Montaag is a multidisciplinary design studio

Our passionate and eclectic mix of designers and researchers are driven to create insightful, functional and, perhaps, unorthodox design solutions — solutions that add value and distinction, and ultimately, sharpen your competitive edge.

Contact us


Ryfylkegata 22
N-4014 Stavanger

T: +47 48 11 22 00

Automotive Megatrends

Shaping Vehicles of the Future

Fall 2018

For individuals and multinational car companies, mobility markets are undergoing huge volatility. Montaag has conducted research and strategy projects for a variety of automotive OEMs and identified a set of key megatrends that will shape vehicles of the future.


With consumers being incentivized by tax cuts and low-to-no-road taxes, the electrification of the current fleet of cars is already well on its way. During the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change was negotiated—the Paris Agreement. On April 22nd, 2016, 174 countries signed this agreement in New York.

With the emergence of increasingly intelligent technologies comes the possibility and promise of autonomous vehicles. The stronghold of established automotive manufacturers will disappear, fueled by new and different commercial realities, as well as changed end-user expectations.

Autonomous vehicle technology may be able to solve certain problems associated with large/megacities of the future, but not all. Instead, they are likely to provide a link in varied multimodal mobility system.

Consumers are now used to always being connected: to each other, to their phones, to the world. The present expectations of increasingly seamless experiences between all devices and services—at home, in the office or anywhere in between—  will continue to develop and become an expected norm. 

Vehicles in the future will also benefit hugely from being connected. From a safety, efficiency and financial standpoint, but also in terms of how they fit with infrastructure and urban transportation networks and systems.

Tomorrow's consumer will perhaps own fewer of certain things, outright. With the presently trending Sharing Economy people are starting to realize the inconvenience and responsibility of ownership, and instead choose to utilize services that offer all the benefits of ownership without the burden.

Mobility service providers have seen a massive growth in the last few years—a sure sign of things to come. With autonomous vehicles on the near horizon, the way we transport ourselves will dramatically change.

Large international investments into new mobility businesses seem to be happening at an increasing speed. New mobility options for consumers are opening up new markets.  These new mobility business forms create opportunities for broad fleet deployments that could be specified for localized users within global markets.

Health and wellness has become an increasingly important industry, and is showing no sign of slowing down. Sales of fitness trackers and health monitoring wearables/technology have exploded in the last few years. Health apps are included in most new phones.

This trend will flow into automotive design as consumers’ demands for having their vehicles seamlessly integrated in their lives continues to grow.  Health analytics will be an omnipresent, embedded and structurally important feature of healthcare provisions, whether private or public.​

For a large segment of the global population, lifestyles are shifting toward increased urbanisation, smaller homes, and a blurring of the lines between work and social life. These changes are directly affecting human relationships with transportation; specifically, mobility requirements.

Fra Norske Bransjemagasinet:

Montaag Oslo er minimalistisk og vågale

Skaper rom der mennesker kan interagere med hverandre, utvikles og trives

Montaag Oslo AS briljerer innen interiørarkitektur, fasadedesign og industridesign, der minimalistisk design møter den mer vågale tankegangen fra Silicon Valley. – Det handler om brukerperspektiv og det å skape gode brukeropplevelser, sier daglig leder i designstudioet.

Montaag finnes i Stavanger, San Fransisco i USA og i Oslo, hvor vi er på besøk i dag. Karoline Bommen er daglig leder i Montaag Oslo AS og er utdannet industridesigner. Hun har en imponerende portefølje og karriere, og jobber med industridesign, interiørarkitektur, lys- og fasadedesign i designstudioet.

Hannah Nordstrøm Berg er partner i Montaag Oslo, og startet Montaag Oslo sammen med Bommen. De kompletterer hverandre, og duoen tar gjerne jobber der de kan få fritt spillerom. Der utfordringene er mange og løsningene enda flere.

– Vi jobber blant annet mot eiendomsutviklere. Der har vi mange kunder som vi har jobbet for flere ganger på ulike prosjekter. Det er ofte store kontorbygg som skal ha inn nye leietakere, eller eldre bygg som skal moderniseres for å konkurrere med nye, moderne bygg. Da lager vi 3D-skisser og detaljerte planløsninger, og vi følger hele prosessen fra konsept til ferdigstillelse, forteller Bommen.

Jobber i detalj

De jobber også for Norpeis med å utvikle peiser og ovner. Da jobber de på en helt annen måte: i detalj med prototyper og produktutvikling, gjerne over flere år. De kortere oppdragene som går over et halvår er designoppdragene innen retail; der begrep som branding og identitetsbygging står sentralt og hjelper kafeer, restauranter, kjøpesentre, treningssentre og store varehus med å skille seg ut i mengden.

– Vi har også gjort design av fasader og inngangspartier i bybildet for å trekke folk inn i bygg og å skape interessante gatemiljøer i form av lyssetting. Vi jobber tett med branding og identitet i forhold til hvordan kjøpesentre, treningssentre og lignende kan differensiere seg på markedet, forteller Bommen om hvordan de jobber.

Les hele intervjuet med vårt Oslo-team her:

Join our team!

We are hiring a Senior Industrial Designer

Great design has the power to change the way we communicate, work and live. In Montaag, we are triggered by creating viable design solutions with focus on the people using them. We are informal and playful designers working with both national and international clients. We are now looking for an experienced UX Designer to join our team in Stavanger.

With Montaag, you will:
- Design and develop design solutions for digital and physical products
- Be involved in all phases of the development process, from research to delivery
- Work with a vast range of clients in all types of industries
- Become a part of a flexible and dynamic work environment
- Develop your superpower skills working on challenging projects
- Work as a part of our team, sharing knowledge, skills, methods and ideas

We are looking for someone who:
- Is nice, structured and creative
- Takes initiative
- Is comfortable working independently, but prefers working in teams
- Is familiar with Design Thinking methods
- Communicates well with everyone, especially developers
- Has love for the tools, both digital and analog 
- Has minimum 5 years relevant experience 

Apply here:

Application deadline 
Please submit your application as soon as possible, we will be contacting candidates shortly.

Please contact:
Mats Henriksen
Snr. Designer / Managing Director
Mobile: (+47) 907 69 110

We look forward to hearing from you!

A Summer of Cultural Exchange

and Crowdfunding Campaigns

At Montaag, our mix of designers and researchers from Berkeley, Oslo, and Stavanger is the best of many worlds. Our Scandinavian roots influence our approach—embracing simplicity, minimalism, and high functionality—with a Silicon Valley flair.

This summer, we took a leap of entrepreneurial faith, launching Montaag Products LLC and our first original product, AnZa, on Kickstarter. For the unfamiliar, AnZa is a home espresso machine borne out of passion for good coffee and boredom with the default espresso machine vernacular. You may have seen images of our original concrete prototype floating around a couple of years ago. Our current product line has expanded to include an elegant (if we may say so ourselves) Corian model.

As a design consultancy, we are no stranger to trying new things—but attempting to launch a product line? We needed some fresh thinking and diverse perspectives.

Fortunately, our Berkeley business acumen ballooned this summer, with the addition of Henrik Alfredsen and Daniel Karlsen. Both business students, Henrik and Daniel joined Montaag Products LLC as part of Gründerskolen, a program that brings Norwegian students to work as interns for Bay Area startups for the summer. In addition to taking classes at UC Berkeley, the two strategized our Kickstarter campaign launch, and chatted with fans and press from around the world.

After many rounds of AnZa prototypes, our team has fine-tuned the technical specs and secured a full-scale manufacturer overseas. Our goal is to bring this special conversation piece out of the studio and into kitchens all around the world. Thanks to Henrik and Daniel’s support, the AnZa campaign has now launched, and runs through September 6th.

After all, whether in California or Norway, good ideas run on caffeine.


Interested in bringing an AnZa home? Back our Kickstarter campaign!

Design Without Borders

1951 Coffee's New Advocacy Model

"1951 Coffee is entirely staffed by refugees, asylum seekers and special immigrant visa holders. The nonprofit establishment counts among its baristas people who left Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, Uganda and Syria after facing political, religious or ethnic persecution. It’s a coffee shop with a cause, giving recent arrivals barista training and employing them in customer-facing roles so they can practice speaking English and engage with the community."  LA TIMES, 21 January 2017

Today, as walls threaten to divide us, design has never been a better tool for uncovering solutions to improve lives.

At Montaag, we are set on results that do the most good—for client, consumer, and community alike.

With 1951 Coffee Company—a nonprofit cafe empowering Bay Area refugees and asylees through job training and employment—we've met our match.

We are honored and humbled to be 1951's design partner in creating a welcoming and engaging space that radiates hope. Read more about this initiative in the LA Times.

It's complicated

(But needn't be.)

Let's not beat about the bush: what sort of long-winded question is this, given the context? 

And are we the only ones who instinctively hit the wrong button every time, only to repeat the mistake again and again? 

Why are the colors wrong?

“No” should be assigned the red color, in line with how most people intuit its meaning. After all, you stop at the red traffic light. 

And then, just when we think we've got it, the little device asks AGAIN, "Are you sure?" At which point "Yes" appears in red once again.

But we're not alone. We asked 10 people to assign the words "Yes" and "No" to the colors red and blue. Ten out of ten said that blue means "Yes," and red means "No."

We dare you to question our sample size.

Mind you, we recognize this is not a life-changing action. Humans can adapt to even the most baffling behaviors. But it does represent the annoying, unwelcome user experience traps that mess with our minds every day.

