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Jennifer Bove
Sep 12, 2011
Interaction Awards Profiles Jonas Löwgren

The Interaction Awards is honored to have the support and participation of an international panel of expert jurors, and we’d like to introduce them to you. For the first in our series of jury profiles, we spoke withInteraction|12 Keynote speaker Jonas Löwgren.

Jonas Löwgren is professor of interaction design and co-founder at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden. He specializes in cross-media products, interactive visualization and the design theory of digital materials. Jonas has taught interaction design in university courses and in companies since the early 1990’s and initiated the influential two-year master’s program in interaction design at Malmö University in 1998. He has published some 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers and three books, including Thoughtful Interaction Design. His design portfolio comprises some 50 projects from explorative research and professional contexts.

We asked Jonas two questions and here’s what he had to say:

1- What is your favorite product, digital or otherwise, to use, and why?
My 2B 0.7 pencil, because it never stops challenging me. I use it for hours every day, and I have used pencils for many, many years, still there is always another question waiting: How can I draw this? What should I write next? What do these marks tell me, right here right now, concerning the idea I am trying to capture and shape?

Sketchbook Pro on a HP Slate comes surprisingly close. It has clear benefits over pencil in terms of production, such as layers and transformation tools, but alas it does not quite draw me into conversations with myself the way the pencil does.

2 – What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned, and who taught it to you?
The most important lesson I have learned is that there is always more to learn. All manners of humility, curiosity and explorative mindsets start there, which is sort of useful for a designer.

I can’t trace that lesson to a particular person, but I suspect it happened to me a couple of years into PhD studies. You know, at the point when your arrogant sense of knowing almost everything there is to know on your dissertation subject is shattered by increased acquiantance with the research literatures in your own field and related fields.

The most memorable lesson I have learned is easier. It was taught to me by my oldest daughter, and she did it simply by being born on New Year’s night fifteen years ago. At that moment, I could literally feel my fundamental values shift inside me. Before, it was sort of 50/50 on what would mean the most to me in life: my family or my own ambitions, such as a professional career. The minute after, it was obvious what was truly important: I knew that I would be living with my heart outside my body for the rest of my life, as someone has put it.

Read more about Jonas on his website.

The Interaction Awards are open until September 22, and will be celebrated at Interaction|12 in Dublin in February 2012. Find out more, read about our other jurors, and submit your work!


Interaction Awards is an initiative of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), a global community of over 100,000 individuals worldwide dedicated to the professional practice of Interaction Design. Find out how to join your local group and get involved at

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