe and built up our international community here,” DeBono explains. “They left a big impression on the Maltese people. With their help, we won a legendary war, outnumbered 5,000 to 60,000.” In celebration, a new capital was built, named Valetta after the victorious Grand Master of the Order, Jean de Valette. Its beautiful baroque architecture and gardens make for some wonderfully picturesque settings – a fact that has not gone unnoticed.

A permanent paradise In 2018, Valletta will be Europe’s Capital of Culture, and there is plenty to do before then: the Mdina Classic Grand Prix is held each October, and the rest of the year the city is packed with everything from classical concerts to theatre events and music festivals. Those looking for a permanent move can sample the local Mediterranean diet in the country’s many restaurants and visit the sandy beaches surrounding Malta’s islands throughout the year. All types of properties are available, from upmarket city palaces in St. Julian’s to quaint rural lodges.

Malta’s regulatory board for real estate. SIMON Estates has specialised departments for the entire process, including legal assistance and continual cleaning and maintenance for rental properties. The staff speak ten languages, including Swedish, and are eager to help – as is Simon himself. “We have so much to offer,” he says. “Come and see for yourself!” Below: The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, visits Malta.

SIMON Estates has the largest property database on Malta, available online. The company was specifically set up to help non-natives navigate through Malta’s culture and regulations: DeBono himself is on

From Westeros to culture capital Today, the biggest rival of Malta’s beautiful, ancient towns has to be the surrounding nature. It is no coincidence that the makers of Game of Thrones saw it fit to use Malta as the backdrop for two separate and very distinct locations in the popular fantasy show. In the first season, the architecture of Malta’s cities featured prominently as part of King’s Landing, the bustling capital at the heart of the fictional empire. The countryside of Malta’s smaller island of Gozo, meanwhile, took on the role as the stark and beautiful steppe land home of the Dothraki tribe, the marital home of the Queen of Dragons. Several other international film and TV productions have been filmed in Malta through the years, including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s recent movie By the Sea. For those less keen on pop culture, Malta’s local culture has a plethora of other treasures to discover.

For more information, please visit: Mobile: 00385679446688 Direct landline: 0035623880011

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 111

Scan Magazine | Conference of the Month | Norway

Conference of the Month, Norway

New meets old in history-laden Røros If UNESCO World Heritage sites, newly refurbished rooms, delicious local cuisine and archetypically Norse activities such as horse sledging with a cup of mulled wine in your hand excite you, Bergstadens Hotel is the venue to trust with your next conference outing. With years of experience of crafting conference stays for groups of all sizes, this centrally located historical hotel combines the very best of modern facilities and traditional elements to make your conference sojourn something out of the ordinary. By Julie Lindén | Photos: Bergstadens Hotel

Nothing is standard at Bergstadens Hotel. Not if you ask marketing manager Hege Stenmo. “We offer so many different choices of activity programmes and plans, food and beverage options as well as room sizes, that nothing can be described as standard,” she says. More than anything, the hotel’s forthright emphasis on meeting each guest with the highest possible standards of service adds to its reputation of being a hotel of bountiful options. This can-do spirit is a virtue both management and staff are proud of. “We 112 | Issue 82 | November 2015

give great importance to being accessible, forthcoming and warm in our approach,” says Stenmo. “We always go the extra mile. Always. That’s why I think our guests feel so at home here.” History in the walls – quite literally Homely is just one of the adjectives that come to mind when taking in the atmosphere of the hotel’s interiors. As the first buildings on the grounds were constructed as early as the 1600s and 1700s, when a guesthouse was run at the site, there

are clear ties to an impressive line of historical events. The hotel’s main building, which has since been extensively refurbished to allow for modern hotel facilities, was added in 1897. History is still very much present in the building’s walls, and quite literally at that. “One of the walls in our current reception is an original bared wall from 1897, visible in all its traditional glory, notched wood panels and all,” explains sales representative Christoffer Laugen. The building’s age is the reason why very few of the 90 rooms and suites are of equal size, adds Stenmo. “There is no standard room layout, which is a charming detail. It’s been a goal of ours to merge the old and traditional with the new and modern in our interior décor, and the feedback is that we’ve succeeded at creating quite personal and cosy quarters for everyone who comes to stay.”

