The EU has awarded Oslo the title European Green Capital in fierce competition with 13 other cities. The Award shows that Oslo is among the cities spearheading the green urban transition. We invite all citizens and visitors alike to a year filled with green experiences.
The Opening Weekend here at SALT from January 4th to 6th gives you a glimpse into what the year will hold. The City of Oslo is cooperating with 170 organisatsions, academic institutions and businesses to fill the year with more than 350 meaningful events.
Our goal is to use the European Green Capital year to involve, inspire and mobilize the entire city to join forces and make Oslo even greener! In addition, the EU has given us an important task: to share our solutions with other cities.
Oslo European Green Capital 2019
Client: City of Oslo
Project: The official opening ceremony for Oslo’s year as European Green Capital.
My role: Creative Lead, Art Director and head designer from pitch to completed event
Each year, the EU awards the title European Green Capital to one of many contestants.The award is a coveted publicity opportunity for city officials, business communities, NGO’s and groups eager to build momentum for sustainable urban development.
For my team at Gyro, winning the account made us the official event partner for Oslo European Green Capital 2019, and the opening ceremony was the first of several projects slated for the year.
One of the key features of our concept for the event was a show opener featuring an original sound piece by the Berlin based Norwegian sound artist Gisle Martens Meyer, in which he used the city of Oslo as a huge musical instrument. He “played” on various objects and structures relating to the new, green Oslo, and the recordings were subsequently mixed and produced into an exciting sound piece. We taped Gisle’s recording sessions around Oslo on video, and added motion graphics by Scandinavian design agency Creuna to create a spectacular opening with 3D mapping projections and surround sound in the main assembly at Oslo City Hall.
Gyro has followed Circle K Europe since they made the big leap from legacy brand and cultural identity pillar Statoil - with a long local history especially in the Nordics - to the foreign, newly revamped Circle K brand in 2015. Moving several thousand people across Europe into the new identity, aligning brand awareness, building a new community and sparking pride and enthusiasm throughout the many business regions has been our project over the last 4 years.
For the 2018 kickoffs in Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Europe, Gyro was challenged with coming up with a new conference format that would give all the critical business areas their platform, but that would trigger interaction, dialogue across departments, exploration and curiosity.
Our solution - receiving top score on learning, engagement, motivation and making new connections - was to turn the conference into an open festival in which Gyro would design customized booths for each strategic area. To ensure the overall brand building, the booths were framed by common signage and banner designs.
To encourage interaction, we integrated gamification into the festival and built an augmented reality solution for mobile phones, in which video content would be triggered by graphics embedded in each booth’s design. The search for the graphical AR-triggers enabled a scavenger hunt for the attendees and a conversation starter for the booth hosts.
A DJ-tower and an inviting, stepped lounge platform added a relaxed, playful atmosphere.
To make sure the festival environment had the most impact, the day started off with a plenary session, and the festival concept was kept secret. On cue from CEO Jacob Schram and EVP Hans Olav Høidal on stage, a drape-drop on both sides of the plenary stage revealed the large festival environment beyond.
A key element in the art direction for the plenary presentation was to keep the CEO’s images large, clean and visually striking, building a story that would move in larger arcs, enabling a storytelling intimacy without demanding a lot of reading and split attention from the audience. This too was meant to implicitly set the stage for the saturated, dynamic multichannel experience the attendees were about to splash into.
For Schibsted Media Group's main event of the year, their gathering of 800 top performing sales reps, their managers and executives, we moved the conference to a former locomotive garage in Copenhagen - a vast, empty shell of rustic steel, brick and cement - and created Future Village, a lush, sprawling, open commons connecting our four stages, an info pavilion and the food court.
I have followed the Schibsted Corporation as Creative Consultant for a number of years, as the company has undergone a transformation technologically, geographically, culturally and organizationally. I have been working closely with Head of Communications Lena K Samuelsson and her team on a wide range of projects, and in this example I lead the creative work on the venue, converting the industrial hull into our venue concept, Future Village.
I have included a separate gallery for the conference identity I developed for the conference here.
Scandinavia's second largest bank DNB invited 7000 of its people to the launch of the bank's new, company-wide strategy. As Art Director for the opening address, CEO Rune Bjerke's keynote, I advised Bjerke and his team, and oversaw and implemented the design of his presentation.
What should a large, heavy organisation of 10 000 employees like DNB do to when you can manage your money from your phone, pay and get loans from all kinds of apps and online services, with access to much of the same analytical power as the big institutions? These questions were addressed at the large scale event “4 the Future”, where DNB brought 7000 of its people in to launch it’s new strategy.
