The Importance of Reinventing Oneself

When American business magazine, Fast Company lists the ten most innovative architecture firms in the world, Tengbom finds itself in fourth position and the only representative from the Nordics.

Fast Company has listed the world’s most innovative companies in its annual round-up, in which Tengbom occupies fourth position in the list of architectural practices and the only architecture firm from the Nordics. Fast Company’s motivation notes Tengbom be recognised “For developing the future of architecture in real time,” referencing Tengbom’s involvement in designing the future of housing. Projects highlighted include the research-based HSB Living Lab, in which Tengbom plays an active role. It’s in this lab that research will be carried out in real time over the next ten years.

Rendering of HSB Living Lab by Tengbom.

Johanna Frelin took office in January as Tengbom’s new CEO, bringing with her a commitment to the digitalisation of the company as well as progressive future thinking of the role it plays in architecture itself. Recently Frelin was ranked as the third most powerful person in design and architecture in Swedish magazine, RUM and has previously been honoured as CEO of the Year.

Johanna Frelin, CEO of Tengbom / Foto: Jann Lipka

“Tengbom has been innovating for 110 years. But to succeed we have to constantly reinvent ourselves. We put great focus and effort on making timeless architecture but the conditions are always changing. Therefore our focus has to be on the future and examine how humans shall live and work. How our services will look, how our infrastructure will function and how to plan our future cities based upon change and the adoption of future technology,” says Johanna Frelin.

Tengbom is one of the biggest architecture firms in the Nordics with about 550 employees spread over 12 offices in Sweden and Finland.

“It’s fantastic with international spotlight on Swedish architecture. A Fast Company ranking speaks volumes of a brand and it’s a major milestone for us, not to mention a strong sign that Swedish architecture now is considered a recognised export,” says Johanna Frelin.