It's been a turbulent year for some, a negative and worrying year for many. For me, personally, it's been a great year. FULL of activity, work, family and friends. Definitely worth writing these things down – and celebrating them.
Here are 34 great things that happened to me in 2016. And 8 great things to come in 2017.
My monthly ritual of flying to London once a month came to an end. During February and March I was joined by digital transformation expert Eva Appelbaum and co-programme manager Tash Willcocks running the MA Digital Media Management project Business Transformation. And in April we organised a Startup Weekend London.
In June these trips ended, and I said good-bye to my first batch of MA students.
2. Published in a 'proper book'
Inside Art Direction was finally published, and I had the honour to be included in the branding section with a long interview and a bunch of project examples. It just made Print Magazine’s top 25 design books of 2016 – so that’s something!
4. Remote working at it's best.
Together with Emma Homent, I launched Ages of Us, a photography exhibition by Dylan Collard in London, from Stockholm.
Dylan travelled 3,000 miles to explore how we feel about ageing, and we exhibited it at Mother, London. This portrait project centred around the idea of generations, the journey and vastness of life, the process of ageing and how our priorities change as we move towards old age. In June last year Dylan took his two assistants and a three seater bench on a 18 day, 3000 mile trip around California from LA to Bakersfield, Hanford, Monterey, Yosemite, Death Valley, Red Rock Canyon, Needles (Route 66), Joshua Tree and back to LA. They photographed 165 people sitting on the bench in 23 locations.
Read about it in Creative Boom.
5. It's cold up there.
I visited my grandmother, who is 96 and lives in Dorotea, Lappland.
6. Design Design Design
In february, and back in Stockholm, we officially launched Design Sweden during Stockholm Design Week.
Organisation-wise, fast-forward one year, we have taken firm action to rethink and redesign the organisation to better reflect how the world works and looks in 2016. The changes are helmed by a new membership model, a basic version with no cost associated. This marks a big change of thinking. Instead of confining the organization to members only fitting a set of educational and professional requirements, we have opened up to everyone who supports our cause; to enable designers associated with Sweden.
We also appointed a new board in September and I took on the Vice Chairman role.
With the weather turning, we spent a lot of time out in the archipelago playing with my nephew and niece Henry and Hedvig. The bliss of being just one hour away from family really came alive this year. Living in London, I would never have had the chance to play every weekend with these little guys.
8. During March, I co-facilitated Berghs Boost Camp
Leading 150 students and 19 clients through the initial stage of a fantastic cross-programme endeavor. We ran four briefing workshops across two days setting the student/client teams up on their journey towards graduation. 6 facilitators in total, we designed a workshop-led experience to promote collaboration, co-creation, prototyping, ideation and delivery. The students (and their clients) worked collaboratively over 8 weeks to together solve the briefs.
10. I got a tattoo of my cat.
Immortalising Miss Mustard Explosion The Cat. Very important.
11. I was invited to Oslo, Norway to be a judge.
I joined the judging panel for the National Norwegian Graphic Design Awards (Visuelt), an annual ceremony which gives tribute to the professionals working with visual communication in Norway. We judged the category Digital Design, and you can find a selection of the winners here.
12. In April, Patrik and I went to Spain on holidaaay.
13. And we popped by Oslo (again) too.
14. Island Life
During the spring we spent a lot of time on the island. Together with Team Theolin, we started to finalise our little boat house.
15. Running a Digital Business @ Hyper Island
In May, I took on another industry leader gig at Hyper Island to lead the course Running a Digital Business for the Digital Media Creative class. The core of this project was to explore what it means to run a company from a day-to-day perspective, including: management, organization, culture, finance and clients. Each student group formed mini agencies and worked on two live projects each throughout the course.
16. Girl Power!
We were the driving forces behind Bergh’s 75th Anniversary. In collaboration with Marcus Berggren, Katharina Sand och David Peiris (part of Studentbyrån behind ACT/REACT), we opened a memory bank on Facebook and curated over 40 co-creators producing a YouTube playlist celebrating Berghs School of Communication's 75th anniversary.
17. Success (and disappointment, alas)
As soon as we'd finalised the VidStar Festival brand identity, the festival got cancelled.
Over 30 of the most popular Swedish YouTube-stars, that together holds several millions of subscribers, was to hold lectures, interviews, meet & greets and shows at seven different stages in the Ericsson Globe-area.
Unfortunately, the festival was cancelled last minute. However, the VidStar Conference still went ahead in September.
