CIRRUS is a Nordic-Baltic network of Art and Design higher education. There are 20 excellent art and design schools from the Nordics and the Baltics in the circle of this cooperation. The central activities of the partner institutions are art and design, including innovative activities, technical development and artistic practices.

Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University, Sweden, ranked best in the world


Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University, Sweden, ranked best in the world

Both the prestigious Red Dot and iF rank Umeå Institute of Design (UID) at Umeå University as the best design school in Europe and the world. The school’s premises, in-house and external staff, and its focus on relevant collaborations with companies and the design profession are some of the factors that the school’s students believe are the underlying reasons for their school’s success.

“When you leave Umeå, you not only leave with a wide palette of skills, but also with a great network”, says Rebecca Daum, an Austrian student who is taking her second year of the Master’s programme in Advanced Product Design. “You will find UID alumni in all relevant design agencies and departments all over the world.”

When asked why Umeå Institute of Design have received so many design awards and so much international attention over the years she says:

“The projects we carry out focus on problem areas that matter and are relevant for the people in our time. In addition to that, the university environment provides you with everything you need for a successful project, whether it is facilities or staff.”

This year, Rebecca received two iF student awards for two projects that she worked on during her first study year at the school.

“The school invites people from the industry as collaboration partners. From these people we get knowledge and relevant feedback on our work,” says Rebecca Daum.

Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University has been ranked highest in Europe and America by Red Dot for several years. But it is the first time for the school to grab the first place in the iF ranking that also includes design schools in Asia. The ranking is based upon the student achievements in the two design competitions the past five and three years.

Thomas Degn, programme director of the Master’s programme in Advanced Product Design:
“A closer look at the Red Dot and the iF rankings shows that Umeå Institute of Design is the only design school to have placed itself in the top ten of both rankings,” he says. “That is another proof that the school’s continuous focus on relevant user and societal problems and challenges is appreciated by the international designer community. We teach our students creative tools and work methods and the importance of having a responsible attitude to the trade, and both are considered highly relevant to the profession.”

“In my mind, one of several reasons behind the success of our institute is that we are trying to creatively challenge ourselves,” says Thomas Degn. “We trust our students and support them in their individual development. We are also striving towards being an inspiring collaborative partner to society at large, as well as Swedish and international companies. That encourages a positive development among teachers and to the school. That’s also what makes it so much fun to work here.”