Swedish Design Movement: Emma Olbers

For furniture designer Emma Olbers, climate goals and knowledge form the basis for credible sustainability efforts. The desire to influence is translated through design jobs and activism, from well-considered material choices to Fridays for Future demonstrations. She speaks objectively about the need to tax carbon emissions and how designers do best in thinking backwards.

Which do you see as the biggest obstacles today for using design as a tool for societal transformation?

– That people’s awareness is too slow. Design is a good tool and a good problem solver, but time is against us. In a purely political sense, it would be good to put a price on carbon dioxide, so that products that are meant to protect our future are cheaper than products that destroy it. We only have elections every four years, and demonstrating to spark public opinion is a powerful way of influencing political decisions.

Emma Olbers Design is one of eight appointed flag-bearers by the Swedish Design Movement.

Read more about the eight flag-bearers here

This post is a collaboration with Swedish Design Movement.

NM Gamla Biblioteket inredning Emma Olbers foto Andy Liffner01 kopia

The old library, Nationalmuseum. Photo: Andy Liffner.

Landala designed by Emma Olbers for Tre Sekel vinkel kopia

”Landala” bench for Tre sekel.


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