Iggesund’s latest Black Box is a treasury of marketing trade opportunities

| December 7, 2012

Iggesund Paperboard’s Black Box Project has broken yet new ground with the formation of a website through which the contents of the latest box can be traded.

For almost two years, Iggesund Paperboard has been operating the Black Box Project through which it has challenged a number of well-known international designers and design companies to fill a black box of a specified format with contents that in some way test the limits of Iggesund’s Invercote paperboard. The designers’ works have then been shown at exhibitions in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Milan and New   York.

The latest project, unveiled during an exhibition at the Flacon Design Factory in Moscow

City living in a Black Box.

last night, saw the Swedish photographer and filmmaker, Jens Assur, present a work based on city portraits.

A hundred years ago, the world had only one city with more than a million inhabitants –London. Today there are more than a hundred such cities and 25 metropolises with over 10 million inhabitants. And the migration and urbanisation behind this growth formed the starting point for Assur’s contribution to the Black Box Project.

“Do the inhabitants of Tokyo have more in common with those of London, New York and Stockholmthan with people living in rural Japan?” was one question posed by Assur in the 30 photographic portraits of cities that are his contribution to the project. “Do metropolises create cultures that stretch far beyond national borders and language barriers?”

The portraits, which are printed on Invercote, were divided up into smaller tiles and then randomly distributed among the black boxes; so box owners can create their own individual metropolis with the tiles, while anyone wishing to exchange tiles can do so via a dedicated website: blackbox.iggesund.com/trade.

Many of the people who will be in possession of the boxes and, therefore, likely to trade the tiles, are designers who work with paper and board; so, once again, this brave – almost shot-in-the-dark project – has come up trumps.

As Carlo Einarsson, director market communications at Iggesund Paperboard, has pointed out, the Black Box Project is not a traditional advertising campaign in which the client expresses detailed wishes and closely supervises the project’s execution. The participating designers have great freedom. The only restrictions are that they must work with Invercote and create something that reflects their own distinctiveness and Invercote’s possibilities.

“The degree of freedom combined with the opportunity to create something extraordinary has made it easy to find interested participants,” he says. “A number of designers have contacted us and asked to be part of the project. We’re very satisfied with the response so far, both to our exhibitions and to our web pages about the project.

“In a world where the choice of materials is unfortunately often a matter of habit, it’s important for us to showcase the extra possibilities which Invercote offers designers to fully realise their creative ambitions.”

Assur began his career as a photographer for the daily press. In the 1990s he wasSweden’s top award-winning photojournalist. Since then he has turned to film making, and his films, including The Last Dog inRwandaand Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys, have won multiple international awards. Partly due to this success, at the beginning of 2012 he was the first Scandinavian to win the Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award, the Sundance Festival’s prize for promising filmmakers.

“When I was asked to take part in the Black Box Project I didn’t hesitate a second,” he said. “As a creative artist, it’s rare that I have the opportunity to work so freely and at such a high artistic level in a customer-initiated project. But in this case we could do so on both a conceptual and intellectual level.”

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