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App for activists and biotech wearable for the grieving at UID20

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Peek into the future as design students from all over the world showcase their grad projects in the form of tomorrow's products and services.

Text: Jens Persson 

This year's grad show at Umeå Institute of Design offers a series of innovations ranging from a biotech wearable for people suffering loss and an app for young activists, to solutions for future firefighters in the wake of climate change.

On June 4th, graduating students present their projects during Umeå Institute of Design's digital graduate exhibition, UID20 | Design Talks & Degree Show. From June 2nd, the grad projects can be explored in the virtual UID20 Project Gallery.

What happens when the digital products we wear on our bodies start "collaborating" with our biology? Can an app for young people create the next generation of activists following in the footsteps of Greta Thunberg? Will accelerating climate change force us to find new ways of living with wildfires? Could a new type of two-wheel electric vehicle - focusing on environment, safety, storage and convenience - attract new groups to start riding motorcycles?

Linda Bresäter, deputy head of department at Umeå Institute of Design, explains that this year's graduating students have worked with a clear user perspective, innovative storytelling and visions for a better society.

"Despite the changes that Covid-19 brought us this spring term, our students have found incredible ways of solving situations by adapting and reinventing" she says. "They have taken on a wide range of challenges and found innovative solutions, highlighting new aspects of how we humans live, both now and in the future. Throughout this past year, they have worked purposefully to grow as designers, and to develop the area of design. The high level of this year's degree project shows that they are now ready to take on new challenges outside UID, around the world".

PB Flux 1Could a new type of two-wheel electric vehicle - focusing on environment, safety, storage and convenience - attract new groups to start riding motorcycles?

At UID20, students will present their degree projects during a virtual, live-streamed event. From their apartments and homes in Umeå, Sweden and around the world, they will demonstrate all facets of their projects via 3D models, image/video galleries and digital visualizations. Many of the 48 projects take their starting point in the digital realm, often with the objective of making technology more human. Several projects also have a strong focus towards, for example, healthcare or sustainability.

UID's visibility on the global design stage has led to a highly international group of students. This year alone, the graduating students represent 15 different nationalities. The educational programmes and student projects at UID are conducted in close collaboration with major multinational companies as well as research institutions, municipalities and health care units. Each year, representatives from companies, organizations and the design community join the event to follow up collaborations with students, to view demonstrations and portfolios, and to recruit the next generation of industrial designers.

UID20 | Design Talks & Degree Show, June 4th, 15.00 (CEST)
UID20 Live Broadcast
UID20 Project Gallery