"UID has challenged me like nothing else!"

Johan Grönskog

UID Alumni Interview

Name: Johan Grönskog
Studied: MFA in Interaction Design, 2012 - 2015

Describe your degree project!
I'm investigating the prospect of introducing tangibles to the industrial process control rooms.

Why did you choose that particular project?
I was approached by representatives of ABB to do this project for them. Personally I found it interesting because of the high level of automation that exists in the environment today and the effect that has had on the operators interacting with the system. Do they see their role changing and in what way? Can they still claim to be in control over the equipment they are supervising? Can a better collaboration between operator and automation software be introduced?

What were your expectations before coming to Umeå Institute of Design?
My first visit to the school was in the spring of 2009, flying up to Umeå for 24 hours. During that visit I was struck by the passion, respect and warmth shown by the students and staff. I was guided through the facilities, participated in a workshop to try the school's work method and had a lot of fika together with the students. Since then, UID has been on the top of my list.

It's with great warmth I look back at my time at UID. It's been like a home for me, filled with great personalities that you go through both high and low's with. It has challenged me like nothing else, and made me aware of my limits as well as my potential. But above all, it's the people from all over the world that I will miss the most. 

What are your hopes for the future?
My hope is a humble one, of landing a job with great colleagues to work together with. Working all alone on big projects like this degree is not for me. I can't wait to listen, discuss and challenge my ideas with others at a workplace where collaboration is key.

Would you recommend a friend to apply to UID?
Definitely, but they should be aware of what they are signing up for. If they possess a deep interest in understanding human behaviour and thinking, and willing to work together and learn from each other, this is the place to be.

Few memories embody the spirit of the school as well as the ones gained during the annually degree event and, especially, the preparations leading up to it. When you take a stroll down to the workshop or the exhibition spaces and notice all the people sanding, painting, assembling and polishing their models. It is an amazing sight when you see program leaders building podiums, technicians printing test-posters and students from all levels help the graduates no matter how late in the evening. That is a sight that makes my heart warm and one I will carry with me after leaving this place.


June 2015