I love doing design surveillance of other industries to see what they’re up to and what can be adapted and you know how I love the out-of-the-box thinking of today’s young designers so when I saw Erik’s Designhouss I was in!
Erik Olovsson converted a motorhome into a mobile design studio and has been traveling across Sweden offering graphic design services this summer as part of his Master’s project. I know it’s been attempted before with mixed results, but maybe now the time is right. How cool would it be to roll up into your client’s driveway and do your consultation in your mobile studio over a cup of coffee? What about an Artisan on Wheels approach to slipcovers or upholstery where the customer can watch her chair being transformed right on the spot? Why not pull into the local big box’s parking lot and offer your services and products to those DIYers who don’t have a clue about blind and shades?
I’m just saying… why not a little out there thinking….
Erik Olovsson is a masters student at Konstfack University in Stockholm, Sweden who created a unique way to bring his graphic design services to small businesses and individuals with the goal of forming more personal working relationship. For his thesis project, Olovsson bought an old motor-home and transformed it into a mobile design studio called Eriks Designbuss.
I want to explore new ways to work and above all get closer to the customer. Maybe you need the local pizzeria help with new menus? The dentist new business card? The local gallery a better logo, or the farmer a new sign on the barn?
Since March of this year, Olovsson has been traveling around Sweden making stop in towns large and small. The exterior of the motor-home got treated to a custom paint job featuring graphics designed by Olovsson to grab people’s attention. He also posts flyers around the locations he visits announcing his arrival and providing contact information. Inside the Designbuss, there is everything needed to design and produce printed work.
The bus houses the tools used most often, computer, printer, camera, paper, cutting mat, etc. He would also try to literally use the bus’s potential for creativity. Can journey in itself become a design tool? Can you use the bus’s weight as [a letter] press? Can you do something with the vibrations of the bus? Can you paint with exhaust …?
A core component of the project is community engagement. When Olovsson stops at a location, he unrolls a large section of synthetic grass, sets up some chairs and a table and invites the community to hang out, chat or listen to an impromptu concert. Visitors can browse a selection of design books contained inside the bus over a cup of coffee. He also stages mini-exhibitions.
Olovsson agrees to do work based on a service exchanges or trades. He prefers if it is something to aid the trip like a good dinner, a hot shower, gasoline, or new tires. He chose this payment method as an experiment to further the level of interaction and to test engaging new clients who might perceive design services to be beyond their level of affordability.
Updates to the project and future locations Olovsson intends to visit are posted on the Eriks Designbuss website.