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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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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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