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60 SECONDS WITH KONRAD OLSSON

Artworks caught up with one of Umeå’s favourite sons, Konrad Olsson, editor in chief of Plaza Magazine

2 min read

So, why do you love Umeå?

Because of it’s ability to cultivate great talent. And because of the magical light on warm summer nights. 

Then why did you leave?

I wanted to be in the centre of things, and when it comes to media and magazine publishing in Sweden that means Stockholm. 

What is the coolest creative thing that has come out of Umeå in the last few years?

The magazine Norrländsk Journal. A great example of understated yet unstoppable creativity, Umeå style!

Are there any visible trends that have come out of Umeå recently?

While I think it’s hard to see concrete trends coming from Umeå, it’s easier to spot talent. I would imagine that the Umeå Institute for Design does it’s fare share of serving the world with great talent. And going back to my roots, I constantly see traces of Umeå talent on the international music scene. 

How do you think fashion has evolved in the business community of Umeå in terms of the clothes professionals are wearing?

Looking at the level of the stores you can tell the hunger for better brands and higher quality is increasing. I think Gregers is doing a great job serving the more tailored Umeå man. 

How do you think design in products, offices, and clothes improve people’s wellbeing?

Good design can mean everything for your wellbeing. Bad design can ruin it.

What effect do you believe that has on society and business?

That’s a large question, but in my mind design affects all levels of the human nature. Great design can do everything from making you feel better about yourself when you wake up to save lives in third world countries. Design is often the key to solving problems with inefficiency, bad health and poor viability.

What has been your most gratifying professional experience?

The greatest experience in creating good journalism and great magazines is almost always that you get to meet such amazing people on the way. From the worlds leading fashion designers, architects and artists to emerging talents. 

Finally, how do you think Umeå will change over the next 3 years after being European Capital of Culture?

Given the sprawl of architecture, hotels, restaurants and the new culture buildings I certainly hope Umeå will be more of a cultural destination. 

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