So, NCR (not to pick on you specifically, though, sorry, I guess we are), we did it.

We fixed it for you, free of charge.

We respected your user interface, but, as you see, changed the colors.

And we increased legibility in font size for both questions and buttons...there are a lot of people who are vision impaired, after all.

Is this a manifesto? Not quite. But in the end, design without respect for human intuition is not worth much in our book.

Si Hallo til nye utfordringer

Montaag i Stavanger trenger designere

Vi jobber med flere spennende nye prosjekter og søker i den forbindelse etter en junior designer og en Snr. designer med snarlig tiltredelse.

Søknader lastes opp i eget skjema 

Søknadsfrist 23. April 2017

Jr. Designer

Du vil jobbe med mange varierte prosjekter både som en del av et større team og selvstendig med egne prosjekter. Du vil få muligheten til å delta på alt fra identitetsprosjekter til utvikling av apper og brukergrensesnitt. Vi ønsker en person med gode visuelle ferdigheter som kan levere like godt digitalt som til print.

Høyere eller relevant utdanning
Adobe CC Wizkid

Personlige egenskaper:
Ansvarsbevisst, stor innsatsvilje, og godt humør
Du liker å jobbe i team, men er samtidig selvstendig
Du må kunne trives i et hektisk miljø

Snr. Designer

Vi ser etter en person som har bred kompetanse, alt fra planlegging, til idé og utførelse. Du behersker Adobe CC til fingerspissene og har animasjonserfaring. Du liker idéprosessen like mye som selve produksjonen, og du trives med å jobbe i team og arbeider godt selvstendig på egne prosjekter. Du er kreativ og løsningsorientert, og verdsetter kvalitet og nøyaktighet.

Høyere utdanning
Min. tre års relevant arbeidserfaring
Adobe CC Guru
Sketch mester

Personlige egenskaper:
Ansvarsbevisst, stor innsatsvilje, og godt humør
Du liker å jobbe i team, men er samtidig selvstendig
Du må kunne trives i et hektisk miljø

Vi kan tilby:
Spennende og varierte arbeidsoppgaver
Mulighet for å arbeide internasjonalt
Spennende prosjekter
Lønn etter kvalifikasjoner
Godt arbeidsmiljø

VARD Future Ship: IDSA IDEA 2016 Winner

MONTAAG Collab Takes Gold

BERKELEY, CA— “A Step Forward,” VARD’s future ship concept designed and developed in collaboration with design agency MONTAAG was awarded GOLD at the 36th annual International Design Excellence Awards® (IDEA®) conducted by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). “A Step Forward” is among more than 1,700 designs projects from 30-plus countries that competed in IDEA 2016.

Norwegian shipbuilder VARD commissioned MONTAAG in Spring 2014 to help develop a near-future facing concept vessel. After initial months of in-depth research and intercompany dialogue, a combined team began designing around the project’s two guiding pillars: a significantly more economical and efficient ship that would result in a wider operational window, and an elevation of onboard quality-of-life to attract future captains and crew to their new "home away from home."

The project’s unveiling in June 2015 at the biannual Nor-Shipping trade show in Oslo, Norway, featured a scale model of the ship, as well as full-scale replicas of the ship’s cockpit bridge, crew cabin, and meeting rooms. 

“From the bridge constellation to the crew cabins, from the mess hall to the helideck, every environment on the ship has been reconsidered to maximize efficiency, safety, convenience, comfort, and, well, enjoyment” says Montaag principal designer Per Selvaag. “In elevating life on board—through dramatically improved connectivity to loved ones on land, and by providing more and better opportunities for privacy and socialization—VARD will recruit and retain a high caliber workforce that will perform at a consistently higher level.”

Jury Chair Cameron Campbell, IDSA, led a team of global design experts to judge more than 600 finalists from June 3 to 6 at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. The panel declared 26 Gold; 47 Silver; and 63 Bronze IDEA winners. “I value the critical discussions with my peers from diverse disciplines in defining the best of design,” says Campbell.

Winners were revealed on August 17 at the grand IDEA 2016 Ceremony at The Henry Ford. 

IDSA Board of Directors Chair John Barratt—himself a former IDEA jury chair—hails the competition as “the authority on design”—showcasing new designs in products that are used every day, and products featuring first-of-a-kind innovations.


Montaag is a multidisciplinary design studio with offices in Berkeley (CA), Stavanger And Oslo, Norway. Founded in 2013 by former BMW and Peugeot designer Per Ivar Selvaag, Montaag’s passionate and eclectic mix of designers and researchers are driven to create insightful, functional and, perhaps, unorthodox design solutions—solutions that add value and distinction, and ultimately, sharpen clients’ competitive edge.

About IDSA
Founded in 1965, the nonprofit IDSA is one of the oldest and largest membership associations for industrial design professionals, with thousands of members in dozens of Professional Chapters, Student Chapters and Special Interest Sections in the United States and internationally. IDSA sponsors IDEA®, the world’s most prestigious and rigorous design competition. The Society hosts events including an annual International Design Conference, five District Design Conferences and a Medical Design Conference—bringing together some of the biggest names and brightest minds in industrial design and related fields. Global outreach includes designUpdate and designBytes e-newsletters; INNOVATION magazine; and the Yearbook of Design Excellence featuring IDEA, IDSA Award and Student Merit Award winners. IDSA Ambassadors support and promote industrial design with research and thought leadership.

For more information about Montaag's role in this collaboration, visit the VARD project page.


It's not all black turtlenecks and Moleskine® sketchbooks...


Designer - Representing Team Berkeley

Designer - Representing Team Oslo

Hallo, Hannah in Oslo!  

So, let’s discuss: How do you explain the design process to non-designers and clients who are new to working with designers?  


Hi, Anthony!

So, this is such a challenging topic, I have to say, but let’s try.

First off, can we dispel a couple of popular myths?

Myth: all designers know how to draw.
Very wrong. No, we don't all know how to draw. I'm not very good at drawing by hand and prefer to draw directly in 3D.

Myth: all designers dress in black
This one is almost true, but in some rare cases it's not...


Well, someone is playing Mariah Carey Christmas songs VERY LOUDLY in the studio right now---surely that must dispel some additional designerly myths.

Perhaps, Anthony.  Ok---let’s get serious now.


Right:  I think one of the inherent skills good designers have is their ability to synthesize ideas from all the information and noise that exists, especially at the start of a complex, multifaceted project.

But what is the mental process a designer goes through, to achieve this?

So far I have experienced different approaches:

One is to let the designer use their own internal taste and thought process to come up with ideas that fill the blank piece of paper at the beginning.  The upside of this is that lots of ideas are created quickly, but may lack the strong framework that can be used to justify a design when it is presented along with a business case. The client has to trust the designer.

The other process, which is more prevalent here in Montaag Berkeley, is to document the process carefully and use the research and data gathered to create conclusions. These conclusions are then used to build designs around. This process takes longer and is more involved, but leads to an outcome that can be validated, so can easily be justified with a business case.

Should a designer consider both approaches simultaneously? Maybe this is the best way.

What do you think?


Thanks for sharing your insights, Anthony----I agree with you in a lot of things.

The design process is a more fluid process with a lot of things happening simultaneously. It can be very messy, and, like you said, I think a good designer sees opportunities and solutions where others see mess and problems.

The different processes that a designer goes through I think depend on which area of design you work within and where you work as well---for a small company or a big company, and where you are geographically.

If you work in a small company and you are the only designer, often there is no time and no money for a long research period. So it's very much up to the designer to possess enough information to make a good project. This is off course not the ideal way to design good projects. But makes a very hectic process full of shortcuts.

Ideally a design process has time for research in form of interviews, observations, role play and data. This was the way most designers were trained during their studies. Since Montaag Oslo is a smaller office, we don't always have the possibility to do as much research as we want, but must rely on each other's knowledge and experience from previous projects. This I find very useful since practical experience makes us realistic and efficient in making feasible valid projects.

In my opinion I think the best projects have a mix of the designer's personal experience, valid data and the client's needs.


As you mentioned at the beginning, Hannah, this is a hard topic---and one of the most challenging for designers---trying to explain the process and convince others that it is repeatable.

And, it's definitely a myth that designers just make things pretty!

Well, anyway, I guess you and I should probably get back to improving the world...using design.  

Bye, Hannah!

Yes, back to work!  

Bye, Anthony!


(Hero Photo: "Defective compact fluorescent lamp x-ray" by Jan Gräser, Germany)

NIMA makes TIME's "Best inventions of 2015"

Latest greatest press for NIMA/MONTAAG Collab

Thursday, 19 November 2015

TIME magazine announced this morning their “Best 25 Inventions for 2015”---and 6SensorLabs’ NIMA gluten sensor is prominently listed in the pack. 

We couldn’t be more excited for our friends and colleagues at 6SensorLabs, as helping design the NIMA has been a project very near and dear to our collective heart.  

Our collaboration on the NIMA Sensor has been a rewarding one. NIMA is one of those rare products that will make a real and meaningful impact on the lives of those that use it.  

Heretofore, if, as a gluten-allergic or -averse person dining out, you want to test your food for gluten, you have to roll with and roll out a mini-chemistry set, and then wade through a 20-minute process for the results. It’s an option neither attractive, convenient, nor cost-effective, essentially adding to the stress of the overall experience. 

NIMA addresses all of the above: a smart-looking, portable, palm-sized device that gives easy-to-understand test results---smiling or frowning face---in around 2 minutes. 

