Maria Vinka - Alumn




”HDK is a smorgasbord of workshops”

What did you do directly after you graduated from HDK?

– I got a job as a designer at IKEA headquarters in Älmhult. During the final year of study, I had an internship there, so it felt quite natural. It was a fun time, with the whole world as a workplace. I stayed for almost eleven years but lacked the town and grew tired of the woods.

What are you doing today?

– I'm a freelance designer, butI still have Ikea as a customer, but I also work for other companies. I work mainly with textiles, glass and porcelain. Over the years, I have also done carpets in natural fiber among other things.

During your study time, did you have some kind of strategy to influence your future career?

– Not a damn thing, actually. I was hungry for a lot of things, but had no strategy. I did what I felt for at the moment.

Did you get international experience during the study time/training that has been helpful in your career?

– I was too late to apply for an Erasmus scholarship; I applied for a Nordic scholarship instead and ended up in Iceland for a year where I studied ceramics and art. It was really great to gain insight into other cultures during my studies!

Your strongest memory from HDK?

– The workshops, no doubt. After the daytime courses you were free to use the workshops all evenings. It was a really good time, listen to the radio have the time to do what you are passionate about.

What is the most important lesson from HDK-period? Any special tools/skills?

– I got a lot of practical knowledge – theoretical knowledge from the inspired guest speakers and materials science, to mention a few.

If you were to give one advice to a prospective HDK-student – what would it be?

– Dare to go your own and take advantage of your time – HDK is a smorgasbord of workshops.

Maria Vinka

Job title: Freelance designer

Born: 1972

Comes from: Karlskoga, Sweden

Education at HDK: Product Design

Graduated: 1997

Web page: