Meet the jury for Gingerbread House 2018
Meet the jury who will choose the winners of Gingerbread House 2018. Industry designer Björn Dahlström, pastry chef Frida Leijon and architect Kristin Gausdal reveal what they will be looking for in the entries, give tips to the contestants and talk about what they hope to see in the exhibition.
What is good design?
“Good design is design that introduces something new. It can be products that help the user on different levels, that are technically easier to use, communicative in a way that helps the user, or that make production more efficient by having, for example, fewer parts or simpler materials, that save the environment by being physically smaller or more recyclable, or are beautiful in an untrendy way that makes them feel relevant for a longer period of time and in that way, contribute to a more sustainable product lifecycle. Design can also be closer to art by asking questions and challenging us to see things in new ways. Good design can be many different things at the same time. A good gingerbread house can inspire discussions across generations.”
What are you hoping to see in this year’s exhibition?
“Lots of creativity and innovation.”
Industrial designer Björn Dahlström has been active since the late 1970s and works for several large international brands. He has been professor at Konstfack (University of Arts, Crafts and Design) and taught at Beckmans School of Design. Björn Dahlström has been the recipient of a number of Swedish and international awards and his work is represented at, among other places, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
You have won many awards and competitions. How does one become a champion in baking? Do you have any tips for all the people who are eager to compete?
“When it comes to competitions, I’ve always been very careful never to leave anything to chance, that means I train hard and focus as much as possible on what has to be done. And often, it’s necessary to redo things many many times before they turn out the way you want. You have to be stubborn and meticulous.”
You were in the jury last year too. Do you remember if there was anything special that surprised you among last year’s entries?
“Last year, when I was in the jury for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised at all the creativity out there. Really impressive! So, it’s going to be fun to see what you turn up with the theme “luxury” this year.”
Frida Leijon has worked as a pastry chef since 2005 and currently runs Leijon Stenugnsbageri & Konditori in Uppsala. In 2016 she was named Pastry Chef of the Year, and this year she was named Pastry Chefs’ Pastry Chef 2018. She was also named Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 in Uppsala. Frida Leijon created Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia’s wedding cake.
What will you be looking at as an architect when making your assessments?
“I’m going to have an eye on how the contestants interpret the theme and translate it into physical form, the degree of innovation and creativity shown, the created spatialities and contexts, as well as materiality and constructive ability.”
What similarities do you think there are between designing “real” houses and making gingerbread houses?
“I think in both cases, one must be creative about transforming a task/program into a physical form. You have to work with construction and know how to put things together. In the case of gingerbread houses, you work with prefabricated building elements of course – something architects often work with in reality too.”
Kristin Gausdal is a partner in the architectural firm BAU. As an architect, she focuses on the core of each project and ensures that the architecture gives something back to the place it is in, and to the people who work and live there. She often works with projects involving office environments, urban development and commerce in early stages, such as Torsplan2, Tele2 in Kista and Arenastaden.