Meet Per-Johan – the digital designer on an unusual journey
From in-house to design consultant
From in-house to design consultant
Per-Johan Sandlund is on somewhat of an unusual journey. Not only has he moved from the Norwegian capital to the town of Stavanger, but he’s also done the jump back to consulting after years as an in-house designer. We met with him for an interview to hear him tell us why and what he has learnt in the process.
Swedish-born Per-Johan grew up in Nordmaling, near Umeå. As a music-interested teenager, he was DJ: ing at university parties, where he quickly became familiar with the world of design through the Umeå Institute of Design.“It was kind of a natural choice to study design. It was there right in front of me, and I was fascinated by this creative world that I saw.”
“I learnt a lot about the business side of things in-house - organisational and internal structures and the interplay with design and innovation.”Per-Johan Sandlund Senior Digital Designer, EGGS Stavanger
After completing his design degree, which he did the last years of at AHO(Oslo School of Design and Architecture), he jumped into consulting. First as a freelancer and later at Netcompany, until he was offered his dream job – in-house designer at TIDAL."It was a dream come true! As a former DJ and music fan, getting to work, there was a fantastic opportunity. I got to see the music industry from the inside, and I learned a lot from working in quite a small team. You had to do and know a bit of everything.”
However, after a few years, Per-Johan thought it was time to move on. “It had been great. I learnt a lot about the business side of things in-house - organisational and internal structures and the interplay with design and innovation. But I wanted to do something new. My family and I decided to move to Stavanger, and that’s when I got the offer from EGGS. I'm so glad that I've been welcomed with open arms in the Stavanger office. It really makes a difference when you're new in town.”
When asked what it's been like to make this 'reverse' journey of going back to consulting, Per-Johan replies: “It's been great! I'm glad to be in a team of like-minded, so to speak," he says and laughs. "It's enriching and inspiring to have many design colleagues to discuss your work with. But at the same time, I feel that it’s been valuable for me having had the experience as an in-house designer. It makes me a better consultant, I believe. I can understand the client differently, and it’s easier to see things from their perspective.”
“It’s been valuable for me having had the experience as an in-house designer. It makes me a better consultant, I believe. I can understand the client differently, and it's easier to see things from their perspective.”Per-Johan Sandlund Senior Digital Designer, EGGS Stavanger
When he started his career, Per-Johan was set on industrial design. He had achieved a master’s in industrial design and dreamt of designing furniture. “Yes, I saw myself creating fancy chairs and tables. I had the idea of design as something primarily aesthetic, as many do. But somewhere along the way, I realised that design could be used for so much more. To solve real, complex problems. What made me move from industrial design to digital was that it's so much faster to work with. I love the prototyping aspect of design, and when you work with digital products, you can prototype and test anything instantly basically.”
When asked what it is about design that he loves, he answers without hesitating. "That you can see it. It's real. It's a great feeling seeing something that you created out there being used by people. It really gives you a kick!”
“It’s a great feeling seeing something that you created out there, being used by people. It really gives you a kick!”Per-Johan Sandlund Senior Digital Designer, EGGS Stavanger
Born in: 1984 in Nordmaling, near Umeå (Sweden).
Position in EGGS: Senior Digital Designer, Stavanger
Works for EGGS since: August 2021.
Educational background: Bachelor in Design from University of Gävle, Master in Industrial Design from AHO, including one year at Umeå University.
Dream Project: There are many! But something related to sustainability and the maritime industries would be exciting.
What is it like to work in EGGS? I really enjoy it. I’ve been so well-received, and everybody is welcoming and friendly. I feel at home!
Hobbies: Sailing and anything with the ocean, really. I’m hoping to take up kite-boarding again soon. I’m a new dad, though, so I’m pretty busy with other, better (!) things at the moment.