Design: the Swedish way
Published: June 1, 2007 (Issue # 1276)
In Sweden, the words “invention” and “design” go hand in hand. Both notions are meant to improve people’s everyday life by uniting technology, progressive thinking and beauty. Swedish Inventions, Swedish Design, an exhibition held in an outlet of Ikea, the iconic Swedish furniture and housewares retailer, in Dybenko this Sunday, aims to prove it.
The display, featuring about 40 objects — from clothes for nursing mothers, robotic vacuum cleaners, rubber horseshoes and electricity generated from the ocean’s waves — shows how innovation meets functional design in action.
Here’s a quick insight into the Swedish way of thinking.
The scale by which the entire world (apart from the U.S. and Jamaica) measures temperature was devised by Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius in the mid-18th century. Originally however, his scale indicated boiling point as zero degrees and 100° C was referred to as the melting point of ice. It was reversed after Celsius’ death by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778). He used his “linnaeus-thermometer” in the greenhouses where he grew the plants he studied. The word “centigrade” to describe the units of a thermometer was dropped in 1948 because it can be ambiguous in some languages: the correct term honors the inventive Swede who came up with the whole idea — Celsius.
Product: Capillary thermometer for outdoor use
Inventor: Anders Celsius (1701–1744)
Company: Termometerfabriken Viking AB
Child safety seat
The first rear-facing child safety seat was designed by Bertil Aldman of Chalmers University in Gothenburg in the 1960s. Aldman was inspired by the position of the astronauts in the Gemini space capsule.
In the 1970s Volvo car makers picked up the pioneering idea and reported that this safety equipment led to a dramatic decline in child injuries in car accidents.
Product: Rear-facing car safety seat
Inventor: Bertil Aldman
Design: Karin ReikerIs
Manufacturer: Volvo CarsPages: