Bo bättre // Exterior by Guldheden, Exhibition “Bo Bättre” 1945.
of Svensk Form
This year Svensk Form (the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design)
celebrates 175 years making it the oldest design
organization in the world.
IT ALL BEGAN with Nils Månsson
Mandelgren, artist and ethnologist, who
initiated Söndagsritskolan för Hantverkare
(Sunday Drawing School for Artisans) on
October 20, 1844. Apprentices would, during
their free time, be given the opportunity to
obtain an artistic education and learn trades
such as ornamental and freehand drawing.
The following year, in 1845, the school was
handed over to the newly founded Svenska
Slöjdföreningen (Swedish Association of
Handicrafts), since 1976 known as Svensk
Form. Söndagsritskolan is today known
as Konstfack (University of Arts, Crafts
During a conversation with Mats Widbom,
Managing Director of Svensk Form, we learnt
of the impact the organisation has had on
“IT’S FASCINATING to look at the role that
Svensk Form has played”, Widbom begins.
“It has taken in everything from being a strong
agent of change at key moments in history
– such as being responsible for the Swedish
pavilions during the world expos during the
19th century and the first part the 20th century
and establishing the first Swedish design
museum (1872–1884) at Brunkebergstorg
in Stockholm, whose collections were later