Needed new eyes and new solutions

The students' suggestions have provided a clear picture of how the police station could be, and that is really a kick, says Eva Lindberg, police manager in Fagersta

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New visions for police station

A police station in need of rejuvenation and creative students at the Summer Design Office in Fagersta/Norberg. That encounter resulted in a whole new perspective on what a police station might be like – safer, more obvious and more welcoming.

The brown police station in Fagersta was built back in 1968. In the decades since then police work has changed but the building has been (as it were) set in stone. The small spaces and narrow hallways are no longer optimal for the activities they are supposed to house.

 “If we were to try to change anything ourselves, we would probably make small changes here and there. We needed new eyes and someone who could come up with solutions based on our particular circumstances,” says local police chief Eva Lindberg.

With this in mind, the police consulted the Summer Design Office in Fagersta/Norberg. Six students were asked to create a proposal for how the brown building could become a more modern and better functioning workplace. 

“At first it felt like the focus was on the building’s problem areas,” explains Martina Boyton, one of the students and one of the assignment’s two project managers. “But as we worked we came to look more at what the police are, what they stand for and what their job entails, and we then integrated this into the premises.”

 She says that there are a number of challenges with the old police station.

One of the biggest is security: the police have no zone of their own in the building and visitors – whatever their business – all mingle and talk side by side. But spaces were also needed for people to relax and get together. 

“Very many different needs have to be met and we tried to find an overall solution,” explains Åsa Agerstam, a student and the assignment’s other project manager. “But we talked with the police a lot about our ideas and what thoughts they had.” 

The ideas presented by the students were almost as extensive as their task. For instance, they suggested zones with varying degrees of openness to the public, a greater number of secluded places, a softer colour scheme and a more welcoming and obvious reception area. 

The Fagersta police have continued to work on the basis of the students’ proposal. They have ordered the furniture for the reception area and made some minor structural renovations to create a better working environment. They have also applied for more money to continue the renovation work next year. The next step is to assess the lunch/break room so it has enough space and facilities for all employees to meet. They also plan to present the proposal to the police authority’s strategic management group to see if the ideas could be used to rejuvenate more police stations in Sweden.

Eva Lindberg notes: 

“We’ve understood their way of looking at how we could solve the problems. The students’ proposal has given us a clear picture of what the police station could be like, and that’s really a positive boost.”

Text: Sara Wilk Photos: Thomas Ljungqvist.

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About the Summer Design Office

The Summer Design Office has existed since 1998 and has been run by SVID since 2001 at various locations in Sweden. Together with the clients – for example, businesses, municipalities and county councils – students work with concept-oriented projects in which the goal is to suggest ideas for concepts rather than to present turnkey solutions. The intention is to provide an insight into what design work is and how it can improve a business or activity.

 

SVID, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation | Svensksundsvägen 13, 111 49 Stockholm | info@svid.se I +46 (0)8 406 84 40

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SVID, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation | Svensksundsvägen 13, 111 49 Stockholm | info@svid.se I +46 (0)8 406 84 40