The NIMA is the full package---both literally and figuratively---in its demonstration of how design, science and technology can come together to address real problems in innovative and thoughtful ways.

Congratulations, 6SensorLabs!  



Meet the Minds Behind the Designs

Introduce yourself…

Hannah Nordstrøm Berg

I work in Montaag’s Oslo, Norway studio as designer specializing in interiors.  

No, I'm from a farm outside a small town called Mysen, which is one hour outside Oslo.

Because you get the opportunity to participate in shaping a small part of your surroundings into something better.

I like the variety in projects and work tasks---and that I'm constantly learning new things.

On process and routine…

I like to research the area/problem, see who the users are, and try to identify the tasks that needs to be solved.

Normally I start with reading and answering emails, and prioritizing my projects for the day. Then I might move on to finding inspiration, drawing, editing drawings, making renderings, finding technical specifications, etc. I also find I'm normally most productive after lunch.

It's a bit of an organized mess, normally with some mints and gum since I'm addicted to them. Aside from that, my desk is quite impersonal.

I like to sketch in Rhino; not by hand.

On a rewarding project…

I’m loving working on a new Oslo cafe for Bit, a cafe franchise in Norway. This is still an ongoing project, but I love that we get to design so many special-made pieces of furniture and help to make this a unique cafe.

Designing a kiosk concept with interior in 4 days was pretty challenging.

Yes---I’d love to have a hand in designing a landmark.

On recharging and inspiration…

When I have absolutely no ideas or images about things I want to do in my head.

When I run into a wall during the workday or week, I like to sleep on it if there is time and let it be for a day or so. If there is not time, I'll go and have a coffee and, perhaps, ask other people for their advice and opinion. On the weekends, I really enjoy walking or biking around the city looking at my surroundings, I especially like to find places I've never been. When I travel, I love going to places I've never been before and to see different things from what I see everyday.

I'm a big fan of Pinterest and Instagram, and it always amazes me how many beautiful images and places there are that you might not notice in your everyday life. Everything looks better with a filter!  But, I also draw inspiration from the people around me and  my surroundings, as well as old movies, exhibitions, architecture among many other things. When working on a specific project, I’ll do a lot of searching online, consider new products and materials from different producers, as well as new ways of using materials---and I’ll always refer to my Frame magazines.  

Yes!  Walking, biking, music, snapping pictures with my phone, reading, snowboarding.  

On design thinking and thinking about design…

Tenacity and curiosity.

That we only work with superficial things like deciding wallpaper or color on a product.

Gyms, housing for elderly, and public universally-designed toilets.

Being able to work on a wide range of subjects, and to learn about things you didn't know.

The skepticism to changes and things that have not been done before.

The need to design for interaction between the user and a physical object/environment along with integrating materialism, construction, form and intuitive use.


Meet the Minds Behind the Designs

Introduce yourself…

Mr. Anthony Nicholas Pond

I’m from London, so it’s “Anthony” with a silentish “h."

I work in Montaag’s Berkeley, CA studio helping design and create the future for our clients.

Well, I love being involved in design and shaping the future of products and how people will interact in new ways in new scenarios. I enjoy the breadth of work and exposure to a variety of work when consulting, and how you have to act like a sponge to absorb and learn new information regarding different products, markets, technologies etc.  And then you get to use all this new knowledge to create a meaningful and relevant outcome. The other option was to study Geography---I made the right choice.

It’s an Intriguing place with no boundaries. Everybody has an equal voice, and brings different opinions and approaches to the table.

On process and routine…

Generally I need sometime to digest the project and its scope; spending time researching the project and building a good understanding of the problem that is trying to be tackled. Sometimes reframing the problem can lead to a more relevant and creative solution.

I always try and make a to-do list, breaking up large tasks into smaller more digestible chunks. I always find time to step away from my computer in the middle of the afternoons, even if it is just to make a coffee.

Either first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening. During the day the studio can be rather hectic with meetings and conversations happening all the time. Although some of the most useful meetings are those that can happen around the studio’s kitchen table.

I do like some order and predictability, and sometimes my desk can be a bit tidy. Then someone comes and puts Post-it Notes all over it. It’s hilarious. (It’s not hilarious.)

Conversation and interaction with others in the studio is one of the most important. I rely heavily on this.

On a rewarding project...

I was involved in the creation and realisation of a new Human Machine Interface for controlling an OSCV (offshore subsea construction vessel) for Norwegian shipbuilder VARD. Basically, we moved a product that had only received incremental improvements into the 21st century with a radical and disruptive redesign. This project combined both physical and digital user-experience---aspects of design I really enjoy being involved with.

By chatting with and learning from the Montaag research team (they are totally amazing), I was able to gain a truly priceless perspective on our specific end-users and how they currently work, as well as insights into how new innovations could have a big impact. As a team we worked with many physical prototypes makes changes as we learned through testing.

The final outcome was a result of VARD having the foresight to allow Montaag the freedom to innovate in this very conservative industry, adding value, and helping VARD to sell ships in this very challenging time in the oil industry. 

On recharging and inspiration…

I find cooking a particularly relaxing and therapeutic. For me this isn’t a creative a process---it is just careful time management, and then you have something to share with friends and family, that, hopefully, brings a smile! I also like to escape the city to spend time in areas of natural beauty, as a reminder as to what is important.    

As a designer you are always absorbing inspiration, so you can pull it out when you need it. I love photography---especially when I am away on vacation. Additionally, I enjoy a bit of Skiing when there is some snow around.  And, as I’m new here, I like to visit SF’s many art galleries, cafes, and restaurants---especially with a group of friends or family.

On design thinking and thinking about design…

Understanding problems, great designers can comprehend very complex, multi-faceted problems, and synthesis a simple solution.  (I clearly think designers are amazing, and can do anything!)

As improving the aesthetics… this is not design… but is always the by product of good design.

Good design can improve efficiency in the way people behave and interact with their environments in both the macro and the micro sense. Design can really add value in public organisations by enabling improvements in efficiency.

The creation and definition of the future: designers shape the objects and experiences of products and services that have not yet been conceived. As technology advances, it is design that shapes the future, it is not what is possible; it is what you can conceive.

Often the best idea/solution you have comes at the end of the process, once you have gained all the experiences and knowledge.

Design education is more of a way of thinking, rather than a set of skills. This way of thinking can be applied to  nearly any industry. Design and design thinking is still very much in its infancy as a skill, and more and more corporations are seeing how valuable design can be in adding value.

I have worked on many challenging projects, as a designer working on a project is never complete.

To be involved in the creation of a full ecosystem - redefining all the experiences and touchpoints of the system.  



An email conversation between international colleagues about the challenging nature of email conversations between international colleagues.


Designer - Representing Team Stavanger

Designer - Representing Team Berkeley

Hello, Marissa! Greetings from Stavanger!

Let’s have a conversation about long distance email as collaboration tool, shall we? 

Based on my experience, I would say that long distance collaboration easily can create more frustration than satisfaction--- especially when the time difference is more than 5 hours.

Do you have the cure? :)


Hi, Steffen...from 9 hours behind you in Berkeley.

I totally agree with you: using email to collaborate and share ideas for design just doesn't work that well.

One area where I find it lacking is in the time to construct an email---writing a message, making sure your message describes your points, having the right tone, including images (but most the time you have to construct the image with call-outs to point out your points), then copying everyone’s exhausting!

I hear you, did kind of revolutionize the way we communicate. It has made it possible to communicate instantly over a long distance. However, it totally lacks the human touch---and, no, smileys do not make up for that. :-)

Human touch? What do you call the mass “reply all”? Where a small number of answers/responses are helpful, but many voices lead to confusion and more questions?

There’s the human touch. ;-)

But to return to your previous point about the time difference, when it is more than 5 hours, you may have to wait another day to get a response. So, I guess, the amount of time that goes into trying to collaborate through email makes me wonder: is there a better solution out there? And as designers, why don't we design one?


I agree, Marissa, we are totally ready to take the next step.

I am thinking telepathy. Or why not a teleport with time difference elimination?

Teleporting would be cool---and would save so much time!

Although I’m just not sure how close we actually are to that solution.


True, it will probably not be in our lifetime...if anyone's. But, yeah, how cool would that have been! :)  

So, for now, we will have to settle for email, skype and live chat---what a shame!

Such a shame, Steffen.

I am a big fan of chat, though. Even when working with people within the studio I use G-chat to ask questions, get someone's attention, or just say “Hi.” That may be the collaborative method of the near future.

Not to plug their products, necessarily, but Google's suite of online tools (Docs, Slides, Sheets) also allow for group editing and group chats. I find that super helpful for working in teams, we can all work from wherever on the same doc. It doesn't, however, help with the time difference…


Well, maybe our salvation for that problem lies with Google, too, then.

I’m going to write a very detailed email, cc:ing all of Google (and bcc:ing Elon Musk), laying out the complexities of the problem (with visuals) and asking them to consider tackling it (if they’re not already).

Wish me luck!

Great idea, Steffen!

Good luck!


Meet the Minds Behind the Designs

Steffen, industrial designer from our Stavanger team, gives serious answers to serious questions...

Definitely not good. I can make coffee change color by adding milk.

I love when things are done right---like when a product solves a problem in a way where someone doesn’t have to think twice about how to use it, and, at the same time, can take a step back and admire it.  Unfortunately, too many things---products, designs---fall outside this category.

I don’t believe that meat is good for you. Yes, it tastes amazing, but healthy? Nah!