Either way, I was really proud of the work myself and Tom Collins did on the identity.
18. Change of scenery.
Summer arrived, and I decided to work from our new house on the island as well as from home. One of the benefits of working in Sweden – the flexibility and trust! Working during the week, fun at the weekend!
19. In with the Stockholm cycling community
Continuing to design collateral for the GIROT Stockholm annual bike ride, this summer saw new branded caps and beer bottles.
I don't design myself much any more, so it's great fun when I produce something liked so much by the community. You may see this logo all over Stockholm, if you keep your eyes peeled.
20. Published in a book again – Startup Guide Stockholm
I got the pleasure to write the Introduction to Stockholm chapter. Buy it here.
21. A collective with a difference.
Thea, Sophie and I started The Cast. Together, we specialise in assembling, leading and directing teams for specific projects. This project is still work-in-progress, all we know is that we just LOVE working together.
22. Patrik and I went to Berlin! You know, holiday.
23. And when we returned, I'd become an auntie again.
Later to become her godmother. Here she is, Hermine Monica Jenny Theolin.
24. The BIG one.
In August, I launched the biggest project of the year: Noori Tales: Stories from the Indus Delta for WaterAid and H&M Foundation.
This project took 10 months to plan and design, so this was a huge milestone of 2016. My team (Dan Bull and Rider) and I worked together on the naming and branding, design and produced an outdoor AND an indoor exhibition, plus designed the website and print materials.
25. Aug 18th – Birthday girl!
26. I signed the dotted line to continue as Programme Manager at Hyper Island, and said hello to my new Stockholms-based MA class.
The MA programme in Digital Management is designed to meet the need for talent that can keep up with today's rapidly changing digital landscape. The programme prepares you to become a game-changing leader in digital media and combines a broad range of topics, including change management, digital technologies, business transformation, strategy, service design and research methods with real-world applications.
27. I also went back to school myself and took a course in Facilitation & Process Design.
28. Second time judging this year
Startup Weekend Stockholm invited me to judge their IoT: Food, Health & Wellness event, which was also fun!
29. And I was interviewed in CAP & Design about my inspiration sources.
30. In October, Patrik and I went to Amsterdam on a weekend-break!
We cycled everywhere, went to the Sex Museum, the Cat Cabinet and ate pancakes.
31. Spot of guest-lecturing at Nackademin.
And when we got back, I joined Clara Wiberg Nordlander's social media marketing course at Nackademin to do an afternoon workshop all around personal branding.
32. Think Design @ Hyper Island
In October and November industry leader Erik Widmark and I ran two 3-day campus sessions as part of a 2 month part-time Design Thinking project.
In this project the students critically explored the concept of design thinking and employed design thinking methods in response to an industry brief. The brief gave them a challenging problem to solve; looking into audiences, user journeys, and business needs; and how to move from strategic thinking to creative execution.
33. A trip to space @ Hyper Island
The aims of this project is to; explore the key ideas and complexities of “making things” in digital in order to solve real-world problems, understand the potential disruptive impacts of current and future digital technologies upon society, critically examine the ethics of digital solutions, data and personal privacy and consider the economic value of technology. We are concluding it in January 2017.
34. I mustered up some courage and started seeing a Personal Development Coach.
I am working on my long-term vision and am soon ready to share my prototype plan. Being a change-monkey, not having lived in one place for more than 3 years, and constantly striving for the new, I am now putting all my experience and knowledge into a stable foundation, so I can plan for the future a little better. It's a very interesting experience, and I recommend it to everyone. His name is Malcolm Larri, and he's the mutt's nuts.
- I'm continuing with managing the MA programme at Hyper Island, and this spring we will be focussing on Business Transformation and Innovation.
- I will be designing another course at Berghs. This time it's a 2 month course titled Communication Design 2 and centers around UX, Service Design, Information Design, Storytelling and Spacial Design. And there may be an exhibition at the Design Gallery at the end of March.
- I have started offering private design lessons.
- I have said yes to another industry leader gig at Hyper Island – The Studio. More on that soon.
- And I will be travelling to Norway to judge Visuelt, the National Design & illustration Awards again.
- PLUS, Patrik and have already booked a trip to Morocco and Spain this spring.
- I may be getting another tattoo.
- All the while, spending more and more time with my family – and working on my long-term Stockholm Plan.
Thank you 2016, thank you.
As you probably noticed, my images in this post are taken from Instagram.
Worth noting my personal Instagram is private and for only people I personally know.
If you'd like to follow Studio Theolin, you can do that here.