Swedish government introduces new benchmarks for architecture and design

Swedish Design

In order to make Sweden a more “sustainable, equitable and less segregated society,” the Swedish government has adopted a variety of quality objectives for architecture and design.

The Swedish architecture and design community welcomed the Stamped Living Environment Bill, which sets out proposals to make sustainability and quality central to the design process.

Architects and designers should ensure that good practice is widely communicated and that public spaces are open to everyone the policy notes.

It reads, “Architecture, form and design will contribute to a sustainable, equal and less segregated society with carefully designed living environments, all of which have good conditions to influence the development of the common environment.”

Swedish Architecture Center ArkDes accepts the Bill.

The formation of the Bill was welcomed by ArkDes, Swedish museum and research centre.

Director of the organisation and Dezeen columnist Kieran Long said: “Sweden has become one of the most ambitious countries in the world in its belief that design can improve people’s lives.”

“This has become an unfashionable view in some places: here it is now the government line,” the statement from Long said. “The proposal describes an approach to shaping cities that requires that in all their decision-making processes, municipalities, government authorities, construction companies, developers and professionals put design at the top of the priority list.”By offering a forum for Swedish, as well as international, architects and designers to showcase best practise in public domain architecture, ArkDes intends to support the initiative.

Long said the proposal from the government throws down the gauntlet for architects and designers to prove how their work can have a positive effect on the lives of people and move beyond good intentions.”

Making good design a public priority is advantageous, architects and designers say,

Deputy CEO Carl Bäckstrand of White Arkitekter told Dezeen the policy outlines good practise that the studio has been cultivating for years.

“We welcome this new strategy at White Arkitekter. We agree that it encourages the interdisciplinary process of work that we have built over the years,” Bäckstrand said.

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“Because we are a research-based practice, we look forwards to seeing how the government will manage the funding for research that they suggest is increasing,” he added. “New academic-business collaborations are essential to address the challenges that policy addresses and that we, as architects, know we are facing.”

Jonas Pettersson, co-founder of the Swedish design studio Shape Us With Love, accepted that it was a good move for the industry to implement the policy. “It is good to see our government placing greater emphasis on design and architecture to increase quality and benefiting more long-term individuals in our society.”

“There is a need to build more homes, but there is also a need for quality that can be afforded by people,” Pettersson told Dezeen. “We hope to see a positive change in how various skills work together to do so, such as involving designers in creating a more sustainable home life.”

But there has also been some doubt about the capacity for the Bill to have a real-world effect. Martin Videgård of Swedish practises, Tham & Videgård Arkitekter said, “I’ll be surprised if it makes a big difference to us or the industry.”

“It’s a policy, a political declaration to emphasise the importance of architecture, which is something you can’t say too many times, on the other hand,” he said.


Swedish government introduces new benchmarks for …. https://www.dezeen.com/2018/04/06/swedish-government-introduces-new-benchmarks-for-architecture-and-design/

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