The Pink

Design Enabled Ecosystem for Prototyping Sustainable Futures

In the middle of the northern Swedish town of Umeå is a large pink building, Scharinska Villan. In the past it has been a family home, a student house, a club for world class jazz music, a stage for the emergence of hard core and straight edge rock, a blossoming hip-hop scene and a location that has experienced more legendary parties than most. Now, in 2018, the house is about to enter a new role. A role that respects all these past manifestations, however looking into the future. But what is it to be? Who is going to walk its corridors and rooms, what will be made and shared from this unique cultural location?
The Pink project revolves around the future of this building. How could we design an inclusive place where current societal challenges could be tackled using methodologies from different expertise, all evolving around transformative practices? This project explores the qualities of the building and the possibility of creating a life-long learning environment where different sectors of the Swedish industry, but also on a global level, can come together and share their expertise and interests through working together within this building.

Envisioning a future for this iconic building required some time. Through several workshops, interviews and meetings, different proposals arose. Finding the balance between an open and a more private space, a place with respect towards current societal challenges and a place where people are able to freely explore and discover new things were all elements that heavily played a role in the process.
Exploring these elements eventually led to a plan: Scharinska Villan as a platform for spearhead innovation and sustainable social transformation: The Pink, where individuals, companies, public institutions and educational institutes are all welcome to be part of this ecosystem. Through offering different memberships and levels of participation.
This platform for spearhead innovation and sustainable social transformation is designed to be an experiential window towards the future, having a close connection to public and private institutions, and thus having a position in an ecosystem, where prototyping risk and navigating complexity are everyday practices. This ecosystem has relationships to cultural institutions, academia, industry and SME’s in the region, nationally and internationally. Making, creating and exploring are key to the activities here in The Pink: skills, knowledge and facilities for these practices are provided.

Concretely: The Pink is designed to become a dynamic place focused on transformations on any kind of level. The building provides spaces where people can work, make, meet and connect through different activities hosted in the building. The building provides a platform where partners are able to use the facilities and services provided within the building, but are also expected to bring their own expertise and interests alive for other partners within the community. In that way, The Pink will never have a fixed purpose with fixed activities, creating a dynamic identity, open for change.
For more information about the project, or to be part of this ecosystem visit the website:

External homepage: