Meet Matilde – with one foot in the heavy industries and the other in social impact

Joining experiences cross sectors to make a change

Matilde, our service designer born and raised in Copenhagen, has recently come back to her Danish roots after a few years at the office in Stavanger. She’s a versatile designer with a passion for social impact design, but also with significant experience from projects in the heavy industries. In this interview she tells us about why she chose to work with design, why she thinks working cross-sector is so valuable and how designers need to create partnerships to make a real impact.

Ever since early childhood, Matilde was immersed in a creative environment. Early one, she became interested in graphic design and started as a design student at the Scandinavian Design College. The more she learned about design, the more interested she became in the deeper impact that it can have on people, apart from the obvious visual aspect. That insight brought her on a journey from design school to social impacts projects, to projects in the heavy industries in Stavanger and back to Copenhagen. A bit wiser and with a couple of a-ha moments in her mental backpack.

“There is so much experience and knowledge that you can absorb and bring from one sector to the other.”
Matilde Storgaard Bjørnvik

Sees power in joining experiences from different sectors

When the opportunity to move to Stavanger appeared, Matilde didn’t hesitate long. To her, it was an opportunity to broaden her views and to experience a new city, a new country and a completely new context. “I’ve often chosen the unexpected path and been drawn to experience the unknown. When I got the chance to do an exchange, instead of going to any of the European design capitals, I went to Vancouver. So, when I got the opportunity to move to Stavanger, I took the chance to experience something new and work in a sector that was completely new to me – the heavy industries.”

She stresses that it’s been an eye opener working with big, complex, tech heavy industrial projects. “It’s something I haven’t thought much about before, but there is so much experience and knowledge that you can absorb and bring from one sector to the other. At a first glance, social impact and welfare projects might not appear to have anything to do with projects within the energy sector, but they do. These heavy industry projects require a very high level of preciseness and complexity crunching. I have learned how to work with complexity within design research, along with stakeholder management and cultural aspects. This is useful knowledge when working in big organisations – both in private and public sector.”

“Having a change mindset is not something that can be isolated to one issue or one department of organisation. It’s a way of running a business, a way of working every day.”
Matilde Storgaard Bjørnvik

Believes design can facilitate change

When asked about how design can play a role in the green shift and making businesses more sustainable, Matilde says that she thinks design plays an important role when it comes to change making. “I see a great potential in that we, as designers, can introduce companies and industries to a new way of working that facilitates working with change in general. By giving them tools and guiding businesses on how to be more agile and adaptable, it has an effect on how organisations develop their business and they become quicker at responding to changes in society in the long run. Having a change mindset is not something that can be isolated to one issue or one department of organisation. It’s a way of running a business, a way of working every day. That’s where the impact is made, and I think that’s where we can contribute as designers and consultants."

Wants to see more partnerships in design projects

Matilde has a deep passion for social impact projects, and is currently involved in a project aiming to help young people in vulnerable situations in Copenhagen. When discussing the role of design in creating solutions to social issues, she brings up the importance of partnerships and a holistic approach. “In these types of projects, I have really seen how it makes a difference to work with design in partnerships with other players. Design is not the solution to a social problem by itself, but it is an essential agent. And when partnering up with other professionals and creating cross-disciplinary teams, we can create truly ground-breaking things together. I would like to see more of this type of collaborations in the design industry.”

“Design is not the solution to a social problem by itself. But when partnering up with other professionals and creating cross-disciplinary teams we can create truly ground-breaking things together.”
Matilde Storgaard Bjørnvik

Valuable insights from experiments

Apart from more partnerships, Matilde is also calling for using more diverse tools and methods in service design processes and gives the (in)famous post it’s a nudge – “Often we see post its on every image linked to design - but I see a necessity to sometime go further and move away from the 2D post it wall. They’re a great and easy-to-use resource, but sometimes it can be good idea to give people a bit more of a physical experience of the process. I’d like to see more usage of role play, for example. This gives a chance to get valuable insights through experiments and is a great way to initiate implementation early.” She then goes on to emphasise importance of implementation, pointing out that “There is no such a thing as good service design if there’s not also good implementation. And for that, you need to provide training and preparation for both hose who’re going to offer the service and those who’re going to use it.”

Matilde in short:

Full namn: Matilde Storgaard Bjørnvik

Age: 31 years old

Title in EGGS: Service Designer

Born in: Copenhagen

Educational background: BA inCommunication Design from Design School Kolding and MA in Collaborative Design from Royal Danish Academy

What she likes about EGGS: The fact that it’s so easy to reach out to people. Working here is having 115 peers that you can ask for anything and there’s always someone to help you.

Hobbies: Learned to enjoy a classic Norwegian mountain hike during her years in Stavanger. Other than that, she loves hanging out in Copenhagen’s many cosy cafes or spend time fixing her new apartment.

Sounds interesting?

Matilde Storgaard Bjørnvik

You should talk to Designer
Matilde Storgaard Bjørnvik
+47 919 22 297

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