On Thursday last week you had a chance to have cake with former
rector Bengt Palmgren at the employment award ceremony. He had a
good time at the ceremony and thought it was nice to have a chance
to thank everyone. The first of July he will no longer be an
employee of Umeå University although he will perform tasks for UID
in the future and is looking forward to working with projects
without the deadlines. Bengt thinks that it will be a luxury to
work in such a way.
What are you doing at Umeå Institute of
Right now, I am working half-time as former rector together with
the new rector Anna Valtonen. As rector you are responsible for the
study subject industrial design, for strategic issues and
development matters, and you are constantly looking for money.
Is there anything you find particularly positive about
There is an excellent atmosphere here between students and
staff. Furthermore, this is not a place for uncommitted studies. It
is more like an ongoing intense training camp where the students
really are devoted and work very hard and this yields great
results. UID is in a positive place with support from its
surroundings, and with the Umeå Arts Campus I believe the
potentials are huge. Our international position is strong and I
feel confident in UID&s constant progress.
Is there anything you would like to improve at
I would like the cooperation within Umeå Arts Campus to develop.
For instance I would like to see elective courses for the students
who should have the possibility to select courses from all three
educations at Umeå Arts Campus for their MA degrees. I would like
to use the summers more for preparatory teaching, to set up "Night
University" with lectures in afternoons and evenings and I would
also like the students to teach more. In addition I would like to
introduce an extra term for students who want to deepen their
skills and knowledge further.
What do you think are the reasons for the good reputation
of Umeå Institute of Design?
First of all the excellent results the students produce. A
prerequisite for that is our competent teachers, tutors and staff.
The achieved results in international design competitions, is of
course very important. Moreover many UID students go back to their
countries and spread the word. It is a slow, unyielding process. To
ever come this far was a utopia when we first started in 1989.
What will you be doing in ten years?
I will travel on the X 2000 train from Stockholm to Umeå new
Travel Centre, walk down to the UID, see all the new buildings at
Umeå Arts Campus and visit the joint degree exhibition of Umeå
Institute of Design, Umeå School of Architecture and Academy of
Fine Arts. I wish I could take a railbound cab between Umeå Central
and UID, but I guess I will have to walk.