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Design: the Swedish way

Published: June 1, 2007 (Issue # 1276)




  • Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times


  • Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

In Sweden, the words invention and design go hand in hand. Both notions are meant to improve peoples 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 oceans waves shows how innovation meets functional design in action.

Heres a quick insight into the Swedish way of thinking.

Celsius scale

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 (17011744)

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 Cars

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Times Talk

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Apr. 17


Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.


Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldnt miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norways largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianitys holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the deserts most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDAs Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBAs Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.