When joking around, I have the special ability to very gently prod a given topic past the point of comfortableness. Let's just say, it helps that my friends are open minded.

For problem solving, I try to find inspiration in similar solutions within other fields of expertise. For inspiration in general, it is the things surrounding me: my Danish design furniture and carefully chosen electronics, nature, cars, etc.
And, of course, I follow a bunch of blogs: Core 77FastCo DesignKickstarter and Nyhederne, just to name a few. 


Meet the Minds Behind the Designs

Marissa, an industrial designer in our Berkeley studio, gives serious answers to serious questions...

I should say Monday, but it's probably Tuesday/Wednesday. I get the most done on those days.

Only in the morning. For some reason I don't like coffee after noontime---it's a morning drink!

I fail a bit everyday, but that's what's fun about design. Failing makes you rethink, relook and try again to find a solution.

I think I've always been interested in design; I like to problem solve and figure out how to make something better.

I really wanted to be a gymnast, but I peaked at 12.

All brainstorming is good!

All kids deserve a trophy!

Yes! I just saw it happen on Astronaut Wives.

14 September 2015



An Inter-studio Dialogue on Timely Topics

First rule of thought leadership:  
You do not talk about thought leadership  


Founder / Principal Designer - Representing Team Berkeley

Partner / Principal Designer - Representing Team Stavanger

Good morning from California, Mats! So, does the mere mention of the term Thought Leadership make your hair curl as much as mine?

And good evening from Norway, Per. So, maybe, this is an American concept? Would you be kind enough to explain it to me---without coloring it too much with your personal distaste?

I’ll do my best to provide an objective description without passing out. Basically, Mats, Thought Leadership is a way of distinguishing, presenting and promoting yourself or organization as A, or even THE source of expertise in a certain field or discipline. It’s not a new concept, but has become rather fashionable, lately. It's all the rage, in fact and to not engage in it is a mortal sin for us creative types.

I thought it had to do with thinking before you lead. ;-) Or just thinking about leadership (a decidedly more passive leadership style). This sounds like what we call Floskler in Norwegian---made up words that mean nothing. In this case, marketing people inventing words that give meaning to what I think is more about managing common sense; about knowing people and knowing how to respond to their needs. But that wouldn't look too nice on a business card: VP of Common Sense.

That has a distinctly Norwegian ring to it, actually.

Maybe. Regardless, Per, in this TED-infused generation, when we all need to have something to share, this old idea has obviously found new life. Thought Leadership is all about sharing ideas and thoughts, right?

Ultimately, yes? I think the actual term is probably fine, but the way it has been put to use is comical. I mean: Barack Obama never officially engages in Thought Leadership.  He's just not that insecure. It's like this: "People! I am about to engage in some Thought Leadership. Line up and listen carefully!" It's sort of patronizing, no?

You are right, of course. Setting aside my discomfort with the phrase, I must admit I can understand its popularity. I think Thought Leadership can help you focus on the bigger picture.

I'm listening...

I would guess that too many "leaders" use most of the their time managing business, instead of actually leading. For Barack, leading is in his DNA; it's natural. For all the rest of us, we might need a little extra help. Are you only managing or are you leading? Leadership is about inspiring people to do something. Management is just telling them to do something.


Oh, sorry Mats---I was just filling out this TED "speaker nomination form." What's your availability over the next six months?

God natt, Per Ivar.

Oh, good night, Mats.


Meet the Minds Behind the Designs

Mats, Montaag Partner and Principal Designer in Stavanger, gives serious answers to serious questions. HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE? Mostly standing and usually orally. HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN DESIGN? Hmm...nothing spectacular. I was always good at drawing; I think it started there. WHAT ARE YOUR DESIGN MOTIVATIONS? I think you can really change something being a designer---and there is always something that needs changing. IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN THE WORLD WHAT WOULD IT BE? The weather in Norway. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT FORCED BRAINSTORMING? Anything forced is good. DID WE REALLY WALK ON THE MOON? It would be a giant leap backward if we didn't. 07 SEPTEMBER 2015


No time like the present for doing some good

Why, in one of the wealthiest regions in the world's richest economy are so many families going hungry?

Through THE ALAMEDA PROJECT, Montaag aims to inspire more people to ask this question.

Nationally, local food banks are serving 1 in 7 individuals. But in Alameda County, in the heart of the Bay Area---which includes the populations of Oakland, Fremont, Hayward and Berkeley---that figure is a startling 1 in 5.*

Our vehicle for shining a light on this issue? An irreverently customized 1966 Porsche, naturally. 

Please, join us in the weeks ahead as we announce our community partner and highlight their work---and showcase the rebuild, customization and ultimate purpose of the project's centerpiece.

*“Hunger in America” — a quadrennial study commissioned by Feeding America, the national network of food banks.


Index Book Taps Montaag for Slåke Work

The good people at Spanish publishing house Index Book clearly have consummate taste, and, as such, we’re very pleased they’ve selected Montaag to be included in their latest branding compendium, the forthrightly named Basic Identity 2. Index Book specializes in books on graphic design and visual communication. As described on their website, “Basic Identity 2 features different corporate identity projects developed by designers from around the world, showcasing a broad range of styles.” The Montaag project featured is our work for Norwegian furniture producers Slåke. Inspired by Scandinavian design traditions, and taking our design cues from the company’s Hjelmeland surroundings, we created a minimalist expression to reinforce Slåke’s focus on their products. We offer a heartfelt Montaag “tusen takk” to Index Book for the opportunity to share our work with a wider audience. To learn more about Basic Identity 2, visit To learn more about our work for Slåke, visit


Nor-Shipping 2015 Ushers in Norwegian/American Design Company

Former BMW Designer Per Ivar Selvaag’s California Agency Joins with Celebrated Stavanger Firm GHOST to Form International Design Consultancy

OSLO, NORWAY – In tandem with the Nor-Shipping 2015 unveiling of their first major design endeavor---for energy industry heavyweight VARD ---Berkeley, CA-based MONTAAG announced its recent acquisition of a majority stake in GHOST AS; one of Norway’s most acclaimed design services firms. The two companies will operate as a single corporate entity under the name MONTAAG DESIGN.

The new agency, with studios also based in Stavanger and Oslo, will offer clients comprehensive, strategic design consulting services including an integrated research approach. With the rollout of VARD’s near-future Offshore Vessel, the full breadth of the newly expanded MONTAAG DESIGNS’ capabilities will be on display. From form factor, and user-experience and -interface, to CMF and interior architecture, both projects reflect the application of next-generation design thinking that aims to not only ensure the companies’ favorable returns on investment in increasingly competitive marketplaces, but also offer user experiences that increase safety, efficiency and attract future talent.

Montaag was established in 2013 by principal Per Ivar Selvaag of Finnøy Kommune (NO). With accumulated talent and expertise that extends to include a research team with experience in marketing, psychology and the lab sciences, the team has a collective skill set equipped for multi-dimensional projects. Montaag works with start-ups and established enterprises alike, in a wide range of industries including technology and robotics, consumer electronics, automotive, maritime, and interior architecture. It is the agency’s distinct perspective and emphasis on research-based design has won Montaag contracts with clients in more specialized and heavy industries, such as global energy.

Ghost, a 10-person agency, with recognized talent in UX, branding, graphic and industrial design, was formed in 1998 by principal designer, Mats Henriksen. Under Henriksen’s direction, the agency has provided design solutions to an impressive array of Norwegian clients across industries. “Teaming up with Per Ivar and his talented team at Montaag, is both humbling and exciting,” says Henriksen. “In a short timeframe Per Ivar has built Montaag into a solid agency that perfectly matches Ghost´s profile and ambition. I am confident that joining Montaag will make ours a stronger more diverse agency that will benefit all our clients.”

“Mats’ is a team built on Scandinavian design values, with an enviable track record and an established client base,” adds Selvaag. “Together, with footholds in two hemispheres, we will create an agency with a clear and unique voice. This is truly an exciting opportunity for our company and I look forward to combining our skill sets and experiences in order to offer our current and future clients the insights that will add real value to their business.” 2 June 2015

At Montaag, we design solutions that sharpen your competitive edge. This is in many ways our raison d’être and, to us, the only meaningful measure of a job well done. Designing experiences is what we do.

Instagram: @MontaagDesign
Twitter: @MontaagDesign

Visual Identity

Taking Kristiansand´s most exclusive design store into the future


Hansen & Co is an exclusive interior, kitchen appliances and gifts store in Kristiansand. For generations, Hansen & Co has shown us what great taste is all about, and offered exceptional service in a high-end atmosphere. Customers come here in search of inspiration, and to find iconic design products with the very best quality. The shop is considered a destination in itself, and is one of the most popular shops in Kristiansand.

The brand itself was in need of renewal, and they wanted to come off as unique, tasteful and more professional. The new identity, and the elements we made, clearly speaks of design knowledge, elegance, high levels of service and a commitment to promoting and offering great design. Working for clients this knowledgeable in the design trade is especially exciting, and makes us even more committed to delivering our very best.

Check out:


Made By Wood

Strengthening the competitive edge of Norwegian wood products



Made by Wood was established in Oslo in 2017, and is a constellation of three well-known companies within the wood products and building furnishings industry; Melby, Meling and Hamran. On this common platform, they work together with designers, architects and communicators, to offer unique, bespoke products with exceptional quality. Made by wood helps them to sharpen their competitive edge, especially when taking on the competition from abroad.

