INTERVIEW WITH SVEIN HAAKON LIA & ASTRID FELDNER, BLEED – OSLO / VIENNA – DIZAJN PARK MAGAZINE

Visitors of the Brand New World Conference which, as the central event of this year’s Belgrade Design Week, took place on 9th, 10th and 11th October, in association with EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia and under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Serbia and the City of Belgrade, had the opportunity to hear the lectures by some of the world’s leading artists and designers working in different fields of creative industry. Norwegian design studio Bleed was one of them.

Bleed is a multi-disciplinary design consultancy based in Oslo and Vienna, cities with undeniably inspiring creative culture, which is quite obvious in their work. In an impeccably decorated minimalist space of a large factory on the banks of Akerselva river in Oslo, groundbreaking designs are made, which Bleed uses to send all kinds of messages, develop different concepts and challenge today’s conventions around art, visual language, interaction, media and identity. This kind of good communication is especially important in today’s complex times of information overload, too many logos and visual sensations in general.

The studio was founded by Svein Haakon Lia and Astrid Feldner. Svein, creative director and senior designer, is one of the most awarded graphic designers in Scandinavia, with 15 years of experience in traditional and digital graphic design. He has worked with a variety of interesting brands and clients, such as: Hermès, Pepsi, Sony, Levis, Myspace, Deutsche Bank, Telenor. He exhibited in Tokyo, Berlin, London, Stockholm and Oslo.

Astrid is a senior designer and Head of Vienna office. She graduated graphic design and new media at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. After working for a few years for Bleed in Oslo, she moved back to her hometown to establish Bleed in Austria. Astrid has won more than 25 international design awards working for clients like Myspace, Deutsche Bank, the National Theatre Oslo and Coop Himmelb(l)au.

„We always try to see the bigger picture, and invest a lot of time in the start of a project, so we can be sure that the result matches the goal. We are also a very diverse bunch of people, and there is space for everyone to be an individual. This makes our design output very diverse too. We are generally curious about the design and art scene of the Balkans. BDW seems to be a very good starting point to learn more!“.

At BDW’s Brand New World conference they talked about their work and design philosophy. One of the things they are interested in is: functionalism vs. emotionalism in graphic design. „We usually develop a good chemistry with all our clients. We especially love to work with people who want to explore in the field of design. We don’t limit ourselves to a specific sector, branch or size, we rather search for interesting opportunities and synergies. When I look back, I see that we haven’t been repeating ourselves. That’s how I know we did a good job“, said Svein.

Some of the projects they are particularly proud of are the visual identities for MySpace, AkerBrygge, ComoyoiMonier. „Also, we have just finished the wall design for a huge education campus in Vienna, called “Bildungscampus Hauptbahnhof”. The process, concept and execution of the design was super interesting because of the synergy we experienced with the architects and the street artists who sprayed our design on the walls. We are now very excited that school started again – the children could see our design for the first time!“

Bleed has received more than 100 national and international awards and also earned the title of European Design Leader, which is awarded very selectively to design studios in Europe. Their dream job? Redesign of visual identity of the European Union.

This was Svein’s and Astrid’s first time in Belgrade, and when asked about their expectations, they said: „We have not been to Serbia yet! We expect some cool Brutalist architecture, at least this is what we saw in pictures. A friend of ours is working on the new center for science in Belgrade, so we want to take a look at the construction site. Maybe also taste some yummy sliwowitza!”

And they did…

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Belgrade Designweek is a masterpiece in the art and science of conference design – and a hell of a good way to spend 3 days in Serbia!

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