UID Alumni Interview
Name: Johan Grönskog
Studied: MFA in Interaction Design, 2012 -
Describe your degree project!
I'm investigating the prospect of introducing tangibles to
the industrial process control rooms.
Why did you choose that particular project?
I was approached by representatives of ABB to do this project for
them. Personally I found it interesting because of the high level
of automation that exists in the environment today and the effect
that has had on the operators interacting with the system. Do they
see their role changing and in what way? Can they still claim to be
in control over the equipment they are supervising? Can a better
collaboration between operator and automation software be
What were your expectations before coming to Umeå Institute
My first visit to the school was in the spring of 2009, flying up
to Umeå for 24 hours. During that visit I was struck by the
passion, respect and warmth shown by the students and staff. I was
guided through the facilities, participated in a workshop to try
the school's work method and had a lot of fika together with the
students. Since then, UID has been on the top of my list.
It's with great warmth I look back at my time at UID. It's been
like a home for me, filled with great personalities that you go
through both high and low's with. It has challenged me like nothing
else, and made me aware of my limits as well as my potential. But
above all, it's the people from all over the world that I will miss
What are your hopes for the future?
My hope is a humble one, of landing a job with great colleagues to
work together with. Working all alone on big projects like this
degree is not for me. I can't wait to listen, discuss and challenge
my ideas with others at a workplace where collaboration is key.
Would you recommend a friend to apply to UID?
Definitely, but they should be aware of what they are signing up
for. If they possess a deep interest in understanding human
behaviour and thinking, and willing to work together and learn from
each other, this is the place to be.
Few memories embody the spirit of the school as well as the ones
gained during the annually degree event and, especially, the
preparations leading up to it. When you take a stroll down to the
workshop or the exhibition spaces and notice all the people
sanding, painting, assembling and polishing their models. It is an
amazing sight when you see program leaders building podiums,
technicians printing test-posters and students from all levels help
the graduates no matter how late in the evening. That is a sight
that makes my heart warm and one I will carry with me after leaving