LUNDGREN+LINDQVIST — Interview
Andreas Friberg Lundgren and Carl-Johan Lindqvist are the founders and directors of the design and development studio Lundgren+Lindqvist (Gothenburg, Sweden).
Hello Andreas Friberg Lundgren and Carl-Johan Lindqvist, how are you?
We are very good, thanks. As per usual, we have a hectic schedule filled up with exciting projects for a host of great clients. We are currently working on a full identity for an up and coming Swedish furniture producer and on a new website for Sweden’s most prestigious advertising competition, to mention but a few ongoing projects.
The view from our office is shifting from grey to light green, announcing the arrival of spring. Seeing that our winters are dark and cold, the recent injection of vitamin D is most welcome.
Can you introduce yourselves?
Andreas Friberg Lundgren — I am the Design Director of Lundgren+Lindqvist and, along with Carl-Johan, one of the studio’s two founding partners and owners. Although we find our titles somewhat superfluous and corny, we have resigned to the fact that these appellations make it easier for our clients to understand what we do. In my case, the title signifies that I am in charge of the design side of our studio, although we usually refrain from separating design from development. By treating these twin disciplines as two sides of the same coin – we aim to bridge a gap leading to integrated and intuitive solutions.
Carl-Johan Lindqvist — Equally ambivalent to my title, I am the Digital Director of Lundgren+Lindqvist. To me, that means I share a strong passion for design but approach our projects from a slightly more technological angle. We always let the message dictate the media, and even if we share a vivid passion for tactile, printed matter, our projects have almost always got at least one digital component.
Lundgren+Lindqvist is a group of 3-4 people, plus one to two interns at any given time. We work with local to global clients, ranging from independent artists and institutions to publicly listed corporations. We enjoy the diversity which helps in keeping us alert. We work out of a rooftop studio in an old sugar factory, located at the waterfront of the Majorna neighborhood of Gothenburg.
Where does your interest in graphic design come from?
Andreas Friberg Lundgren — Like many others in our field, I spent my childhood drawing, which later led me into photography and further on into graffiti. Back in 2001, I started playing records and arranging clubs and concerts. This opened my eyes to the rich visual culture of the music world and, down the line, led to commissions designing posters and album covers.
Carl-Johan Lindqvist — Struggling with painting and drawing at a younger age, I quickly absorbed the possibilities of digital graphic design and early web development as my family got our first computer. Building fan-sites for Metallica (obviously filled with rotating flaming skulls and looping midi-tracks) and helping friends hack their MySpace profiles I soon found myself going to school to learn more about web development as well as digging deeper into graphic design.
Can you tell us more of how you work together?
Depending upon the nature of the project at hand, our process varies. For digital projects, we treat design as code and vice versa and try to build a prototype of whatever we are designing as early as possible. As the field of web development mature and earlier issues like browser irregularities decrease, being creative with code is no longer limited to one-off experiments. The possibility to move fast from sketched idea, to flat design and on to development means we can keep the high level of creativity we strive for throughout the project. For print projects, we develop our ideas in close dialogue with the print house, in order to bring the most out of their medium. Lead by ideas and fueled by passion, we make every project a personal affair.
We would like to know your thought about the meaning of what is a designer and what is his role?
A designer is an architect of emotions. He or she is both spirit and hand. By structuring information and images and presenting it in a compelling and appropriate way, we make peoples lives better.
Which advice would you give to the next generation of designers?
Always do more than what is expected of you.
Which books are on your bedside tables?
Andreas Friberg Lundgren — Vladimir Nabokov’s excellent memoir ‘Speak Memory’ and Sarah Bakwell’s ‘How to Live, or a Life of Montgaigne’.
Carl-Johan Lindqvist — In the bottom of the pile, the usual mess of software engineering and web development books. On top, currently Michael Sorkin’s ‘Twenty Minutes in Manhattan’ which I picked up at the Strand bookstore in NYC.
The last word…
We would like to end this interview by quoting Peter Fischli and David Weiss ‘How to Work Better’ manifesto from 1991:
1 – Do one thing at a time
2 – Know the problem
3 – Learn to listen
4 – Learn to ask questions
5 – Distinguish sense from nonsense
6 – Accept change as inevitable
7 – Admit mistakes
8 – Say it simple
9 – Be calm
10 – Smile
Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler – 04.14