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Bergen Design Festival 10th year anniversary

Every year in November Bergen Design Festival (BDF) takes place in Norway. This year they celebrated their 10th anniversary. Since I have lived in Bergen for the past 5 years and now still reside there part-time I had the opportunity to see what it had to offer.

BDF is an important meeting place for designers and people in general, who value good design and its place in everyday life. The festival highlights the Norwegian design industry and parades design that is both useful, sustainable, innovative and aesthetically pleasing. 

The last 2 years I have had the chance to be part of the main organisational team (alongside the lead project manager Elizabeth Bovoli and former project manager Stine Fantoft Berg). This year I finally got to visit as a guest and attended exhibitions, workshops and the design breakfast. I’ll give you a short overview of the three events that stood out.

Event I – The visual world of UX

There are many elements that contribute to good user experience. In this meetup, we explored the value that all things visual bring. Georgina Terragni shared her extensive experience in graphic design and illustration. She explained her point of view on how we can use icons, images and illustrations in visual communication. 

Main takeaways:

  • UX is like a cake, which has a good glaze and candles on the top.
  • The brand story is not NICE to have, but NEED to have.
  • Visual elements are a must be. It gives your service/product better UX friendliness (more users) and engages your users more (activity).
  • You don’t wanna mess with the 10-second rule. Make it 3!
  • Visual stimuli have to be short – people concentrate on max 50 words.
  • Biggest challenges in UX are – keep it simple! How to better automate and how to be different (innovative)? 

Event II – The making of a story through designers’ eyes in Naturhistorisk Museum

University Museum of Bergen was built in 1865 with the intent of exhibiting large collections in the fields of culture and natural history. For the past 6 years, this historic building was closed, until it reopened 3 weeks ago. Safe to say – all visitor records have been broken since. 

Within these 6 years, tens of designers have been working on the museum’s identity, signage and visuals. There has been a lot of experimenting with typography, signage, colours and symbols. 

In this event, designers shared glimpses of their journey on creating custom-made patterns and symbols, inspired by the old and mixed with the new. Naturhistorisk Museum’s stories were shared by Sølve Westli, who is its natural history exhibitions designer, and Åsta Lindemann alongside Rannveig Lohne, the senior designers of Haltenbanken.

Event III – DOGA’s design values

DOGA (Design og Arkitektur) is a driving force for sustainable value creation through design and architecture. They facilitate collaboration between creative talents and businesses with the aim to strengthen the role of design and architecture in the Norway of tomorrow. 

During the design morning, they brought many fascinating examples of growing a business through design, improved UX and other innovations. All to demonstrate the business value of good design choices.

While many companies use technology to drive innovation, less make use of the power of design. The latter easily supports companies in their endeavours towards risk-reduction and growth. How can we really use design as a tool for innovation? What can be the actual value of using design to its full extent?

Some great examples and success stories were brought up, for example from brands like Rema1000, SatsExilia, Pepper, Oslo University Hospital etc. What to take away from the morning? Don’t dismiss the power of design, it can bring great value and accelerate your business growth. 

More photos

From the left: Our Head of Design Laura Lisethe, BDF Project leader Elizabeth Bovoli and former BDF project leader and DOGA consultant Stine Fantoft Berg

Photos by: Johanne Karlsrud & Jacob Adrian Lysgaard & Laura Lisethe Pankova