One of the highlights for the designer group was a visit to the forest where the participants could see the effects of modern forest management.
Can the forest’s secrets lead to better design? Are there tips and tricks that enable people with an in-depth knowledge of materials to achieve better and more advanced design solutions? And, perhaps most important, what does it mean for creativity to know that you are working with a totally sustainable material?
These questions were the starting point of Iggesund Paperboard’s Design Experience, which this year hosted 24 internationally active designers on the spot in Iggesund, Sweden. The visitors, who were selected from a group of applicants, spent four days doing everything from close-up encounters with the Swedish forests to participating in seminars on how to construct packaging from paperboard.
“The Iggesund Design Experience was an unforgettable and monumental excursion,” comments participant Christen Barbercheck, a design director from Cincinnati, Ohio working for Haney Prc. “Seeing the process from seed to paperboard gave new context and understanding of how to utilise the material in a way that maximises the characteristics of the board and enhances the design experience. The week was full of inspiration, new friendships, and constant learning. I cannot wait to share the information with my team and apply it to the packages we develop.”
In addition to forest visits, the event also included seminars with general information on paperboard and construction, and a hands-on workshop where participants learned how to make paper with an artistic flair from the most basic ingredients.
“I was very amazed to learn how much expert knowledge is needed to produce a high quality paperboard,” says Peter Dahmen, a paper designer from Dortmund, Germany. “Some of the designs we created could not be realised with any other paperboard that I know. Knowing the capabilities of Invercote will surely influence my future designs. The high quality of the folding lines and the high bending strength of this material will make it possible to put even more of my complex design concepts into practice.”
Carla Traini, a designer who is joining Landor in Paris, also attended the Design Experience event. “The thing I appreciated the most was the journey we made through the historical places of the Iggesund history. It helped me understand that such a conscious company was not built in one day but it is a result of a project, of a shared vision,” she comments. “What I learned from this experience is that the right choice may not be the most evident one: choosing recycled paper for example, may not be the best choice. We need to combine factors and achieve an holistic point of view before going for a recycled paper rather than a virgin pulped one.”
Iggesund Design Experience has been held four times. An application to participate is required. This year’s event welcomed designers from Sweden, Austria, Germany, the UK, France, Japan and the USA.