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Hotel Al Rasheed and Orrefors – a tale of an amazing hotel and spectacular chandeliers

During Sommarutställning Pukeberg 2022, (Re-)learning the archive, in collaboration with the research project Design history in other geographies, shows the exhibition Hotel Al Rasheed and Orrefors – a tale of an amazing hotel and spectacular chandeliers. The exhibition is open 18 / 6-6 / 8, every day 11-17 (closed midsummer weekend).

Photo: Jan Olsson/Skanska

In this exhibition we want to highlight a piece of unwritten Swedish-Iraqi history of design – a story of design of the highest quality, of world politics and war.

The seventh summit of the Non-Aligned Movement was planned to take place in Baghdad in 1982. It was an important meeting where delegates from the global South were to discuss critical common questions. A meeting of this calibre needed a setting, a premise, that corresponded to the dignity of the event. The assignment to carry out the construction went to Skanska in Kalmar in 1978. The Danish architect Ole Helweg was behind the building design and the interiors were mainly delivered by Swedish companies, many of them from Småland. No expenses were spared in giving the meeting its material setting.

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(Re-)learning the Archive – the logotype

Our logotype was made in collaboration with the glass artist Tuomo Nieminen who created its font and motif. For many years he was a glass blower at Bergdala as well as Kosta glassworks. Tuomo Nieminen’s unique ability to sculpt glass has always been a prerequisite for much of the glass art that was created there. During a period of time, he was unable to practice his craft but his creativity and desire to create found other outlets. One of the expressions he tried was to make drawings using a pyrography pen. These often depict scenes from the forest, reflecting Tuomo Nieminen’s passion for hunting.

Its form references the classic birch board picture. This was a type of souvenir, created by gluing a postcard to a board of birch wood, often with painted details. They were usually made by travellers but also by socialists who were blacklisted after trying to unionise their workplaces. You can learn more about the history of the birch board picture through P1’s amazing program Loppmarknadsarkeologerna (the flea market archeologists, in Swedish).

Picture: Sketch by Tuomo Nieminen

An ecofeminist history – workshop at Elin Wägner’s Lilla Björka

In November 2021, (Re-)learning the Archive, with support from IASPIS, met seven design practitioners from different places in Sweden and the world. Inspired by the journalist, writer and activist Elin Wägner’s work, we reflected on possible sustainable futures. Below is the invitation that was sent out to the participants.

You are cordially invited to a three day online/onsite workshop in November 15-17th of November, 2021, at Lilla Björka in Småland, Sweden. It is a workshop that is staged within the framework of the project (Re-)learning the Archive, a three-year project aiming at re-learning design through formulating other histories and from here find seeds for possible sustainable futures. (Re-)learning the Archive argues the importance of place in understanding design, for specific knowledges and agency of local cultures. The county Småland in the south of Sweden is the place of (Re-)learning the Archive. Here we re-learn in collaboration with various places, with young and old with different interests and backgrounds.  The specific site for this workshop is the house Lilla Björka located in the small village of Berg in the center of Småland. This house was built by the author, journalist and activist Elin Wägner in the 1920’s. From here she continued her activist work on women’s rights and pacifism that had previously mostly taken place in urban settings, but was also broadened by intersecting with an engagement with the rights of nature. She had a particularly keen eye to worms and trees. Wägner integrated observations of industrialisation, patriarchy and militarization through efficiency-seeking agriculture and turned to one of her creative expressions of imagining otherwise through writing fiction. She drew long temporal and geographical lines as she connected with myths and histories in her speculations on how good life could be lived for humans and other species.

Continue reading “An ecofeminist history – workshop at Elin Wägner’s Lilla Björka”


(Re-)learning the Archive

is a three-year long development project run by Designarkivet in Pukeberg with support from the Swedish Arts Council and Region Kalmar län (Kalmar County Council).

Christina Zetterlund
Project Manager

Maija Zetterlund
Project Coordinator

In collaboration with

Virserums konsthall
Linnaeus University
Kalmar Konstmuseum

Designer in residence:
Evelina Mohei
Design and webb:
Mika Kastner Johnson

With support from 

Region kalmar läns logotyp
Kulturrådets logotyp