Scan Magazine | Conference of the Month | Norway

Experience the mining town Beyond notched timber and unique room layouts, the hotel’s name is a true ode to the site’s history. The latter half of the 17th century saw Røros and its circumference become a grand-scale mining town, where copper mines were to be exploited for a total of 333 years. The mining works earned Røros the epithet ‘Bergstaden’ (‘Mining Town’), and today the town and its surrounding industrial-rural cultural landscapes make part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites as a location representing “outstanding universal value”. The town contains around 2,000 wooden houses, including a smelting house, many of which have preserved their characteristic blackened wooden façades and are significant attractions for tourists visiting the area. Bergstadens Hotel organises several activities throughout the town for its visitors, but some of the most popular ones include horse sledging and guided walks around the picturesque centre. “The horse-drawn sledges pick you up at the hotel door, where you are tucked into the sledge under reindeer hides and warm blankets. You’ll be served some hot mulled wine along the ride, which is a perfect way to enjoy the traditional cultures of Røros,” says Stenmo, adding

that guided tours of the local church, one of the country’s ten most culturally important churches, are also immensely popular. And for those wanting to see just how the town made it onto the world map, a guided tour of the mine, Olavsgruva, will take you 500 metres into the mountains and 50 metres below ground to a brand new world of exploration. Perfection – from the practical to the culinary Welcoming a vast array of different guests 365 days a year, Bergstadens Hotel expertly crafts an activity programme suited to the needs and desires of your group. For those wanting to delegate all planning to the hotel, from travel arrangements to meal choices, the hotel

staff are happy to take over the reins. And with no less than seven restaurants and bars serving local produce and traditional dishes, Bergstadens Hotel will surely satisfy in every aspect – from the practical to the culinary. “Our dedication to making your stay as perfect as possible extends from the very beginning of your trip to the moment you return home. We follow up on – and constantly try to improve – everything in between,” says Stenmo. For more information, please visit: Bergstadens Hotel has an impressive history rooted in the local community, which manifests itself in the cosy, traditional interiors.

Issue 82 | November 2015 | 113

Scan Magazine | Business | Column / Calendar

How to deal with a psychopath By Steve Flinders I was sad when I read of the death of Oliver Sacks. He did enormous good in helping his many readers understand more about the workings of the human brain in books such as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. After recently seeing the effects of someone being bullied in an academic environment, I was particularly struck by the account in Sacks’ On The Move: A Life. As a student, his academic supervisor forbade him from publishing a work on migraines on the grounds that he was far too inexperienced. This supervisor then stole his material and published it under his own name. This kind of behaviour – authoritarian, autocratic, even psychopathic – is not just a feature of the academic world where, especially in some countries, institutional cultures remain hierarchical and deferential in the extreme. It sometimes seems as if psychopathic behaviour is spreading into every walk of life: in reality shows such as The

Apprentice, in politics – take Donald Trump, in those parts of the press that tell us it is okay to despise the needy and the less well-off, and, of course, in business. How do we deal with the business bullies? First, by not recruiting them, say Galinsky and Schweitzer (as reported in the Schumpeter column in The Economist on 5 September 2015), authors of Friend and Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both. Watch how the interviewee treats powerless people including security guards and waiters. If the corporate psychopath slips through this net, then use self-report questionnaires such as the B-Scan and 360s to detect mismatches between what people say they do and what they actually do. Above all, democratise the workplace so that it is easier to challenge a superior without fear of reprisal. Student appraisal of teachers hap-

Scandinavian Business Calendar

pens in some countries. Of course such systems need to be managed properly but, in this day and age, we should be combating the rule of the unbridled bully in every domain.

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally: steveflind@; item/steve-flinders/

By Stephanie Brink Harck

Highlights of Scandinavian business events How to adapt to the digital era There is no denying it: the world is rapidly shifting from analogue to digital. And for companies not to fall behind, it is important that they recognise this in their marketing strategies. One of the speakers at this evening, courtesy of the Finnish Chamber, is Saija Mahon, founder of Mahon Digital Marketing Ltd, an international digital media agency that helps growing global businesses to achieve their sales targets. Come along to this digital event to find out how. Date: 25 November, 6pm–9pm Venue: Heron Tower on the 17th floor, 110 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2 4AY

Nordic drinks Grab a drink and expand your business contacts while having a good time. This regular event is a collaborative effort of the Danish-UK Chamber of Commerce, the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce and 114 | Issue 82 | November 2015

the Norwegian-British Chamber of commerce, making it the perfect opportunity to meet and network with a range of new people. Date: 26 November, 6pm–8pm Venue: Scandinavian Business Seating, 63 Central Street, London EC1 3AF

Offshore Wind 2015 The Danish Chamber will host this popular annual seminar in collaboration with the Royal Danish Embassy in London, offering an overview of current and future developments in the UK offshore wind industry. Come and hear contributions from The Crown Estate, E.ON Climate & Renewables, Statkraft and Dong Energy to find out what we can expect in 2016 in terms of policy developments, market opportunities and technical advances. Date: 03 December, 10am–4pm Venue: The Royal Danish Embassy, 55 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9SR

