Feb 2023 I started my solo studio with a clear mission, to explore new ways for me to engage with the world through design. I wanted to have an open mind and let the year take me where it wanted and it sure has been an exciting/busy/different kind of year filled with new and old people, friends, family, and of course doing design.
Looking back, this is how my first year has played out told through numbers.
coffee chats with people I never had met before. This brought new perspectives on design, introductions, mentorship in both directions and a realization that a solo design studio doesn’t need to be so solo. Definitely want to continue this in year two, here is the link to book.
main clients and often multiple projects with the same one. This made up the majority of my year with especially one client taking more than half of my time over the year.
larger projects that focused on sustainability and provided a way for me to be part of the solution to shift the dial toward Net-zero.
projects that sit at early stage innovation, zero to one type of work. Not much can be shared about these more than that they are a known sweet spot for me and doing them feels very familiar based on all the work I have done over the years at IDEO.
project together with an NGO to help them rethink impact and data. Felt truly meaningful and an industry I would love to continue working with.
of the year spent working with clients. This has enabled a much better work-life balance again after some years where that was tilted off. Being much more in control of where and with whom I spend time has been refreshing. More time for family, friends and own explorations.
keycaps sold and shipped to three continents through my Etsy store that I run together with my daughter. She is head of packaging, shipping, and guiding the design. Been much more successful than either of us anticipated and it feels great to do it together.
worth of projects forwarded to other freelancers/small studios in my network that I wasn’t able to take on myself for various reasons, primarily availability. Proud to have been able to help other freelancing designers in their journeys.
unique users and 10k views on my single-purpose site, Duscha.nu, which showcases the real-time cost of taking a shower in Sweden. Made in 2022 as the energy crisis hit Europe but I feel it is still relevant and it gets a nice bump in users each winter. Added some quality-of-life features to it and got my first coffee donation of 5 USD, thank you Joseph Dickenson!
stealth startup that we tried, and in some ways still trying, to get flying. Yes, it is AI-related. A lot of learnings from that on what works to get a thing off the ground, scale, and ambition.
mentorship setups with startups consisting primarily of weekly sessions together with the founders or as one of them lovingly called it, "a colon cleanse for the mind". A bit hard to balance with other commitments but when I was able to do so it was truly rewarding.
pilots that I have been, and still am, working with. I forecast that it will take a lot of my time in 2024 to get them into the market and I’m excited to be able to continue working with them.
Going into my second year I believe I want to continue the same path I started. I have enjoyed the mix of small and large, physical and digital and I hope to continue that, reserving time to be surprised and to explore new.
Selling keycaps on Etsy has brought a lot of joy and in this second year, I want to put more effort into building out a small series of physical/digital objects that can complement that. I probably need fewer explorations and more grit/focus to push it all the way finished. Working with blending bits and atoms still has a magical feeling to me.
So if you need someone to think about circular platforms, a new phygital product, or if you have a .org domain and doing good in the world, then send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a coffee.