Swedish and American students together in Kirseberg's Lokstallar for SSDD – South Sweden Design Days.

Swedish and American students together in Kirseberg’s Lokstallar for SSDD – South Sweden Design Days. Photo: Daniel Gaffner

An international collaboration between INU member universities, James Madison University (JMU) in USA and Malmö University in Sweden gives design students from both universities fresh cultural perspectives, networks and experiences to make use of in the future.  A group of four teachers and 30 students from James Madison University have spent four weeks participating in a summer programme in Malmö.

This collaboration began through online interactions and initiatives between the two universities, developed during the pandemic to offer intercultural element to their programs.  The recent visit furthered the collaborative venture into student mobility, bringing the two groups of students together in person to experience group work, design analysis, prototyping and lots of discussions between the students from both universities.  The visit included a trip to SSDD – South Sweden Design Days.

This collaboration is a great example of connections between INU member universities which lead to cross-border projects for students, led by staff seeking to deliver international perspectives to their courses.

“Our students are inspired by new design ideas and use industrial design in Scandinavia as reference. Sustainability, in particular, is an area we hope they will feel connected to after their visit to Sweden. Sustainability is very integrated into Swedish design. The students make connections they will cultivate over time, and the scaffolding is there to future collaborations and design projects,” says Justin Henriques Ph.D. and Associate professor of Engineering at James Madison University.

Read more about the collaboration and the recent visit of JMU students and staff to Malmo here

With thanks to Daniel Gaffner at Malmo University and Justin and Carissa Henriques at James Madison University for sharing their collaboration. We look forward to what’s next!