Gyro delivered the entire production, including an Augmented Reality exhibition to showcase new product prototypes, venue design, screen and live stage content, logistics, and a full evening music and entertainment show.
The screen rig was in itself part of the event concept: DNB Bank’s design agency had developed the central metaphor for the new strategy, 4 monochrome doors, each with one of the brand colours. This was the basis for the screen setup with 4 tall screens, two on either side of the main content screen. The doors, the colours and the key messages - each door represented one strategic asset - provided a clearly defined framework to create the visuals around.
On a scale like this, with a total screen surface of 6,500 square feet, we kept our designs very clean, minimal, and with very few moving elements: either large monochrome fields, with one verbal statement, or single, high resolution images that would stay up for stretches of time.
Head Exhibition Designer for the Norwegian Pavilion at the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu, South Korea
In line with the official 2012 World Expo theme "The Living Ocean and Coast”, our task was to give an experience of Norway's industry and commerce in the context of maritime and coastal sustainability.
The challenge: The main expo campus was built like a semi-covered mall of several large corrugated steel structures and there were strict requirements of leaving the exterior untouched: How to distinguish our pavilion from the outside with mandated uniform exteriors throughout?
What we did: As experience designers, our team's starting point was how to engage people directly - so we turned the pavilion into a live venue. We created a carefully timed and choreographed show lasting 8 minutes. This was given the form of a multimedia journey to Norway, along its winding, labyrinthine coastline, 25 148 km long, in 4 spaces hosted by young, local actors and actresses auditioned to tell our story.
Our pavilion consisted of film, soundscapes and exhibitions, hosted by live actors in Korean operating the show from iPads.
My key responsibilities were Head exhibition designer for the physical objects display, set design, posters and signage design, copywriting, pavilion interior architecture, furniture and lounge design.
Norway's pavillion had 300.000 unique visitors over a 4-month period, well over our baseline estimate.
The final stage of the journey, the destination, was a physical exhibition from Norway.
The design featured objects from Norway’s key industries, sliced through and presented on large, tilted plexiglass panels
One defining premise for national pavilion exhibits like the World Expo is to share unique perspectives based on each country's society, culture and geography. I used the concept of “Cross Section” to turn that iconic scientific device into a physical, literal dissecting of story-linked, real objects from Norway. The objects were organized into four panels, representing four themes of the pavilion: Offshore, Shipping, Fishing, and the more playful Life. The main logo, along with wall graphics and signage, incorporated the diagonal line from the cross-secting gesture of the physical exhibition.
As Creative Consultant, Art Director and Head Designer, I have followed the rebranding of 2300 former Statoil fuel and convenience stations to Circle K stations across Scandinavia, Ireland and Central and Eastern Europe. My key responsibilities have been developing and designing CEO Jacob Schram and his regional executives' presentations for their annual events.
I put together a short case video for my work on the first kick-off presentations after the Rebranding had started - scroll down a bit and you should see it on your right.
Art Director for the official Norwegian Hospitality Lounge at the Winter Olympics in 2014.
The Winter Olympics is a big deal in Norway, and the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia was particularly significant because it was going to kick off Norway’s bidding campaign for the 2022 games (Norway ended up pulling it’s application one year later because of public opposition in the host city Oslo).
The Norwegian Olympic Committee decided to build a hospitality lounge in the “inner circle” of structures that surrounded the main arena in Sochi. Given the ambitions of the committee as it was looking to a possible win for 2022, the NOC had a dense program scheduled for the lounge, with dignitaries' receptions, cultural events, press conferences as well as more political, closed doors agendas. Gyro was invited to design the lounge and I was asked to lead the creative team.
The structure was a hollowed out office building, where we were not even allowed to drill holes in the walls, so we built a shell inside of the space NOC had rented. I designed wall graphics - large canvases on floor-to-ceiling stretchers, and asymetrical panels around columns - based on the official Norwegian Olympic Committee’s design profile, creating angular, crystalline bursts of photo collages, leaving white spaces for a number of flat-screen TVs.
I worked with architect Luca Roncoroni for the layout of the space, and all technical relays with the construction crew on site. I worked with graphic designer Cathrine Årving on printed matter like menus, napkins, business cards, etc, and I worked with renowned architecture firm Snøhetta on an embedded stand featuring the Oslo 2022 bid - for which they had developed the design - and I adapted the design package of Youth Olympics in Lillehammer in 2016 into the scheme.
It was a fairly small space into which the NOC wanted to pack a long list of functions and contributors, so the key task was to create a design that would be strong enough to still frame and hold all the different elements.
