Swedish Design Museum To Go – West
Welcome to an exciting exhibition in a backpack – probably the world’s first design museum to go!
What is the Swedish Design Museum To Go?
It's a design exhibition in a backpack. As far as we know, it’s the very first design exhibition in the world where you get to take the objects out in the real world. It is a collaboration between Visit Sweden and four regions in Sweden – including West Sweden and Gothenburg.
Curator of this exhibition: Frida Ramstedt
"My name is Frida Ramstedt and I run trendenser.se one of the largest blogs covering design and interior design in the northern part of Europe. I have lived in the center of Gothenburg for many years and for me it was an honor to select design objects for the Swedish Design Museum To Go West. The objects that I have chosen to represent the west coast of Sweden symbolize how design works here.”
Swedish Design Museum To Go West consists of a backpack filled with several iconic design objects from Gothenburg and West Sweden. Linked to each item there are one or several experiences and places you are advised to visit, places associated with both historical and modern design and architecture. Simply bring the backpack and transform the whole of West Sweden into your very own museum. The backpack can be booked at Visit Sweden’s website and collected at the Gothenburg Tourist Information Centre.
Content of exhibition: The backpack items
These are the design items found in the backpack for the West region.
Dancing Dune Coffee Cup
Designed by Anna Elzer Oscarsson, Dancing Dune is manufactured in the Porcelain Factory in Lidköping – perhaps Sweden's smallest porcelain factory. The shape is made to fit comfortably in your hand and the minimalistic design makes it equally good for coffee, tea or cold drinks.
Shoes from Icebug
Icebug was founded by a mother and her son from Gothenburg. They first jotted down the idea on a napkin during a coffee break (or Fika, as we say in Sweden) with the goal to make it easier and safer to enjoy the outdoors, no matter the weather.
Blanket from Ekelunds
The Ekelunds linen factory dates back from the 17th century and combines traditional weaving with new technology. The company has its factory in Horred close to the textile city of Borås with patterns ranging from classical to modern.
Skogen Memory game
Skogen (meaning “the forest”) is designed by biologist Daniel Thorell. It is a game as well as a crash course in the Swedish flora and fauna, therefore a perfect and fun way to learn about the local forest and its species. Although the text is in Swedish the images are universal.
EmmaMalena beanie hat
When the two friends Emma and Malena got the opportunity to take over a fisherman's shed on the island of Käringön in Bohuslän archipelago, they decided to start a company together. The designer-duo creates beautiful clothes and accessories that are inspired by the west coast.
For the headphone manufacturer Jays, the most important thing is that there is a perfect balance in everything they do – a harmony between function and design. The company was founded in 2006 and has its headquarters in Gothenburg.
Pen from Ballograf
The Ballograf story began when the founder Eugen Spitzer escaped to Sweden during World War II. Not long after, the Ballograf factory opened in Gothenburg. The quality of the pens is ensured with a life-time guarantee on the pressure mechanism and they contain archive-quality ink.
Notebook from Rum för Papper
Rum för Papper (meaning “Room for Paper”) manufactures notebooks and sketch blocks with friendly, retrospective and inviting artwork. The Gothenburg based company has several brands, among others this one called Pappersbruk.
Krusell Power Bank
Krusell was formed in Hindås outside of Gothenburg in 1991. They have a great way of combining technology with minimalistic design to make accessories that are both functional and stylish. The power bank has a vintage look and is slim enough to fit your pocket.
This wouldn't be a Museum To Go if it was set on the same location all the time. Therefore the curator Frida Ramstedt has selected some of her favorite places in the region with connection to the eight design objects.
Fika and design shopping
Swedes are known for their Fika culture. Just a short train ride from Gothenburg you´ll find the small city of Alingsås, also known as the Capital of Fika. With a long tradition of coffee and cakes and around thirty cafés in the relatively small town center, this is a trip worth taking.
Of course, the people of Gothenburg are proud of their coffee too. There is a wide range of places to go. One of them is Da Matteo. Bring the coffee cup Dancing Dune and enjoy the locally roasted coffee. Da Matteo has several coffee shops in the city, their flagship store is located on Magasinsgatan, on a small sqaure with many fashion and design shops. Next door you will find Grandpa, with a carefully curated selection of fashion and design, and in the old stables across the square is Artilleriet with an eclectic collection of interior design pieces.
When you feel like a second Fika, take a short walk to Haga just stone's throw away. Café Husaren on Haga Nygata is home to the classic Hagabullen, a cinnamon bun which is the size of a dinner plate.
Walks and architecture
Put on the shoes from Icebug, plug in your Jays earphones (and open the recommended playlist) and head out to discover some pretty remarkable sites. In several places in West Sweden you can combine some friendly hiking with spectacular architecture in a close to nature environment.
Why not try out the hiking trails on Kållandsö right next to Sweden’s largest lake Vänern. Here, just outside the porcelain town of Lidköping, you’ll find the Naturum Vänerskärgården Victoriahuset, designed by the Gothenburg-based firm White Arkitekter. With its ribbed wooden façade it almost disappears into the surrounding forest. It’s a striking example of how Swedish architecture is informed by what is around it. Next door is Läckö Castle, which has been chosen as Sweden's most beautiful castle.
Photographer: Jonas Ingman
Photographer: Lukasz Larsson Warzecha - LWimages Studio
Photographer: Roger Borgelid
Another option is to walk a part of the Pilgrim Trail between Falköping and Varnhem in Skaraborg. On the slope behind Varnhem Abbey is the ruin of one of Sweden’s oldest churches. It’s called Kata Gård and historians believe that the crypt of the church could actually be the oldest preserved room in the country. The old crypt is now framed by a unique superstructure designed by AIX Architects. Their wooden building has received a lot of attention internationally. It made it to the final at the World Architecture Festival and has been nominated for building of the year at Arch Daily.
Take the boat to Käringön
One of the best things about the west coast is how easy it is to leave the mainland and get out into the archipelago, even if you don’t have your own boat. Both Västtrafik (the region’s public transporter) and the many local ferry companies in the area have departures several times daily to cosy islands and coastal communities. Why not keep your ears warm with the beanie from EmmaMalena and make a day trip to Käringön island – the place where Emma and Malena laid the foundation for their company?
Käringön is one of the cosiest places on the coast and despite its small size, and the fact that the island is completely car-free, there are several restaurants, plenty of accommodation and shops (including Emma and Malena's shop). Roll out the blanket from Ekelunds on the cliffs to enjoy the sea breeze and play a game of Skogen Memory.
Museums and other places for reflection
Your first museum visit should be the Röhsska Museum of Design and Craft, which is just a few minutes walk from Gothenburg Tourist Information Centre where you pick up the backpack. There are about 50,000 objects, ranging from modern Scandinavian design to archaeological finds from China. Bring the notebook from Rum för Papper and the Ballograf pen and just jot down your impressions and ideas. Palmhuset at the Garden Society of Gothenburg and Håberget at the Botanical Garden are two other places where it is easy to sit down and just let the thoughts flow freely for a while.
Photographer: Jessica Herne- Lobster and Swan
If you want to continue exploring museums with design and fashion there are several to choose from within a two-hour journey from Gothenburg. Such as the Textile Museum of Sweden in Borås, Glasets Hus (meaning the house of glass) in Limmared and Rörstrand Museum in Lidköping.
Book your backpack
The booking of Swedish Design Museum To Go is made at Visit Sweden where you also find the full booking info.
Already fully booked? Don’t worry, it's fine to discover all the places connected to the items without having the backpack with you.