Besam student design contest winners spend a weekend on ice

Winning Besam’s “Future of Entrances” student design competition last spring resulted in an unforgettable winter weekend for six industrial design and architecture students from Malmö University and Lund University’s Technical College.

First prize was participation in a three-day design workshop during the final week of construction of the world-famous ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. 

“We got to meet many of the international artists who designed the suites in this season’s ICEHOTEL,” said Lund University architecture student Mats Nilsson.  “It was amazing to talk to them about their processes and learn more about the concepts behind their work.”

Mats and classmates Mikael Stenström and Hannes Karlsson won first place in the architecture class competition for their re-design of the entrance to the Juridicum building on the Lund campus. Malmö University students Matilda Carlsson, Vincenzo Vedda and Karolina Larsson won first prize in the product development and design contest for their proposed entrance for Malmö Borgarskola.

Besam developed the competition in cooperation with the two universities. Entries were evaluated based on the real-life parameters the students were given for issues such as raw material costs, local accessibility laws, and security and safety regulations. A total of 20 teams of students participated in the contest, which was a key element in their course curriculum for the spring term.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to not only work with an industry leader like Besam, but also to collaborate with students from another school in another field,” said Tomas Tägil, Lund University lecturer in architecture.

A highlight of the workshops was an ice carving session in which the students got to try their hands at their own designs.

“The Torn River ice is really fascinating,” Mats recalled.  “It’s so pure and translucent, but it carved like butter.”

Malmö University product and industrial design student Vincenzo Vedda agreed.

“It’s a very special material to work with and it behaved in some unexpected ways,” Vincenzo explained.  “I really enjoyed the creative side of it, because I’m at the point in my studies where I’m working primarily with technical issues.”

Neither Mats nor Vincenzo had ever travelled north of the Arctic Circle before, and both found the environment inspiring.

“Having only four hours of daylight really forces you to think in a different way,” Mats explained.

“The darkness definitely made and impression,” Vincenzo elaborated.  “And the pace is completely different, but in a good way.”

While the annual construction of the ICEHOTEL’s suites was essentially finished when the students arrived, they were put to work adding the finishing touches to some of the smaller rooms.  For the last two seasons, Besam has provided an automatic sliding door entrance to the world famous hotel.