All furniture, carpeting and lighting was chosen from very limited catalogues provided by the general contractor for the Sochi games.
For the location of the 2017 Schibsted Sales Awards we had chosen a spectacular, industrial space in the centre of Copenhagen. We had plenty of elbow-room for our 800 attendees, but we also had a tightly packed program, with many parallel happenings and presentations. This called for a carefully thought out schedule, and not least a catchy, intuitive signage system that would stand out and lead the way. Based on Schibsted’s design profile, I created a system of colours, icons and labels, implemented in wall graphics, portals, flyers, an app and on info-screens.
You can find out more about how I developed the venue concept for this fun event here.
As part of our work with KONGSBERG Group, which comprised many projects over several years, I was tasked as Creative Lead to increase awareness and liking among students at Norway's top engineering university, NTNU in Trondheim.
The challenge: My team was asked to create a campaign that would stand out in a communication blizzard at Norway’s top technical university with its 22,0000 students, and give concrete results on employer desirability ratings. If it ended up looking polished and highly produced, that would send a wrong signal, so it had to reflect student life, on their terms.
What we did: Instead of adding to the blizzard in the public arenas we engaged the university leaders, professors and key student organizations directly on a carefully crafted strategic platform of a stated and publicized challenge for the university: high drop-out rates. This identified a mutual goal for KONGSBERG and the university: if KONGSBERG would use its name and reputation to inspire and encourage the first and second year students, for which the drop-out rates were the highest, the University would allow us into other, less crowded arenas of the university environment.
Together we developed the campaign "Your Extreme" - from the question "What's your extreme?” as the trigger in an open online concept competition. Derived from KONGSBERG's brand statement: "Extreme performance for extreme conditions”, the concept forged an engaging openness built on both KONGSBERG’s identity and the invitation to let your imagine run.
My team's efforts were added to KONGSBERG HR & Recruitment's own employer branding work to set a substantial footprint at the University Campus, as we joined and boosted the exhibition KONGSBERG installs in one of the central atriums every year, enabling the competition and the exhibition to feed off each other's buzz.
The campaign centered on a website supported by print ads, on campus promotion activities and high impact stunts, cinema commercials, an open seminar of lectures and exhibitions and an award gala.
The result: The campaign moved KONGSBERG from 11th place to 3rd place on the annual national survey for students' most desired companies. Initially designed as a one-off, KONGSBERG decided to make “Your extreme” a permanent sub-brand and expand the competition nationally, and eventually internationally. Your Extreme was voted “Event of the Year” in 2013 by Gyro’s own employees.
Norwegian Royalty, Heads of State, top CEO's, investors and the national media all attend one big annual event, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise's Annual Conference. The organisation, known as NHO, has carefully built this arena over more than a decade, and Gyro has been their partner all along the way. In 2015 I was put in charge of the creative team tasked with developing the opening performance, among other responsibilities.
NHO has gradually become more open to bending conventions as the conference has become firmly established, but it is still a high profile, formal event so I faced a bit of a balancing act when asked to come up with something unconventional and exciting for the conference opening.
Two parallel expert teams at NHO work to prepare research and reports for the conference starting 2 years in advance, staggered by one year: this is a content-heavy affair with a thoughtful and meticulously constructed program. The 2015 conference was titled “7 million” - from a national bureau of statistics report that projects Norway’s population to increase from today’s just over 5 million to 7 million by 2040. This was chosen as a framing statement as it articulated an urgency in rethinking national administrative, socio-economic, and mobility infrastructures, issues that NHO keeps high on its political agenda. All this is to say that the conference program is thick with statistics, data and pretty dry analyses.
In our team, we had all been amazed by the Swedish Public Health Professor and statistician Hans Rosling’s inventive and engaging use of dry data in his TED talks, and were itching to try something similar. The NHO conference seemed like a perfect occasion.
The first step was casting a host who was up for the challenge. Securing as the comedian Harald Eia, one of Norway’s biggest names in comedy, acclaimed not least for his political approach and his professorial interest in social research was a crucial first step.
Together we developed a data-driven tale of how Norway got to house today’s 5 million people, traced via Eia's own DNA test made for the occasion, starting in 50 000 B.C. with the glowing dot of the population growth graph as the main character - at least as a bouncy side-kick to the comedian.
We quickly knew what kind of energy and impact we wanted, and Eia is a highly experienced comedy writer and performer, so the main challenge was short deadlines and how to create the design and its animations in a format that was agile enough to play nimbly along Eia’s improvisational style. We ended up building the entire show in Keynote, because we could cut in and edit on the fly, and it allowed us to follow Eia’s live performance the closest. This meant some loss in design refinery, but the result became just as playful, energetic, fresh and nutty-proffesorial as we had hoped for.
