Day two of my recent three day trip to West Sweden, saw us leave Gothenburg behind and travel to Boras. A 45 minute drive away. You’ll remember that this trip was organised by Frida Ramstedt (Trendenser) and the West Sweden Tourist Board to promote West Sweden as a design destination, and they had a full day of activities planned for us. And when I say us, I should explain that we were a group of bloggers and writers from around Europe – Germany (Holly Becker of Decor8), France (Sandy Rubio of Esprit Design), Norway (Camilla Jorddal) and the UK (Emily Murray of The Pink House, Arianna of Arianna’s Daily, Tom May of Creative Boom and me!). Hey guys.
Boras has two claims to design fame. It is the home to the Textile Fashion Centre and the entire city is something of an art gallery with it’s “No Limit Street Art”.
The Textile Fashion Centre
The Textile Fashion Centre in Boras is a fairly new innovation. The building was opened in 2014 and incorporates The Textile Museum of Sweden and a whole host of other activities under a single roof. It’s now the hot spot for textiles in the country, incorporating education, innovation (smart textiles of the future that offer health advantages for instance), history, small business opportunities and exhibitions. There’s also a shop and a restaurant. Inside the industrial looking building you can see items from the museum collection, follow the cotton from fibre to fabric through the old textile machines, explore permanent and temporary exhibitions, dress yourself in historical fashions and discover your own creativity in the DIY area.
The Textile Fashion Centre images, ©Robert Dahlburg
No Limit Street Art
The No Limit Street Art Festival was held in Boras for the first time in September 2014. It’s an outdoor festival that invites artists from around the world to turn public spaces into an outdoor exhibition. There are several types of street art including murals – some as high as seven storey buildings – sculptures and installations. Boras decided early on that the festival must be authentic to the spirit of this movement and did not ask the artists for sketches in advance. Instead it provided them with walls as canvases for them to paint whatever they chose. And luckily for all of us the art can be seen at any time of the year, not just at festival time. Grab a map here, put on your walking shoes and explore.
And while you’re wandering the streets, look out for the miniature people peering down from drainpipes and the mouse-size shops at pavement level. There are over 30 in total dotted around the city. The little miniature shops are even lit at night. Artist unknown.
Street Art in Boras images, ©Robert Dahlburg
Bolon is a design led and innovative flooring company in scenic Västergötland, near Lake Åsunden. The company is now in its third generation and led by the Eklund sisters, Annica and Marie. We were treated to an amazing Fika while we listened to the two sisters talk about the company, it’s history and it’s transformation into an international trendsetter in flooring and rugs. What started as a modest company 60 years ago making mats out of textile offcuts, morphed into a company selling camping mats, and now (under the two sisters’ leadership) Bolon’s customers are Armani, Google, Mercedes, Adidas, Reebok and Sheraton, as well as leading architects and designers like Jean Nouvel and Cappellini. All design and production takes place in Ulricehamn.
A factory visit and a tour of the offices revealed that everything Bolon does is as stylish as Annica and Marie’s attire. The entire afternoon was very inspirational.
Bjertorpe Castle was to be our host for the night. It’s one of Sweden’s youngest art nouveau castles and the restaurant is one of Sweden’s finest. Arriving just as the sun was setting below the trees, we had the warmest of welcomes, with just enough time to quickly explore before darkness fell. It was designed in 1914 by the great architect of the time, Ferdinand Boberg and is now a supremely comfortable hotel. More details to follow in a separate post.
I was a guest of The West Sweden Tourist Board for this visit, but all views, and images unless otherwise credited, are my own.