Annual Christmas Luncheon If you are looking to enjoy some traditional Swedish Christmas food, lots of entertainment and some great company, then this is the event for you as the Swedish Chamber’s Christmas Luncheon has attracted thousands of senior business people for over 30 years. The Luncheon will include a traditional Swedish ‘julbord’ and some fantastic networking opportunities. Date: 04 December, 12pm – 3.45pm Venue: The Landmark London, 222 Marylebone Rd, London NW1 6JQ

Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Music


Scandinavian music By Karl Batterbee You know Christmas is on its way when popstars across the globe start firing out their best material in a bid to ramp up sales. And while no one in Scandinavia actually buys CDs anymore, that has not stopped its music makers from breaking the tradition of airing their finest at the most wonderful time of the year. Here are the best of the latest musical treats coming out of the Nordics. If you are old enough to have been listening to the radio in the early ‘90s, you will be familiar with Stakka Bo’s seminal Here We Go Again. Did you know it was Swedish? Well now you do. And the Swedish producer behind it – Jonas von der Burg – has since gone on to produce massive ‘00s hits for September, Alcazar, and Danny Saucedo. His latest muse is Cazzi Opeia, and they have been working together on a whole album. Before that is ready though, he has produced a whole new interpolation of Here We Go Again for her. It is a brilliant update of what has stood the test of time as a legitimate classic. Many you will have heard of Swedish pop

sensation Zara Larsson, who has recently crossed over into the UK charts with Never Forget You (featured in this column last month). But Norway has its own teen songstress who is also being prepped for big things on an international scale. Meet Astrid S. She is a former Norwegian Idol winner, who last year scored a massive hit over in her homeland with 2AM, a song that also picked up a lot of love from music blogs outside of Norway. But it is her new single, Hyde, which is likely to take things to the next level for her – and you will understand why when you hear it. Norway has built up a reputation as the spiritual home of tropical house music, which has taken off in a big way this year. Kygo and Matoma are both Norway natives and two of the biggest names in that genre. And now the arrival of Norwegian collective TEIP cements the country’s association with the sound. Their debut single, Friendzone, is an infectious and uplifting tune that looks likely to follow Kygo’s first few singles into the charts in the UK.

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He is the son of schlager icon Pernilla Wahlgren and the cousin of Swedish House Mafia founder Sebastian Ingrosso, so the arrival of Benjamin Ingrosso’s pop career was always going to be one to look out for. And his debut single Fall in Love does not disappoint: it is a progressive pop track with a hugely catchy chorus that builds and builds into a big finish. Moreover, he has been signed up to the same management team as Zara Larsson, so it all bodes well for him. Finally, if you were in any doubt that Sweden’s Tove Lo is one of the best music acts of the decade, watch the video for her new single Moments. Now that’s a popstar.

Scan Magazine | Culture | Sophia Jansson

Self portrait by Tove Jansson. Photo: Moomin Characters Oy Ltd.

116 | Issue 82 | November 2015

Scan Magazine | Culture | Sophia Jansson

Family values Rye bread, salty liquorice and big, big skies are just a few of the things Sophia Jansson misses when the business of managing the Moomins takes her away from her Helsinki home. Since joining the company in 1997, Sophia has focused on returning the company to her aunt, Tove’s, original values. The pay-off has been phenomenal – along with the stresses. Sophia speaks to Scan Magazine about the pressures and pleasures of being part of the Moomin family.

but the island that Tove lived on is a bit empty without her and her partner. The whole place is quite small and back then it was all about being there – the life. Now it’s just these empty walls, so I don’t go as much.”

By Paula Hammond | Press photos

Back to the beginning

The Moomins were created by Finnish artist, illustrator and author Tove Jansson in 1945. Sophia’s father, Lars Jansson, took over drawing the Moomins comic strips in the ‘60s, when the pressures became too great for Tove. Without his support, the Moomins might have floundered but Lars remained Tove’s right hand man up until his death in 2000. “They had very different personalities,” Sophia says. “Tove was happy facing the public for a while, then she became a bit of a recluse. For Lars it was enough to be her main helper. He had no need to pat himself on his chest and say ‘I did, I did.’ I often think that we should talk more about him and his role, but Tove

knew exactly how important he was and I’m happy with that.” For a young girl growing up in a family of artists, life was rich in experience. While the Jansson home was in Helsinki, the family spent their summers on the rough, unpopulated islands of the Finnish archipelago. Those idyllic times were recalled by Tove in her exquisite Sommarboken (The Summer Book), which wove together tales of Tove’s childhood with incidents inspired by Sophia’s own island days. “Those summers,” Sophia says, “were very much like those lived by the Moomins, and their fantastical worlds seemed very normal to me. Even now, we still go to the same archipelago every summer,

