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Work/Place at Vandalorum 5/6–1/9

On 5 June, the exhibition Work/Place opened, a project initiated by the Art & Industry programme at Vandalorum, in which five students from the Royal Institute of Art collaborated during the spring of 2024. Konsthögskolan collaborated with industries in Värnamo during the spring of 2024: DS Smith, packaging in corrugated cardboard, Mikroponent, laser cutting and etching, and Mandus Wire, wire bending and welding. Together, the students and industries have laboured with materials and approaches, form and function, while gaining an insight into each other’s approaches and conditions.

Art and industry have had a long and complex relationship, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes problematic. From an opportunism where art becomes a way to generate cultural capital for companies and where industry only means economic resource for art, there is the possibility of other processes. Processes where techniques and encounters between different skills are fruitful and create both social and artistic values.

The title Work/Place emphasises the process and tangible approach we have focused on:

What is generated when we share a place without necessarily sharing goals and what can we learn from that encounter? How do students’ works and processes change when they encounter other techniques and spaces than what we usually see in art schools? What is there for industry to gain from an artistic approach?

Participating students

Silja Beck, Viktor Berglind Ekman, Kristina Nenzén, Hedvig Wijkström and Annie Åkerman

Participating industries

DS Smith, Microponent and Mandus Wire


Between the fields on the outskirts of Värnamo in Småland lies Vandalorum, a museum where the most influential art and design of our time is displayed. A stone’s throw away, the E4 motorway and national road 27 meet, which jointly connects Sweden. Vandalorum was initiated by Sven Lundh and its construction was made possible financially by the entrepreneurial families Hamrin, Liljedahl and Svenstig. The buildings, which are reminiscent of the monumental drying barn that once stood on the site, are based on an original concept by the award-winning Italian architect Renzo Piano. One of Vandalorum’s barns is home to Småland’s Art Archive, whose exhibitions mainly highlight artists with links to Småland. Vandalorum’s garden was created by the Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf.

Vandalorum’s Art & Industry programme

In spring 2023, Vandalorum and The Hamrin Foundation launched an educational programme unique to Sweden, in which art and design students at Swedish universities collaborate with industry in Småland. Through critical investigations of material, process and product, the aim is to generate exchanges of perspectives and approaches. The programme is based at Vandalorum, where each project will be presented in a public exhibition, and is led by artist Oscar Guermouche.

The Hamrin Foundation

The Hamrin Foundation creates interdisciplinary projects that advance society, academia and business. The Foundation invests in research and development projects in areas such as media and important social issues. The Hamrin Foundation was founded in 1986 in Småland. Since 1988, The Hamrin Foundation has invested approximately SEK 320 million in research.