The Iggesund Design Experience drew participants from around the world

Last autumn Iggesund Paperboard invited international designers to an informative week in the forests around Iggesund, where they learned about forest management, paperboard manufacture and paperboard’s properties and possibilities. The success of that design week led Iggesund Paperboard to repeat the event this year.

The Iggesund Design Experience 2013 was held in August and brought together thirteen designers from all four corners of the world. Participants visited the local forests and learned about modern forestry methods. They also saw how Invercote is manufactured and learned the differences between paper and paperboard. They discussed sustainability and the choice of materials, and could question experts on silviculture, water purification, hygiene and the safety aspects of food packaging.

“It was a very rewarding week and gave a lot of new knowledge and insights,” commented Andrea Mejeras, a designer who works with her own perfume brand in Argentina. At the beginning of this year Iggesund contacted almost 15,000 internationally active designers and offered them the opportunity to apply for the programme. The response was considerable but perhaps not as much as the organisers had expected.

“Maybe because the offer seemed too good to be true,” says Staffan Sjöberg, public relations manager at Iggesund. “We look after the group for a week and combine excursions into the forests and experiences of Swedish culture with a lot of information that can benefit participants in their daily work.”

Staffan Sjöberg hosted the event together with product manager Johan Granås for the second year in a row. This year’s participants included designers from Sweden and elsewhere in Europe, Argentina, the United States and India. They ranged from rookies eager to spread their wings to professionals with many years of experience.

“It’s a privilege to be able to spend a week together with colleagues from the whole world,” commented Nadine Hajjar, a designer based in New York. “The chance to discuss common problems of the profession with people who are working along the same lines but in other cultures is a fabulous opportunity. “In addition, the week as a whole, the programme of events and the atmosphere were terrific. The event has been so good that I wish everyone who works with paper and paperboard could be given such an education.” The event will probably be repeated. Over the decades Iggesund has built up an extensive body of knowledge about paperboard and its use. Hosting visits by designers is one way to pass on this knowledge to others.

Experiences of Swedish nature and culture interwoven with information about paperboard were the main themes of the programme for the 13 designers who visited Iggesund. The week was packed with events and insights that can benefit the participants in their daily work.

“If we can encourage more designers to choose their materials with greater awareness based on knowledge rather than the latest fads, then we’ve made some progress. “We hope the designers have left us with new insights into how they can make their creations stand out from the crowd, not only through their designs but also from a sustainability perspective.” 



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