Languages and linguistics are Sophia’s passion. She trained as a language teacher and left Finland to teach Spanish, thinking that she would never return. However, as age and illness took their toll on both Lars and Tove, she stepped into the breach. By then, licensing and merchandising were threatening to take over the brand. The Moomins were more associated with cute pre-school animations than Tove’s original creations. The quiet beauty and depth of Tove’s tales were in danger of being lost entirely. Almost 20 years have passed and it is a very different story thanks, in no small part, to Sophia. “For a very long time,” Issue 82 | November 2015 | 117

Scan Magazine | Culture | Sophia Jansson

Photo: Moomin Characters Oy Ltd.

Tove Jansson on her birthday. Photo: Moomin Characters Oy Ltd.

she says, “one of my key questions was: ‘What would she have wanted?’ I was quite worried. I felt I had to do right by this inheritance: to return it to its core – the art and the text. That’s what people loved.” The pressures were enormous and there were times when she simply wanted to walk away from it all. “After a couple of years of being over worked, I thought I’d had enough. Part of it was really down to the fact that I don’t have a mercantile background and I was faced with questions that I couldn’t handle. I thought I’d hire someone who understands that world, then stop working with it. That was ten years ago. So much for that plan!” Did Tove or her father give her any guidance? “No. They didn’t ever tell anybody what to do, but they had a very clever way of broaching subjects in a roundabout way. I always thought,” she laughs, “that I’d ended up in the Moomin company by chance. In hindsight, I’m not so sure! I remember saying to my father ‘Well come on, tell me what are the most important things I need to know before I take this over’ and he said: ‘Keep your feet on the ground and use your common sense.’ It wasn’t such a bad piece of advice.” 118 | Issue 82 | November 2015

So is Sophia the Moominmamma now? “Somebody actually called me that the other day,” she says in mock horror. “No, no! It’s really not right because I’m not Tove. People do ask me to sign her books and I understand that it’s out of respect but it feels odd. I don’t think I really deserve it. Yes, I deserve some appreciation for having been in the company for so long, but not for her art.” That, Sophia insists, belongs to Tove, although perhaps the fans who feel part of this quirky, bohemian troll family might disagree.

Thanks to Brand Licensing Europe for their invaluable help in arranging this interview.

Self portrait by Tove Jansson. Photo: Moomin Characters Oy Ltd.

Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg






London City

GERMANY Brussels






S n a cks

Me al s


Pap ers



SUN AIR Shortcut Skandinavien 215x270.indd 1

18/02/14 16.54

Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Culture Calendar

Tivoli Amusement Park Photo: Kim Wyon

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here!

Haga Christmas Market Photo: Göran Assner

SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS BAZAARS IN LONDON (19-29 Nov) The Norwegian Church 1 St Olavs Square London SE16 7JB Wed (18 Nov)-Thu (19 Nov) 5pm-8pm Fri (20 Nov) 11am-8pm Sat (21 Nov) 10am-7pm Sun (22 Nov) 12.30pm-5pm

120 | Issue 82 | November 2015

The Finnish Church 33 Albion Street London SE16 7HZ

Dansk KFUK 43 Maresfield Gardens London, NW3 5TF

Wed (18 Nov)-Fri (20 Nov) 12noon-8pm Sat (21 Nov) 10am-7pm Sun (22 Nov) 10am-5pm

Sat (28 Nov) 11am-5pm Sun (29 Nov) 11am-4pm

The Scandinavian Christmas Market Albion Street, Rotherhithe London SE16 7JQ

By Sara Schedin

CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN SCANDINAVIA Christmas at Tivoli (14 Nov-3 Jan)

Fri (20 Nov) 11am-8pm Sat (21 Nov) 10am-7pm Sun (22 Nov) 10am-5pm

Tivoli Amusement Park, Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 Copenhagen V, Denmark.

The Swedish Church 6 Harcourt Street London, W1H 4AG

H.C. Andersen’s Christmas Market (4 Nov-11 Dec)

Thu (19 Nov) 11am-8pm Sat (21 Nov) 11am-7pm Sun (22 Nov) 12noon-5pm

Spejlteltet, Sortebrødre Torv 1, 5000 Odence C, Fyn, Denmark. Fri (4 & 11 Dec) 10am-7pm. Sat (5 & 12 Dec) 10am-6pm. Sun (6 & 13 Dec) 10am-5pm.

Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Culture Calendar

Tivoli Amusement Park Photo: Kim Wyon

Mew Photo: Tommy Jansen Bredesen

Haga Christmas Market (21 Nov-20 Dec)


Haga, Gothenburg, Sweden. Every weekend. Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm

Children of Bodom (Nov)

Juha Tapio (18 Dec)

These Finns will be playing their melodic death metal tunes at various venues across Europe this month.

Finnish pop singer and composer Juha Tapio will be playing at 229 The Venue, London, W1W 5PN.

Quartet-lab featuring Lilli Maijala (23 Nov)

Mew (Dec)

Vadstena Castle Christmas Market (26-29 Nov) Visit Vadstena, Hamngatan 4, Nya Slottsbron, 59230 Vadstena, Sweden. Thurs (26 Nov) 11am-6pm Fri-Sat (27-28 Nov) 10am-6pm Sun (29 Nov) 10am-5pm

Christmas at Hovstallet (27-29 Nov) Väpnargatan 1, 114 51 Stockholm, Sweden. Entrance from Dramaten or Armémuseum. Friday (27 Nov) 12am-7pm Sat (28 Nov) 10am-6pm Sun (29 Nov) 10am-5pm

Christmas at Winterland, Spikersuppa (28 Nov-20 Dec) Eidsvolls plass, 0162 Oslo, Norway Open from 10am to 8pm every day.

Music by György Kurtág, Bartók and Beethoven will be performed by Finnish violist Lilli Maijala and her band members, who together explore the alchemy of ensemble playing and develop bold musical ideas in the moment of performance. Wigmore Hall, London, W1U 2BP.

Susanna Mälkki conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra (27 Nov) Finnish Susanna Mälkki makes her debut conducting the Orchestra in a concert of works by Liadow, Prokofiev and Sibelius. Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX.

Danish indie pop/alternative rock trio Mew will be playing songs from their new album +- in the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium this month as part of their world tour.

Sofie Hagen: Bubblewrap (10 Dec-6 Jan) She has been named One to Watch by Time Out, and now the Danish award-winning stand-up comedian Sofie Hagen brings her debut show to London. Soho Theatre, London, W1D 3NE.


Issue 82 | November 2015 | 121

Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Culture Calendar

A good home for everyone (Until 24 Jan) An exhibition about Swedish mainstream society’s attitudes towards the Roma, featuring photographs by Anna Riwkin and Björn Langhammer. It focuses on political and social development around 1955-65 when the Roma obtained civil rights in Sweden. Tues 10am-8pm, Wed, Fri-Sun 10am-6pm, Mon & Thurs Closed. Moderna Museet, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm

Jani Leinonen (Until 31 Jan) In the exhibition School of Disobedience, Finnish artist Jani Leinonen challenges us to question the structures and practices of art as well as politics and the world of education. Throughout his career, he has employed alternative ways of operating as an artist alongside traditional techniques. He organises situations and events, to which he invites people to participate as co-authors and participants. Tue 10am-5pm, Wed-Fri 10am8.30pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Mannerheiminaukio 2, Helsinki, Finland.

Anna-Eva Bergman (Until 28 Feb) Norwegian painter Anna-Eva Bergman’s art underwent a transformation in the early 1950s and became more abstract. She focused on a handful of archetypal motifs which she called ‘Les themes’: rocks, celestial bodies, mountains, fjords, horizons, boats and menhirs. This exhibition has been set up according to Bergman’s own themes. Tue, Wed & Fri 11am-5pm, Thu 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun 12noon-5pm. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Bankplassen 4, Oslo, Norway.

Above: Anna Riwkin Untitled, 1954 by Anna Riwkin Middle: Anna-Eva Bergman, jord og planet, 1958. Photo by Hartung Bergman-stiftelsen Below: Jani Leinonen, photo by Vilhelm Sjöström

122 | Issue 82 | November 2015

2_0_ScanMagazine_Issue_82_Noc-Dev_2015_Cover_Scan Magazine 1 17/11/2015 13:52 Page 3

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Nordfyns Museum The history of the town of Bogense and North Funen, in words, artifacts, paintings and pictures. Nordfyns Museum Vestergade 16, DK-5400 Bogense, Denmark Phone: +45 6481 1884 E-mail:

2_0_ScanMagazine_Issue_82_Noc-Dev_2015_Cover_Scan Magazine 1 17/11/2015 13:52 Page 4

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