Let’s talk change, period
At this year’s Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, the design students at Linnaeus University will display an exhibition stand highlighting sustainability aspects on the topic of menstruation. You might ask yourselves, why menstruation at a furniture fair? The programmes Design + Change in Växjö and Visual communication + Change in Kalmar work with design as a tool for bringing change to attitudes, behaviours and norms.
The students on the programme Design + Change have designed an exhibition stand which also serves as a festive meeting point in the form of a bar. With a short film made by the students on the programme Visual communication + Change as the starting point, unexpected sustainability aspects of menstruation are discussed – environmental as well as social, economic, cultural and political. At the exhibition stand, complex questions are mixed with a celebration of this often taboo topic.
“Working with important societal issues can be seen as an antithesis to the traditional design presented at the furniture fair. Our design students’ unique exhibition stand will put Linnaeus University and the future role of design on the map”, says Petra Lilja, senior lecturer in design at Linnaeus University.
So, what do the students who have worked with the design of this year’s exhibition stand have to say?
How did you come up with this idea?
It came up in a conversation in the design process, someone dropped the idea that we should serve red fluid from menstrual cups and we decided to see if we could develop that concept further. So the basic idea really stuck and is part of what we are now presenting, explains Camilla Guzmán.
Why is this exhibition important?
For many different reasons, first of all I think it’s a good way to showcase how our programme is different. I would also say that our stand is about taking a stand. Taking the opportunity that we were given. It’s an example of norms in society. An example that represents the complexity of the issues that our programme hopes to engage with, says Leah Ireland.
From a male perspective, what has it been like working with this design project?
It’s an interesting topic with many taboos linked to it. There is a lot to work with, both from a commercial point of view and how to visualise it, says Johan Bessing.
Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair is the world’s leading event for Scandinavian design. Together with other universities, the students on the design programme is now getting ready to welcome roughly 40,000 visitors between February 6 and February 10.