When Gyro won the Schibsted account in 2013, Schibsted's visual identity was based on blues and greys, and we came in just as they had begun the company’s journey into it’s digital transformation - a journey the company is still on. They were open to new input, and we were allowed some flexibility with their corporate design profile. I was Creative Lead for the account, and this project, The Next Level, exemplifies how we stretched a formal, conservative visual premise into a more playful, fresh look.
We were also asked to rethink the way Schibsted featured internal case presentations. So my team created and packaged a kind of Pecha Kucha format, called Schibsted Talks, with 8 minute back-to-back case presentations. We placed all the "contestants" on stage, in order t make the switch between presenters as fast as possible, and it added a game show competitiveness to an otherwise fairly predictable and plain presentation setting. The audience would vote on their favourite presentation, using an sms-polling system, and the talks were led by a dedicated host.
KONGSBERG Group is one of Norway’s oldest companies, its roots go back to the 1600s as the Danish King’s silver mining company - based in the hills of Kongsberg, Norway.
In 1814, Norway gained it’s independence form Denmark, and KONGSBERG was established to supply rifles to the fledgling Norwegian army.
In 2014 KONGSBERG celebrated its 200 year anniversary, and I was Creative Lead for our work on the overarching concept for the celebration.
I worked on a large team and the work involved a broad spectrum of films, websites, events, presentations, exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, employer branding campaigns and more.
My main idea structuring all the subsequent deliverables developed and produced within this large project, was to make the actual 200th birthday a pivot point between two mirroring concepts: a retrospective exploration of their history, beginning on KONGSBERG’s 1999th birthday, running in various channels and formats through the year, then turning into a bold vault of horizon-defying perspectives, for their “NEXT 200” years. We designed a campaign that stretched over two years, starting one year before the anniversary and closing as the company turned its 201st year. We adapted KONGSBERG's tagline "World Class" into "A World Class Journey" and "A World Class Challenge"
KONGSBERG embraced the simple symmetry of this conceptual framework and it provided the necessary load-baring robustness for one of the more comprehensive projects I was involved in at Gyro.
One of Norway’s most public philanthropes Christian Ringnes in 2006 decided to fund the transformation of a large, hitherto undeveloped natural park hill abutting downtown Oslo, into an ambitious public sculpture park, with international contemporary art. Considered an untouched gem by many locals, and Mr Ringnes being an outspoken, flamboyant real estate developer, the project received plenty of attention along the way. After much public debate, curatorial back and forth, political fuss and cultural buzz, in August 2013 the park was finally ready for its grand, public opening.
Gyro had won the public opening project, and my team developed content and experience design for a full day and evening with family friendly activities and entertainment. We had over 20 000 visitors over the course of the day.
I followed the park's publicity campaign as Creative Consultant, with focus on developing an app that would give you GPS-guided, QR-triggered themed tracks through the mostly wooded park, where artworks would be “discovered”. I worked with the curatorial board, the board of directors of the park, and app developers and designers.
The most formal of all the conferences I worked on for Schibsted Media Group is the annual leadership conference, called Schibsted Strategy Summit, where the company’s international top 3 tier managers and executives meet for one day’s updates, inspiration, alignment and networking.
My team had previously started introducing Schibsted to new experience designs and formats. So when CEO Ryssdal and his team for their 2015 summit were going to present a series of challenging new steps as part of their digital transformation, we proposed a completely open, up close venue design meant to convey honesty, approachability and community - a sense of shared purpose and commonality. The design entailed a degree of coaching and preparation of the speakers, as the person on the circle has to keep rotating - without spinning and passing out - to bring the format to life.
The design was very successful, and it gave us further licence to keep trying out our ideas with them.
Along side my work as Art Director and Creative Consultant, I have been on numerous concept development teams, where one of my key contributions is concept visualisation. I use a Wacom Cintiq touch-screen, and I draw with a digital stylus in Photoshop. I have included a small selection of sketches here, from a broad range of projects, some realised, some not.
These are samples of White Board Animations that I have drawn. In these cases, I did all the storyboarding, framing, and the actual drawings, but the animations were done from my drawings by motion graphics designers.
In one interesting case I created an animation for a live performance. The project entailed quite a few challenges, as the various animations would have to appear in sync with a live speech. The presentation was made for the company-wide launch of the new, Nordic IT-giant EVRY, and it was the opening address by the new CEO. I have included a short, sped up clip here, minus the voice.