Montaag has created a visual identity, where the logo itself acts as a visual frame, and is used to highlight projects, products and other content. This coinsides very well with the initial ambition of the company; to create a "common front" for Norwegian wood products. Made By Wood now has a unique identity, with a simple, elegant and highly recognisable visual language. 

Check out:


Borr DrillingVisual Identity

Setting Borr Drilling apart

As an international drilling contractor, Borr Drilling owns and operates jack-up rigs of modern and high-specifications designs, providing drilling services to the oil and gas exploration and production industry worldwide. The rigs operate at water depths up to approximately 400 feet.

Montaag was commissioned to create a fresh, lasting and modern visual identity, that will help them stand out from their competitors. We created a new logo, different templates and a website in time for the company's launch on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The vibrant blue color, as well as the minimalist take on the different design elements, are clearly unusual in their industry. Although many companies use the color blue, Borr Drilling has made this particular hue their own, and use it consistently. This ensures attention and recognition in a large and competitive industry.


Buddy Mobility

Autonomous Mail Delivery and Beyond

Buddy Mobility is an autonomous vehicle service bringing new efficiencies to urban mobility. The Norwegian start-up partners with delivery and passenger providers to extend the services that make movement more flexible, reliable—and sustainable.    

Montaag has been working very closely with Buddy Mobility to design and bring to market an autonomous delivery robot to move both goods and people. Currently, leveraging Norway’s supportive autonomous testing regulations, together we are developing a solution for the postal market through our first partnership with Posten in 2018. 

The autonomous electric robot aims to provide the Norwegian mail service with a substantial operational cost savings to offset revenue losses from dramatically decreasing mail volumes. Additionally, the robot offers new revenue streams for Posten around package and parcel delivery, and is built to endure Norway’s extreme weather and high environmental standards. 

The benefits Buddy Mobility will offer to postal customers include

  • Clear Communication: the customer will receive immediate notification when mail is delivered.
  • Time Saving: the customer has an expanded time frame for both mail pickup and dropoff throughout the day.                        
  • Easy Parcel Retrieval: Large locker storage enables parcel delivery at home, removing the need to travel to local pickup points.
  • Environmental Footprint: Delivery becomes sustainable as the robot reduces overall vehicle miles travelled.                        

For the postal service itself, benefits include

  • Protect Profit Margins: by reducing the operational overhead of postal workers, service providers can maintain the profits of mail delivery.
  • Increase Revenue: parcel delivery is a growing service market.
  • Year-Round Operation: built for Norwegian conditions, the delivery robot can operate in challenging weather.

For more information, visit

2018_1005_bm_website_movie 03

Torggata 8

Portal, interior and lighting design in the heart of Skien, Norway

Once knows as Centrumgården, Torggata8 is a building that was originally constructed around 1936 in Skien, Norway. Keeping it’s functonalist roots in mind, Montaag was asked to redesign the ingress, egress, entry hallway, and staircase of this beautful structure. The developer, R8, has taken a concerted effort in updatng the civic core in Skien with this building as one of its focal points.

The main portal extends the envelope of the building to the sidewalk, meant to invite passers-by into the building. We wanted to contnue the exterior modern theme of the facade inside, but juxtapose the materiality - from glass and metal to oak and stone - offering a warm and welcoming refuge from the Norwegian cold. Once inside, the vertical theme created with the portal fins is continued in oak throughout the hallway. LED lighting details between the oak slats add to the warm, light ambience in the space and the plantings and natural elements further enhance the vivacity of the space.


ABOVE: The re-imagining of the portal and facade breathes new life into the screetscape and offers a fresh, hip, and welcoming stance to the building.

Vikingtidsmuseet for STATSBYGG

Bold Concept For New Viking Museum



Through the ages and across all seasons, from cradle to grave---and the journey beyond---Nordic culture and water are inextricably linked. Just as Norway’s rough hewn and other-worldly landscape was sculpted by the receding glacial sheet from the last ice age, so were the Vikings shaped by their water-bound environs.  

Tenacious and pragmatic, innovative and engineering, adventure was (and remains) their birthright; steely stoicism their inheritance. Striking out on the high tide to impose Viking ways upon the world, the Viking world was no less influenced by the travels of its most intrepid explorers.

The new Viking Age Museum will lay bare the eternal ebb and flow of this storied people. Like the elements that defined them, the museum and its artifacts carve an authentic representation of the Viking Age, allowing visitors the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in its enterprising past, influential present and auspicious future.

The myriad properties referenced by “VIKEN”---protection, the elements, community---are central to the VIKING AGE MUSEUM.  The all familiar vik, which once provided shelter for Viking ships along Norway’s extensive coastline, has been reimagined here. Carved into the site, it culminates with the historic Oseberg ship---the museum’s oldest---resting placidly in its new and ultimate safe harbor.  For us, this is the conclusion of the actual journey the ship and its content set out to complete, back in those days, so long ago.

The VIKING AGE MUSEUM visitor experience begins with the arrival at the vik’s inlet.  From here, the pedestrian path flows gently, carrying visitors along as they descend to the new building, situated behind the existing museum. The position of the new building is itself a manifestation of respect for the original museum, honoring both its legacy and place in modern Norwegian history.

The new building’s form is inspired by the engineering, technology and prowess behind Viking shipbuilding. Like a distant memory of an historic ocean crossing, the roof floats atop the new building, a Viking ship’s hull cutting through the sea. Large galleries are housed beneath the roof, providing a home and space for and exploration of the bountiful trail of iconic Viking artifacts, as well as in-depth and special exhibitions.  

In the grand atrium of the new building, at the termination of the vik, the Oseberg ship floats in alignment with its kin, the Gokstad ship, now relocated to the stately main hallway within the original museum. Arranged as such, the viewing and learning opportunities of the ships are enriched by a multitude of newly devised vantage points.

Informed by the existing forms and materials of the original museum, the combination of the new and original buildings work together to create one seamless museum and visitor experience.






Game-changing food sensor

2014 - Product design / User experience

6SensorLabs is a San Francisco tech startup offering consumers suffering from food allergies long-desired peace of mind at mealtime. Born out of MIT, the company has developed breakthrough technology for accurately and quickly detecting even the most minute traces of protein in food.

To make manifest their vision and technology in their premier product—a gluten sensor—6SensorLabs partnered with Montaag to collaborate on its design.

The result is Nima: a sleek, discreet, and ultra-intuitive portable sensor.

Nima enables consumers to easily and subtly test their food for gluten-content, empowering them to take control of their dining experience and eat with confidence. For an ever-growing population of food-intolerant and -allergic diners, Nima is truly a game-changer: it’s small enough to fit in your pocket, is incredibly easy to use, and it integrates seamlessly with mobile, tablet, and desktop screens.

This last bit is key, as Nima users will be able to share results directly from the device, and thereby contribute to a growing, verifiable world-wide community that maps allergen-free menus, dishes and products.

In advance of its mid-2016 ship date, Nima has already received an abundance of glowing reviews, among them making Time Magazine's "25 Best Inventions of 2015."

NIMA Process Film

UX for Next Wave Car Chargers

ZapCharger Smart for ZAPTEC

2013 Product design / User experience / User Interface design

With the number of electric cars beginning to outpace the availability of public charging units, Norway's Zaptec has created a new breed of chargers that transcend the limitations of the current paradigm.  The ZapCharger Smart is a cost-efficient, simple-to-install, easy-to-use charging station that works perfectly as a stand alone, but really shines as one-of-many in larger installations. As part of a connected series, Smarts communicate with each other and can efficiently deliver more power to the least-charged car plugged into the system.

Based in Stavanger since its inception in 2013, Zaptec commissioned Montaag's Stavanger team to work on its overall design language for its entire line of products beginning with the Smart Charger and its physical interface, but also to help craft the digital experience and subsequent feature-rich app interface for end-user and system administrator alike.  The challenge Zaptec posed to Montaag was to define a design language that would leverage Zaptec’s new concept of smart power: power is not only a thing you consume—it can be managed and controlled. Montaag consider this challange to be a communication task: our design of the products is the result of an effort to accentuate this big idea of intelligent power.

The ZapCharger Smart, rolling out in 2016, is the first offering from Zaptec. Building on their core technology—a super compact and super efficient electronic transformer that outperforms transformers up to 10 times its weight and volume, using up to 100 times less copper and iron—the company plans to expand into near-future solutions that will power homes, communities, and even off-planet outposts.

Learn more at


BIT UNION Akersgata

A Bespoke Oasis in Bustling Oslo

2015 - 2016 Interior design / Furniture design 


BIT UNION opened in January 2016 on Oslo’s Akersgata and is an expansion on BIT, the fast-casual restaurant concept that has served salads, baguettes and pastries since 1998. This is the first BIT UNION—with one forthcoming in OSL’s new international terminal later in 2016— and executes on a concept that showcases the company’s strong commitment to cooperation.

The overall concept was developed by BIT A/S with longtime partners Maverick with the aim to demonstrate BIT’s ambition and commitment to invest in real craftsmanship and create unique solutions in a world of mass production and standardized solutions. To do so, BIT and Maverick assembled a highly skilled team of local professionals: industrial and interior designers from Montaag’s Oslo design studio and furniture company Interiørverkstedet.

BIT has coined the effort “UNION MADE” and the result is a detail-oriented design and layout both purposeful and organic that creates an interesting and conversation-sparking tension between the classic and modern. Diverse and thoughtfully selected materials and surfaces—marble, leather, brass, wood, ceramics and Corian—create an eclectic exuberance and dynamism, with finer details, touches of humor, revealing themselves over repeated visits. These hallmarks for a unique and quality experience are aspects BIT feels its customers have come to appreciate and anticipate more and more.

Photos: Paul Paiewonsky



ABOVE: The marquee moments in BIT UNION Akersgata culminate around the organic sweep of the floating Corian service counter. Clean lines form from brass, glass and wood finishes, neatly showcasing cafe offerings. BIT UNION incorporates familiar objects, patterns and materials, but in new ways: here the age-old delivery fruit crate has been repurposed as an eclectic shelving system, providing strategic storage via an “organized mess.” BELOW: Overhead, the undulating, three-dimensional, oak drop-ceiling introduces an element of the psychedelic into cafe proceedings.
ABOVE: Warmly-lit exterior “globes” beckon passersby with a hint and promise of the unique and manicured cafe experience within. Fashioned of marble with brass trim, the cool and clean street-facing bar finds a warm counterbalance in its contoured oak stools. BELOW: A seemingly open seating area is slyly intimate thanks to subtly divided upholstered leather banquettes.
ABOVE LEFT: Seating sections are paired with adjustable tables, each distinct from the next---alternately fabricated from wood, marble and brass. ABOVE RIGHT: Occupying the middle space is a subtly whimsical greeting table made with oak, brass and marble that is a modern spin on the Gustavian classic. BELOW: This table celebrates the “Union Made” cooperative spirit behind the cafe’s concept, design and craftsmanship through embossed hallmarks representing all contributors.
ABOVE, LEFT AND RIGHT: BIT UNION design and materials extend to the cafe’s toilet. Special to this space, though, is the matte black faucet that extends from the ceiling to the washbasin below.


Near future OSCV concept

2014 - 2015 Industrial design / User experience / Service design

VARD is a major global designer and builder of specialized vessels used in the offshore oil and gas exploration industries, as well as production and oil services. VARD’s long shipbuilding traditions, cutting-edge innovation and technology coupled with its global operations give the company significant standing in the fastest growing oil exploration markets.

Montaag was commissioned by the Ålesund, Norway-headquartered company to conceptualize and design, from the inside out, the next generation OSCV: a 180-meter long Offshore Subsea Construction Vessel that houses a crew of up to 150 people. The two overarching goals for our concept: a significantly more economical and efficient ship that results in a wider operational window, and an elevation of onboard quality-of-life to attract future captains and crew to their new “home away from home.”

Kicked-off with extensive and immersive research, and achieved through close working relationships with all VARD stakeholders, the resulting VARD/Montaag collaboration, named “A Step Forward,” makes its debut at Nor-Shipping 2015, in Oslo, Norway.

VARDxMontaag: A Step Forward


The exterior of the VARD near-future OSCV cuts an unmistakable profile on the horizon. Designed to further increase the ship’s efficiency, durability and sustainability, the exterior details are integrated to unprecedented levels, and directly informed the layout of the ship’s interior. The configuration increases visibility from the bridge, lowers the center of gravity, and maximizes both fuel efficiency and deck space.

2015.05.27_Exterior_View03_HD SHIP SEPERATED_1


VARD exterior digi 01


The helideck design integrates fully and seamlessly with the multi-purpose bridge and general ship architecture, allowing for easy access for visitors both arriving and departing. Built into the structure of the ship, the helideck is larger than conventional decks and easier and safer for helicopters to land on---a welcome feature in harsher conditions.


Creating a 21st Century “home away from home” is the overarching design principle for the ship’s interior architecture. This has meant complete focus on improving the quality of on-board living and user experiences. For example, larger, more traditional dayrooms have been replaced by a series of smaller, efficient and unique social areas that are cosier, more welcoming, and offer different opportunities for relaxation or socializing. Additionally, by providing onshore-level connectivity on board, old ship-bound socializing paradigms are replaced by new. These and similar considerations extend throughout all living and working spaces. Uniting them all is a recognizable form and graphic language, designed to easily distinguish a VARD ship’s interior from its competitors.

CMF & Monogram

The CMF concept for this ship represents four distinct characters, a reference to the Norwegian tradition of celebrating all four seasons. These characters are created through color palettes, mood lighting and material selection. Subtly applied to different types of surfaces throughout the ship, in a wide variety of finishes and methods, is a new custom monogram for VARD, inspired by its logo’s “varde”-like “A.”


Conference Rooms

With sweeping ocean views and plentiful light, the conference room provides a bright and positive work environment and facilitates focused collaboration. The room connects to a smaller breakout room designed for small discussions and informal meetings, and creates a gathering place before and after meetings. The rooms and furniture are carefully balanced, allowing for free movement of people, both before and during a meeting. Benches along the back wall provide overflow seating so no one is ever left standing.

Mess rooms

With large windows allowing for natural light, sweeping views, and access to an outdoor terrace, the mess room is a refreshing environment. Semi-transparent dividers separate the space from serving area to dining area. Versatile seating options give the crew the ability to sit and socialize in large groups, smaller booths, and to sit alone at the bar. Layout ensures that the line does not interrupt the dining area and flows smoothly through the three serving stations. Galley entry behind serving station allows easy access for the cooks, and a connected scullery and serving area provide easy transfer of dishes and food containers.

Crew Cabins

Creating real opportunities for privacy and personal space were serious drivers for the entire ship, but especially important with regards to crew cabins. Montaag designed a layout that provides all crew members with their own private sleeping and living quarters with a shared bathroom, unprecedented on a ship of this caliber. Flexibility and efficiency define these cabins.

Captain's Cabin

Larger than the standard cabins, the Captain’s cabin has ample daylight and generous windows. A private bathroom divides the sleeping and living space, which includes an office area and a sitting area with large sofa, recliner, and coffee table for relaxation and socializing. Felt panels add warmth and visual interest to the living space and reduce any noise from the wetunit behind. The integrated Corian countertop and sink provides a wet-bar with space for a mini-refrigerator. The smart digital wall display is placed in both the sleeping quarters and living quarters, allowing the captain to connect and transform his space to his desires.

Ocean Lounge

With fantastic sea views and natural light, the expansive, aptly named Ocean Lounge is the perfect place for watching the sun set on the open ocean. Directly above and connected to the Mess Room, the Ocean Lounge features four separate areas that allow for several activities.

The Bridge

Heightened focus, smoother, more efficient workflows, and an overall enhanced bridge experience for those stationed here - these are the attributes of the new VARD bridge system. Starting with the deconstruction of experiences from the traditional Captain’s and DP Officer’s chairs, all the way through addressing the complex array of bridge devices and respective interfaces, this new bridge constellation takes advantage of every opportunity to streamline work while increasing comfort—both physical and psychological.

Bridge Levels

A bridge constellation unlike any other brings fresh opportunity for streamlined communication between officers in different areas, while providing a dynamic and uniquely focused control environment that provides an unprecedented field of vision. The Captain sits perched above the ship, overlooking the helideck, in a compact, comfortable and focused environment called the Cockpit Bridge, which boasts a 360 degree, uninterrupted view of the ocean. The main bridge level is focused around an open floor plan giving the occupants a spacious, tailor-made and highly attractive professional work environment, as well as unobstructed, clear views to the exterior.

Command Station

This is a distinctive mariner's chair built for absolute comfort and concentration. Comfortable yet supportive for long stretches of sitting, the Captain’s Chair seat is upholstered in supple, sturdy leather, and framed in light, rigid carbon fiber. The headrest features an integrated gooseneck microphone for non-taxing, hands-free communication.


A radical user-experience departure, both functionally and ergonomically, the levers’ domed design language fits perfectly in the hand and provides precise tactile and customizable haptic feedback. The super-low profile frees the area immediately beyond the levers, allowing the user to reach the touch interface with minimal hand movement, providing not only a technological step forward, but also a new paradigm in ergonomics and comfort.

00_Main Comp_1

Revolutionary maritime HMI

Marine Azimuth and thruster levers

2014 - 2015 Industrial Design / User Experience

A radical user-experience departure, both functionally and ergonomically, the levers’ domed design language fits perfectly in the hand and provides precise tactile and customizable haptic feedback. The super-low profile frees the area immediately beyond the levers, allowing the user to reach the touch interface with minimal hand movement, providing not only a technological step forward, but also a new paradigm in ergonomics and comfort.

Azimuth & Thruster Levers

Built for fingertip input with precise tactile feedback, these groundbreaking levers report high-level data instantly, reducing users’ cognitive load for improved performance in high-pressure situations. Closely positioned with a consistent design language between levers, the low-effort, multi-device azimuth and thruster controllers are readily distinguishable from each other---both visually and tactilely. Integrated fully with the VARD OS, the levers are digitally represented on the console screens, in immediate proximity, providing a clear and understable connection between the two.

VARD Captain's Chair

Designed for next generation VARD ships

2014 - 2015 User experience / Industrial design / Furniture design

This is a distinctive mariner's chair built for absolute comfort and concentration. Comfortable yet supportive for long stretches of sitting, the Captain’s Chair seat is upholstered in supple, sturdy leather, and framed in light, rigid carbon fiber. The headrest features an integrated gooseneck microphone for non-taxing, hands-free communication.

Capacitive touchscreens are within natural reach on each armrest. The screens are adjustable to the optimal angle for the chair’s occupant, putting more control of the ship’s complex functionality at his or her fingertips. Fully integrated into the bridge operating system, screen content can be “pushed” to larger bridge displays to create a custom dashboard of information from different sources.

