Nille Svensson

Another long-delayed post about the talented designers, performers, artists and curators i met in Stockholm in June, by courtesy of Iaspis, a Swedish network that supports international exchange for practitioners in the areas of visual art, design, craft and architecture.

Nille Svensson, former member of Sweden Graphics, was the first designer/graphic artist/illustrator i met and the guy is so absurdly talented he doesn’t even have a proper website. See for yourself:


Svensson (ex-Sweden Graphics) has developed his own independent projects and collaborated on works for cultural institutions and international companies such as H&M, Sony and Ebay (you can see more of the designer’s older works by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.)


A few years ago, Svensson designed a set of plates that comments on the fact that Asian and Western civilizations have constantly borrowed, adapted or copied each others designs over the centuries.

200911037141plate1540.jpgFake China

The willow pattern associated with Chinese ceramics was in fact invented in England in the early 1800s. The pattern was accompanied with made-up stories set in Chinese-style landscapes to give some authenticity to the design. The anecdote certainly puts into a new perspective our -Western- belief that contemporary China is a country were goods are produced and copied but not designed.

Svensson, in his turn, stole the design and added his own narrative to it.

As the designer explained in an interview*: “With all this in mind I went to the Museum of Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, stole designs and design elements from plates in the collection, and created my own “fake china” plates, while convinced that nobody can copy anything without adding something to the story.”


The plates will be showcased at the Museum of Modern art in Stockholm, opening September 21st, 2010.

200911037151plate3540.jpgFake China

Svensson has also co-founded the specialist art magazine Konstnaren. The magazine has a very unique perspective: it focuses on the artists, not on their artworks. So there’s a disconcerting lack of photos showing sculptures, installations and paintings. Instead of looking at the result of the creative process, the magazine goes backwards and asks artists how and why they got to chose to dedicate their career to art, how they manage to live on art, how they find galleries to represent them, who decides who gets the funding, who is connected to who? who is most influential? Everything we always wanted to know about art but were afraid to ask. Too bad it’s in swedish, eh!

00abjornnenen.jpgKonstnaren magazine with Bjarne Melgaard on the cover

One of his most recent works with Sweden Graphics was design of the identity and Post-it-style signage for the Kalmar Konstmuseum, a contemporary art museum in the South of the country.


Sweden Graphics designed a new typeface called Kalmar Sans and stenciled graphics directly onto the museum walls.

prepa1test2.jpgpreppa2test4.jpgTesting the painting on the walls of a ventilation machine room

Kalmar Konstmuseum’s Post-Its were not Svensson’s one and only foray into the territory of interior design. Has also created the floor tiling of a supermarket in Stockholm:


Older works:

00living things.jpg00john williams.jpg00tablecloth.jpg0tableclothimage.jpg00000brain1.jpg000brain2.jpg0bridgeellel.jpg

Svensson’s work is part of The MetalBall exhibition at the MAD museum in New York as part of the New York based artists collective We Are Familia.

* apologies for not linking to the source of the interview, each time i tried to access the page today i got a ‘malware warning’ message.

Other people i met in Stockholm: the curators of Building Blocks at Färgfabriken, Stockholm and International Festival.