Sara Stiber - Alumn




“Focus on your thesis ­– it’s can be a door opener”

What did you do directly after you graduated from HDK?

– As master thesis Eva-Johanna Isestig [former Sandberg] and me made a Child Culture Design concept for 9–12-year-olds to a new department at Malmö City Library. After graduation we implement the concept, ‘Balagan’, which involved creating a narrative-oriented activities at the library and on the web.

– Meanwhile, we also started the children design agency ‘Kidding’, where we made operating concepts, exhibitions, websites and interior design projects directed to children.

What are you doing today?

– Today, me and another former classmate from HDK, Lina Lagström, run ‘Barnens Designbyrå’ – a project we started a year and a half ago. So far we have worked much like we did at Kidding – concepts that we develop together with children. The goal of ‘Barnens Designbyrå’ is to make it easier to involve children in the development processes. So far, we run Barnens Designbyrå on part-time alongside other jobs. I work as a graphic designer and web designer, both as an employee and freelance.

How did you end up there – how has your career path been like?

– After ‘Kidding’, I felt that I wanted to take it easy for a while. It felt good to be employed rather than dealing with a self-run businesses. During that time I realised that a combination works best for me – getting the community from a workplace and the adventure of my own projects.

– My first job was as a graphic designer and process manager in a project that focused on activism and to make politics interesting for young people. My second job was as a designer and communicator in a project that involved developing forest gardens with children. To learn new things at work is the greatest gift for me.

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

– My approach has always been to go with your gut and do not worry so much about career. From having studied courses in graphic design, I decided to start with interaction training. After that I felt that graphic design was so flat – I wanted to design experiences. I brought that way of thinking to HDK and the CCD-programme – children need to participate throughout the entire process.

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

– No, I was a parent of young children at the time so I missed maybe some travel. I just came as far as to Kompan in Denmark.

Your strongest memory from HDK?

– The strongest memories for me are the friends and teachers and the community at HDK. That we were so many who loved what we were doing.

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

– In my class there were many talented people – illustrators, a landscape architect, product designer, an interior designer and many more. The training was brilliant in the way that we cooperated in projects based on our competencies. I still collaborate with my old classmates. We know different things and we like each other and know each other – they are perhaps the most valuable things bring with me.

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

– Our thesis made it easy to start working after graduation. We did our thesis in cooperation with an organization and could support ourselves for a while. Implementing our thesis made it possible to get more assignments afterwards. So, my advice would be to focus on the thesis ­– it can be a door opener.

Sara Stiber

Job title: Designer of Children's Culture

Born: 1979

Comes from: Simrishamn, Sweden

Education at HDK: Child Culture Design, CCD

Graduated: 2011

Other education: Bachelor degree in Interaction Design

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