National Oilwell Varco

Trident concept crane

2014 - Industrial design / User Experience

National Oilwell Varco is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of equipment and components used in oil and gas drilling and production operations and the provision of oilfield services to the upstream oil and gas industry. Through immersive research and ongoing collaboration, Montaag is working with NOV to reimagine the subsea offshore crane for the 21st century.

Alongside NOV’s crane engineering team, we are not only reconceptualizing crane construction and functionality to dramatically increase safety and widen the operational window of any given mission, but also recasting how such cranes are operated. The main elements of this near future concept are the implementation of fiber rope technology and the introduction of a new Lifting Operation Station.

The result is a crane with significantly reduced weight and improved hook-capacity in deeper waters. This concept is an excellent example of NOV’s drive for purposeful innovation and was presented for the first time at Nor-Shipping 2015. NOV has a pending patent application directed to features and methods of the lifting crane design.

For more information, visit 

All images presented here used with permission from NOV. 

NOV Trident Crane Concept

The Anza

Hand-made espresso excellence

2013 - Product design / User experience

The Anza is an in-house endeavor of Montaag. Hand-hewn and differently-shelled, the Anza irreverently expands on the traditional espresso machine material vernacular, while showcasing streamlined construction for an improved user-experience and ease-of-maintenance.

Shipping now, see and learn more at

Photos by Jun Belen and Laura Bucholtz, 2014.


Identity inspired by the Hjelmeland surroundings

2013 Visual identity

Since 1938 Slåke have produced Jærstolen as a modern Norwegian tradition furniture. Scandinavian design, Norwegian production and the use of the tree as a basic material characterize Slåke's products.

For Slåke, furniture carpentry means care for the materials and quality of the finished product. Slåke celebrated their 75th anniversary with a vision to create new classics in Nordic design. The team consists of young, innovative designers charged with safeguarding this company’s heritage while uniting the past with the future.

For this occasion, Slåke commissioned Montaag to refresh their visual identity. Inspired by Scandinavian design traditions, Montaag created a minimalist expression to reinforce Slåke’s focus on their products. The colors are inspired from Hjelmeland surroundings---the sun, sky, mountains, cropland, grass, sand and sea. As a counterbalance to an otherwise tight visual profile, we employed the circle to provide a contrast in both shape and color.


Reflecting tailor-made doors with bespoke quality

2014 Visual Identity / Web design

EGE is traditional manufacture of tailor-made doors and have made quality products for almost a century. With solid craftsmanship and enthusiasm they have created tailor-made doors for architects, construction companies and private clients who wants one of a kind door.

Montaag was commissioned to create a new identity for EGE in regards to a relaunch of the company. After researching EGE’s traditional way of craftsmanship we wanted to create a brand that in the same way conveyed their bespoke quality. To treat it as a high end brand that does not have the need to say to much, but just simply be, and speak for itself.

The logo was created after studying and simplifying to the least necessary form needed to visualize a “door”, also the guest of it being open gives a welcoming connotation. The whole identity from the Logo, stationary to the website is created to be clean and subtle in order to let the products tell the story of history, tradition and craftsmanship.

ALTUS Intervention

New identity for North Sea well intervention specialists

2014 Visual Identity / Web design / User Experience / Exhibit design / Furniture design

ALTUS Intervention are well intervention specialists in the North Sea, offering wireline, wireline tractor, coiled tubing and pumping and logging services in Norway, Denmark and the UK. Formerly Aker Solutions Well Intervention Services, the company was purchased by private equity fund EQT in january 2014, necessitating a rebranding of the entire company. The business was subsequently rebranded to Qinterra AS, comprising the North Sea well intervention service business ALTUS Intervention and the international well intervention technology business Qinterra Technologies. Montaag was commission to create and implement a new brand into ALTUS Intervention’s website, brochures, business exhibition stands, catalogues and much more. The majority of the company’s rebranded print and digital assets were produced and rolled out within a 9-month timeframe.

Qinterra Technologies

New identity for global specialists in well intervention technology

2014 Visual Identity / Web design / User Experience / Exhibit design / Furniture design

Qinterra Technologies is a specialist well intervention technology company operating globally. They solve customers’ well intervention challenges by offering combinations of innovative and field-proven well intervention technologies and tools. Formerly Aker Solutions Well Intervention Services, the company was purchased by private equity fund EQT in january 2014, necessitating a rebranding of the entire company. The business was subsequently rebranded to Qinterra AS, comprising the North Sea well intervention service business ALTUS Intervention and the international well intervention technology business Qinterra Technologies. Montaag was commission to create and implement a new brand into Qinterra Technologies website, brochures, business exhibition stands, catalogues and much more. The majority of the company’s rebranded print and digital assets were produced and rolled out within a 9-month timeframe.


Interior graphics for IK'S new building

2014 Graphic design / Interior decor

IK is a niche supplier of solutions, products and service for subsea, pipe and pipeline, focusing on the worldwide oil and gas industry. Montaag got commissioned to make interior graphics for IK’s new building. The brief was to decorate a three story staircase and three floors of space. Inspiration originated from studying the meaning of the word ‘echo’ – “A close parallel to an idea, feeling, or event” – “repetative”. We wanted to make the decor resonate throughout the building with a interesting ambiant. The solution is based on a system of nine different squares that was deconstructed then generated into a new pattern, the outcome of that prosess became the graphics we scattered throughout the building as the original decor for the space.

First Geo

New identity for industry leader

2014 Visual Identity / Web design

First Geo is a leading provider of operations and wellsite geology services. For the past 20 years, the company has delivered expert subsurface advice and products to E&P companies worldwide. Their focus is on geophysics, geology, petrophysics, reservoir engineering and well management. Clients engage First Geo through all phases of a field's life cycle---from exploration to tail end. Previously part of Aker Solutions, when First Geo was purchased by private investors in 2014, the company required a completely new identity and corporate branding. Enter Montaag. We worked together with company stakeholders to facilitate the process, fully redesigning their coporate identity and branding, including a new website.


Sculptural, playful & unconventional

2013 - 2014 Naming / Visual Identity / Package design

We sit. We sit a lot. Consequently, according to product developer and physiotherapist Frode Skretting, back pain from sitting too much is the most common cause for sick leave. To combat this, Skretting, in cooperation with Hareide Design, developed and designed the Rodeo chair, focusing on motion and ergonomics. The round Rodeo chair is sculptural, playful and unconventional. The chair's form encourages an active and balanced posture while accomodating people's natural tendency to move. The Rodeo was launched in spring 2014 in both the public and private sectors, and from that context we developed the visual identity and brand. Montaag authored the chair’s name, Rodeo, reflecting the way you sit on the chair while also lending a feeling of playfulness and masculinity to it. Since this project is about public health, and therefore applicable to a wide audience, we chose to accentuate the cardboard box in which the chair is delivered. The use of the upper case "O" as an identity element in the package design strengthens the identity, but also promotes the product individuality, in a playful and indirect way. The “O” form on the carton is a shape between letter and graphic form, just like the chair challenges the boundaries between sculpture and furniture. Montaag’s Rodeo chair package design was awarded a diploma at Visuelt 2014.

Sandnes Kunst & Kulturhus

A new website for Sandnes ARTS CENTER

2013 - 2014 Web design / User Experience

The Sandnes Art and Civic Center (Kunst og Kulturhus) is a cultural venue that brings together three different arenas: the Sandnes Cultural Center (theater and events), KINOKINO (art house cinema and movie club), and RAS (contemporary dance).

Montaag was commissioned to create one easy-to-use-and-navigate website that would embody all the three arenas' needs and unite them with the same visual language. The functionality of our straightforward website design is twofold: (1) the home page presents the calendar for a quick and easy navigation option to select your event and purchase tickets; (2) by selecting your desired arena from the home page, site visitors are transported to an overview allowing providing further information about the events offered.

Ryger Lawfirm

Reflecting quality, efficiency and professional standing

2012 Naming / Visual Identity / Web design

Ryger is a lawfirm in Stavanger, Norway. The firm offers legal services in most areas of business, with particular focus on real estate, building and construction, as well as labor and bankruptcy. Montaag was tasked with crafting the identity for the company, beginning with their name: Ryger.

Ryger is the old Norse name for the inhabitants of Ryfylke, which is the geographical area in which Stavanger is located. In collaboration with Ryger, the identity created by Montaag reflects their quality, efficiency and professional standing.

The website allows visitors to get involved in the work that Ryger engages in, inviting them to see what Ryger is about while also experiencing the beautiful photography that reflects the origin of the company name. The aim of the photographs was to capture the landscape and colors of the Stavanger region, the changing light and all facets. The photographs, by Minna Suojoki, are partially abstracted, providing unique imagery that is both decorative and functional.

ORG Geophysical

Defining identity for Norwegian company specializing in hydrocarbon exploration

2013 Visual Identity

ORG Geophysical is a Norwegian oil service company that specializes in developing methods to find oil. The company’s unique methodology (Induced Polarization technology for hydrocarbon exploration) enables their customers to reduce the margin for error when drilling. ORG Geophysical sends signals to the sea bottom and the analysis of the data received is converted into valuable insights for ORG Geophysical customers.

Inspired by their business practices, Montaag designed an identity that visualizes this method. The idea behind the logo symbol was to visualize the echoing signals with use of the positive and negative space created by the arrows, In addition the drill bit was also a source of inspiration for the symbol. The identity is simple to use and understand for the employees in the company. It imparts symmetry, design and structure.

Modularity for High-End Home Audio


2011 - 2014 User experience / Product design

Norway’s Electrocompaniet is a long-revered manufacturer of high-end sound equipment for recording studios—even receiving a “special thank you” from Michael Jackson in the liner notes of his HisStory album.

The EC Living marks the company’s foray into the home audio market. It’s a modular audio system of compact high-end, wireless speakers that can live on the kitchen counter, in the living room, bedroom, etc. Engineered to allow for building or changing the system as desired, one can easily supplement with additional speaker units as part of a larger house system, or to simply provide more sound in a given room.

Electrocompaniet turned to Montaag to translate the company’s elevated and exacting audio standards into the design of The EC Living experience. The results of our collaboration extend to not only to the components’ polished but understated form and materials—copper, black aluminum, natural aluminum, wood and a select palette of colored plastics—but to the experience design of the system’s controlling interface.  

With modularity as the project’s primary design focus, and the company’s Scandinavian heritage providing an influential filter, Montaag helped create a home audio system that seamlessly and elegantly integrates into any room in the house, and is both intuitive and enjoyable to use.



Amplifying children's voices in society

2013 Visual Identity / Web design / Package design / Print design / Book design

Barnestemmen is a company with the vision to amplify children’s voices in society. They develop educational support tools to use when working with children in difficult life situations, such as violence, sexual abuse, alcoholism and other traumatizing experiences. The tools are practical and have a solid research-based foundation. Founder and initiator Sølvi Schei is an educationalist (Can. paed.) specializing in educational psychology. For Barnestemmen, Montaag was commissioned to develop the company’s visual identity, website, book design and related packaging. With a limited budget, a large dose of humility and a fantastic illustrator (Anders Emil Sommerfeldt), we began a process which fully engaged us, both professionally and emotionally. Barnstemmen’s “Painful Secrets” book series will similarly engage children and, at the same time, be a useful tool for adults. While children can relate to the situations illustrated even if they do or don´t have "a painful secret," the series should not be perceived as a traditional children's book. It should be treated as a professional support tool for educators. It was important that packaging, size and design generally took this into account. To strike the necessary balance between the books’ academic and "childish" parts, we employed few, but clear design elements, colors and illustrations that would appeal to children’s curiosity. And, placed on the bookshelf, the use of color makes the books easy to locate and select theme and subject.


BMW Art Cars - The book

2012 - 2013 Print design / Book design

In 2012 Jeffrey Koon's painted BMW M3 was safely with the utmost precision placed on Pulpit Rock, a major tourist attraction in its own right located in Forsand, Ryfylke, Norway. Some days afterward, the car rolled into Stavanger Art Museum, along with 6 other cars from the storied and priceless collection.

To commemorate the event, Montaag, along with Scandanavian BMW retailer Bavaria and with spectacular images from Bitmap, developed the concept and design of a book befitting of such a unique project.


Tools to give children a meaningful upbringing

2010 - 2014 Visual identity / Package design

inPed creates tools for daycare personnel aiming to provide children with a meaningful upbringing. These unique products are the result of and response to many years of experience with the Norwegian kindergarten curriculum. Montaag was commissioned to create the company’s corporate identity. The logo, based on the company name, uses abstract lettering from circles and straight lines to project an unbroken line to symbolize lifelong learning, community and care.

To differentiate inPed products, like Puzzle, from the visual landscape of clipart and cute drawings, we developed a unique, playful, colorful and humorous design that engages both children and adults. To enhance the expression of its products and overall identity, the design we employed on the various inPed boxes is a typographic play, open for individual interpretation of the reconfigured forms taken from the logo. Puzzle illustrations by Jonathan Calugi. Awards 2013 - Diploma, Visuelt 2012 - Nominated for the Honours Award for Design Excellence 2012 - Award for Design Excellence 2011 - Gold, Visuelt

Ross Offshore

A website for a company that stands out

2012 - 2013 User experience / Web design

Ross Offshore wanted a website demonstrating how the company stands out from the other oil service companies through their innovative and creative approach. The design and user experience is inspired by the London Underground and the iconic title sequences of the 60ies. The website is designed and developed by Montaag Design in collaboration with the Communication Manager of Ross Offshore, Ole Marius Norvik and illustrator Ståle Ådland. Ross Offshore gave Montaag the task of designing a new intranet solution, with a clear company profile. Where they could integrate common features from SharePoint and Lync seamlessly on mobile, tablet and screen. Along with Bouvet and the client Montaag Design have developed a solution that is user friendly and engaging. 

Rethink Dance

Dance under development

2011 Visual Identity / Print design

Rethink Dance is an art-driven forum for inspiration, exchange and expertise, and features performances by choreographers who are dancers themselves. The forum, aimed at artists, art students, academics, and dancers, is held at a new location each year and is in continuous development. For Montaag’s identity work for Rethink Dance, we worked with rough brushes on large canvases, which were then photographed. Invigorated by budgetary constraints, we found a complimentary solution in visualizing the spirit of Rethink Dance: dance under development. By painting by hand with brushes on large canvases, we have tried to adopt the fluid, impulsive and intuitive expression indicative of the contemporary dance performed through Rethink Dance.


Fine organic foods and dietary supplements

2010 - 2015 Product branding and identity / Package design

Vitalkost is a reputable producer and supplier of fine organic foods and dietary supplements based on reliable scientific evidence. The company has developed a new product line of vitamin supplements in an already overfilled health market.

Vitalkost’s Shift concept is meant to stimulate the public, and subsequently the market, to shine a critical light on such products and the lack of information, transparency, honesty and concrete benefits found therein. Each Shift product aims to individually challenge the established brands of any given subcategory.

Montaag was commissioned to create the identity, packaging and related print materials for this new product. The Shift logo is based on a symbol of an “S” changing form. The product needed to communicate well in terms of packaging and labeling, within the retail environment and to their employees. To assist in this pursuit, each product box was assigned a unique colour palette and decorated with that product’s QR-code. A scan of this code takes users directly to the product’s website and lays the foundation for transparency through access to detail-oriented information and documentation.

Altibox Chill

Live TV and video on all your devices

2010 - 2015 User Experience / Web design

Altibox Chill is a product from Altibox that lets you watch live TV and video on all your devices. Chill portal is open to all Internet users located in Norway.

During 2015 movie rentals will be possible on the iPad and mobile via Altibox Chill. This gives you the freedom to watch what you want, where and when it suits you.

Unlimited Entertainment! Montaag has designed the Chill desktop portal and is in continuous collaboration with Altibox developing new products.


A new identity for small manufacturer of children's furniture

2009 - Corporate branding / Product design

Trekløver is a small furniture manufacturer specializing in children's furniture. Initially we were contacted to consider the design for a new crib. Trekløver wanted a new flagship.

Their main challenge was that they failed to maintain a profitable production line, even though they had a high turnover of goods. During this process, we found that the company´s identity had to be changed to enable the company to reposition itself as a high-end manufacturer.

Rather than competing with cheap foreign manufacturers about tiny margins. This entailed the development of a new vision and a new business model. The new concept should reflect the values of high quality, modernity, tradition, craftsmanship and the certain little something to surprise and engage.

As part of this effort, a new logo and profile materials were developed, deriving their inspiration from old enamelled advertisement signs. A new production line including a crib, nursing table and cupboard were the mark of Trekløver's new market position. The product line focused on the high-quality- and high-end segment.


Identity & UX design for purveyors of sophisticated collaboration systems

2009, 2013 - 2015 Visual Identity Web design / User experience & Interface design

Founded in 1998, Cyviz is a global provider of high performance visualization, collaboration and command & control environments.  Based in Stavanger, with Experience Centers in Washington, DC, Houston, Dubai and Beijing, the company has created a new paradigm for the way organizations (across various industries) deploy, use and support large numbers of feature rich collaboration environments. 

Montaag was commissioned to rebrand the company, creating a new identity and, subsequently, its website, printed materials and other sales and marketing-focused collateral, including a Montaag-produced product movie. Additionally, Montaag helped develop the user interface and related application icons for the Cyviz Display Controller---the operating system for the setup and administration of the company’s AV equipment, used in advanced conference and meeting rooms.

Nu Jäklar är det dags!

"Replace guilt with inspiration"

2009 Print design / Book design

“Nu Jäklar är det dags!” is a 400-page book project Montaag designed in collaboration with meteorologist, author and speaker Tone Bekkestad. The book was published in Sweden and launched at the COP 15 climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

Energy-saving production is ripe for dedicated and advanced research on new energy sources, on recycling and on profitable investments in new energy-efficient technologies. The thought behind “Nu Jäklar är det dags!” is to replace guilt with inspiration. Ms. Bekkestad has chosen to focus on facts, not complicated reasoning. The examples in the book do not look to necessarily provide solutions for energy production and consumption quandaries, but, rather, present the amazing possibilities out there.

Montaag chose an alternative tack for this textbook, which addresses and communicates advanced research, and present its information the way rock ‘n’ roll communicates music. The punk rock band Ramones’ song ”Blitzkrieg Bop” was the foundation for the book’s rhythm and design: straight forward, simple and catchy. Or as Joey Ramones sings: ”HEY HO, LETS GO!”. Large imagery and clear messages. Headings are stretched over several pages to inspire the reader and spark curiosity. The body is large and easy to read, to make it less intimidating and to break the barrier easily created by advanced subject matter. All photographs were shot by Knut Bry.