Meet the young pioneers of Norwegian design and architecture

Ut Finalister

Rethinking vaginal dilators, transforming unused oil platforms into biomass refineries, and moulding perfume onto beautiful sculptural sea sponges: These are just a few of the pioneering projects among this year’s 13 finalists in the Young Talents Award, hosted by The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture DOGA) in Oslo.

The purpose of the competition, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is to honour young, innovative designers and architects who are pushing limits and challenging their own field of expertise.

– Being chosen as a finalist is clearly a great acknowledgement. It shows that the designer or architect is at the very front of their field, and that the person is practising design or architecture in new and valuable ways, says Anne Gundersen, head of the jury.

Gundersen has, together with seven of Norway’s leading design and architecture professionals, selected the 13 finalists after careful evaluation of over 100 applications from young, Norwegian talents with educational backgrounds from both Norway and abroad. Jury member and founder of Superunion Architects, Johanne Borthne, was in fact so impressed by finalist and architecture student Jonathan Storheil Værnes’ vision of a tower block university as part of Norwegian town Drammen’s urban development, that he was offered a job at the renown architectural office in the aftermath of the jury process.

In previous years four winners have been chosen from applicants with a background in design. This year five winners are chosen among 13 finalists from both design and architecture. The award ceremony takes place at DOGA Wednesday 27th April 2016, after the finalists have exhibited and presented their projects at the architecture and design event Transform 2016, Norway’s most important meeting place for professionals within the industries.

– Most of these projects are university projects, which means that they can allow themselves to be more uncompromising and visionary than if an employer had been involved. That way the projects in themselves become important commentaries, says DOGA’s Charlotte Beck Solvær, coordinator for the Young Talents Award.

Finalists, Young Talents Award 2016

Innovation and Social Effect
Marie Stormo, Dignified use of vaginal dilators: Vaginal dilators for medicinal use.
Jon Eirik Mangschau, Flexshapegripper: A multifunctional gripping tool.
Rein Havang, Specialisation of Athletic Prosthesis: Prosthesis for certain athletic disciplines.

Environmental Regard:
Øyvind Amundsen Bay, Offshore Dinosaur: Rethinking oil platforms as biomass refineries.
Hans-Martin Birkelund Erlandsen and Peder Riegel, Cycle journeys: App for cyclists in Oslo.
Matthew Griffin-Allwood, Sable Island National Park: Design with a Dynamic Ecosystem: An outline of a mobile national park in a dynamic landscape.

Form and Aesthetics:
Kaja Solgaard Dahl, Tapputi and the Sea: Perfumes anchored in history and natural materials.
Taral Jansen, 2020 Oslo Tram: A design vision for Oslo’s tram system.
Silje Nesdal, Dorme: A flexible sofa for all-size rooms.

Universal Development:
Andreas Bergsaker, Blossom: A lamp with two mirrors on a tray.
Christoffer Aadalen, Plakativ: A module-based shelf system shaped by the user.

Jonathan Storheil Værnes, Drammen University Tower: Urban development of Drammen.
Caroline Myre Strømme, Henriette Sagvolden Marki and Ribekka Beitveit, TIO: Site-specific availability service for people with limited functionality.

The Jury

Anne Gundersen (head of the jury) from Making Waves – service and interactive design
Harald Lunde Helgesen from HAiK – textile and clothing design
Johanne Borthne from Superunion Architects – urban development
Kyrre T. Westengen from Asplan Viak – landscape architecture
Lars Kjelsnes from Heydays – visual communication
Randi Augenstein from Helen & Hard – architecture
Vigdis Apeland Bergh from Inne Design – interior architecture
Øystein Austad from StokkeAustad – industry and furniture design

Contact: Charlotte Beck Solvær, +47 410 08 030,