Pontus Johansson – first Designer in Residence at Nova Iskra

This month, the first guest of the Designer in Residence program, Pontus Johansson, arrived to Nova Iskra, where he will work and get acquainted with the local design scene and culture over the course of one month. All costs of the stay, as well as stipendium, workspace and professional support of the host organizarion are provided by the program, while the three chosen designers from Serbia will have the same treatment in Sweden - Mirjana UtvićNenad Dodić and Manja Lekić will spend one month each in Malmo.


The Designer in Residence program is aimed at emerging talent and motivated young professionals from a range of design disciplines, and will be conducted by three Malmo-based organizations – cultural center StplnUniversity College of Malmö and Form/ Design Center – in collaboration with Design incubator Nova Iskra.


Pontus Johansson was born in 1979, and is living and working in Gothenburg. His approach to design is conditioned by his personal experience, as a teacher, mentor and a volunteer for various projects intended for kids. On the other hand, the commitment to the craft completes the picture of his work, which is defined in Sweden through some of the special educational programs, such as Child Culture Design.


In his work, Pontus tries to overcome the role of designer as an individual who develops forms of physical products, but tries to offer a wider experience and a social meaning through participative and collaborative projects with kids and other colleagues. He is currently working on the development of children's playgrounds in Uganda in collaboration with the local community. He previously worked in different fields, from exhibition design, animation, to product design and workshops. Since recently, he is engaged in teaching at a higher school in Sweden dedicated to design. He cooperated with Lysekils Kommun, Vandalorum Art Center, Sjumilahallen kulturhus, Kulturskolan, Euro Asia Group, Diners Journal New York, PS communication, Chillibussen AB, Uteveckling, Landvetter Int. Airport and other partners and clients.


Pontus Johansson is the first of three visiting guests from Sweden at Nova Iskra. After his stay, Nova Iskra will welcome Sophia Litlhell in November, and Jenny Nordberg during December. They are both product, furniture and interior designers dedicated to exploring the crafts and a wider influence of design on local community.


The residential stay format is in this program treated as an important tool for public diplomacy and international cooperation. At the same time, it is a platform through which the residency format itself will be placed in a different context by developing a new model of cooperation that can be applied in other creative fields and geographic areas.

A lecture by Pontus Johansson will be held at Nova Iskra on October 23rd, as a part of Nova Iskra’s regular educational program.