Beyond steel

The iron and steel industry has grown strong in Sweden thanks to iron ore, electricity and the people themselves. In the documentary film Beyond stål (Beyond steel), made by Jernkontoret together with designer and steel enthusiast Naim Josefi, a handful of creators describe their work with one of the world’s most inspiring materials – steel. The film aims to cast a spotlight on the asset that has enabled the steel industry to grow strong in Sweden: people with the right competence and an abundance of creativity.

A little simplistically, one could say that iron ore, electrical energy and people have forged the steel industry’s strength. Securing the supply of people with the right competence and creativity is crucial to the industry’s development and survival.

Together with fashion designer and steel enthusiast Naim Josefi, Jernkontoret invited a handful of creators from different parts of the country, some of them with a close connection to the steel industry and others with a newly awakened interest, to tell how they have developed together with one of the world’s most inspiring materials.

The result is the beautiful documentary film, Beyond stål.


Photo: David Walegren

The six cases in Beyond stål:

1. Steel for beautiful, functional tools and Nordic cuisine

– I wish to combine a really beautiful steel with an amazing characteristic feature. Steel is challenging to work with but in actual fact there are no limitations when it comes to working with it, says Torbjörn Tobbe Lundström, knife maker in Åre.

2. Steel brining the office outside

– I wish to make smart things that make people’s lives easier. Steel is so long-lasting and can withstand really tough stresses. If we look beyond industrial use there are so many exciting things to explore with steel as a material, says Lovisa Pettersson, designer and creator of The Bug.

3. Steel wire that makes a splash in fashion week

–The most exciting thing with the project was that it was an application and use of our material that I haven’t seen before. It was fascinating that it was possible to make a fabric. This opens up completely new dimensions for how we can use this material – it’s really only our imagination that sets the limits, says Dilip Chandrasekaran, Head of R&D and Technology at Kanthal.

– It’s putting together two quite different sectors. The fact that there’s a combination of two separate cultures is something so special, that’s perhaps the most important element in this project, says Naim Josefi, fashion designer and steel enthusiast.

4. Steel as poetry and origami

– Stilride is all about wanting to investigate the full potential of flat steel sheets. When we bend the sheet to make our construction this resembles, to a certain extent, what one does with origami, states Tue Beijer, industrial designer and founder of the electric scooter Stilride.

5. Gala dresses that are both "beyond fashion" and "beyond steel"

– After Fashion week, the project was really in the public eye. People from outside came along and everyone wanted to see the steel dress. I really believe that with steel there are no limits to where one’s creativity can lead. I think there are endless possibilities with steel, says Timmy Samuelsson, production engineer at Voestalpine Munkfors and co-creator of Steel Dress.

– The collaboration with Munkfors was amazing. I had a creative spark with colours and then – in no time at all – there came 100 metre strip in black colours that had never been produced earlier. The ambition was to establish something exclusive, beyond fashion and also beyond steel as we know it, and bring it to Fashion week, says Naim Josefi, fashion designer and creator of, among other things, Steel Dress. It shows a really unique and innovative co-operation between the fashion industry and the steel industry, he continues.

6. Steel – the scent of a sustainable development

– I create dreams and define the DNA imprint of companies or people in a fragrance. A scent, after all, is incredibly abstract, to be able to identify it and then apply it in such a tangible material as steel – that is one of the most unique combinations that I’ve ever worked with. Until now at least!, says Linda Landenberg Holst, perfume maker and co-creator of the perfume Steel by Naim.

Watch the documentary film BEYOND STÅL: