Last night, my group arrived back in Copenhagen from our week-long study tour for Graphic Design. It was such a rewarding experience, both fun and educational. I’m excited to share with you what we did and learned on this trip!
Our first stop in Stockholm after the train was Boulebar, where we had dinner by the water and learned to play boules (a French game, somewhat similar to bocce ball). Our group got super competitive, and then sit down at a long table and get to know each other a bit better, and this was a great start to what was going to be a super busy trip.
Design Studio Visits
In the morning we visited Svenskt Tenn, an interior design company founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank. We received a tour of the beautifully curated studio and offices, where Frank’s colorful illustrations were featured on linen prints in every room. It was interesting to hear the history of the store and how they continue to use Frank’s art to this day in their designs.
The next studio we visited in Stockholm was Snask, an unconventional graphic design company with a philosophy of disruption. It was a treat to get to explore their office, where one notable feature was an all-pink bathroom with singing toilet paper dispensers and another bathroom decorated ceiling-to-floor with photos of Will Ferrell. We also stopped by Note, a studio with a focus on both spatial and graphic design. It was interesting to learn about each studio’s unique approach to projects, and super valuable to get an inside look at their process.
Experiencing Local Culture
In between studio visits, we went to several contemporary art museums in Stockholm, including Fotografiska and Moderna Museet. During my free time, I really enjoyed walking around the creative area of SoFo and trying local coffee shops. At night, I also explored Gamla Stan, the beautiful old town of Stockholm. Another highlight of Stockholm for me was the food, particularly the plant-based buffet at Herman’s, where we got to sit outside in hammocks and a beautiful view of the harbor!
An overnight ferry brought us to Helsinki, Finland for the second leg of our study tour. We started off the boat with a trip to Amos Rex, a super fun contemporary art museum with an interesting underground structure. It got me thinking about my design project for Cisternerne, which is similarly an underground museum. We also visited Werklig, another graphic design studio which has created the brand identity for many big businesses in Finland, including the city of Helsinki itself!
On our last full day, we visited Green Window to experience Finnish sauna culture and the beautiful natural landscape. This was probably my favorite part of the trip, since it was so distinct from all of the metropolitan areas we had been in before. We were taught to canoe by Pekka at Green Window, and then got to swim in the lake and use a traditional smoke sauna. This was such a relaxing day, and a perfect way to end the trip.
This week was such a whirlwind! It does feel so nice to be back in Copenhagen, though I enjoyed our travels to Stockholm and Helsinki. Being away for a week made me realize how much Copenhagen is already starting to feel like home, and I’m ready to get back into the routine of working on my project and exploring this city.