A couple of ago now, I decided to take advantage of dirt cheap airfares and spend a few days in Gothenburg and Malmo, Sweden. I flew into Copenhagen with Ryanair from Manchester and had an amazing few days that included football matches (of course), good food, boss record stores and some rather tasty museum experiences. One such experience, The Rohsska Museum blew my mind!
Opened in 1914 and located in the Bohemia side of town, The Rohsska (Swedish Design Museum) was like entering the future but back in the 1960s and 70s. So where did it all go wrong I thought to myself as I wandered to high ceiling structures that housed these beautiful designs. There are well over 50,000 items on show at any one time and it covers such a broad and diverse history of Swedish design and innovation. Despite all the beautiful items on display, I felt a sense of sadness because it rammed home the fact that we have become a little stale with our progression and innovation which has been over run by simplicity, made in China and profit. Yep, somewhere along the lines, we gave up and said “Fuck the style and substance! Let’s just make heaps of cheap shit that will make us filthy rich yet derive any sense of creativity from our minds moving forward!” Harsh? Perhaps? Honest and truthful? Most likely.
On the plus side, you can immerse yourself within The Rohsska and capture a sense of beauty that has seldom been seen outside of Europe since. “What about IKEA?” I hear you protest. Yes, yes, IKEA can be cool but it still lacks that cutting edge which the confines of The Rohsska hold. You truly have to walk to floors of this building to grasp just how sublime the place is. As an added bonus, it was December when I visited so the cold grey skies obviously turned away the large crowds that normally fill the halls, giving one a sense of personal freedom to explore at will and not be interrupted. Another plus side to the lack of crowds is that you can take some most lovely photos without having anyone in the way. Much different to say, The Rodin Gallery in Paris when you are trying to capture “The Thinker” on your camera. Yeah, we’ve all felt that frustration haven’t we?
If you are planning a visit to The Rhosska any time soon, think twice. The museum is closed through to June 2018 for renovations but the completed promise is a whole range of new displays and showings. When I was there, they held a fabulous section devoted to German electronic pioneers, Kraftwerk. This is where I could lead you astray as to why Kraftwerk are one of the most diverse and original bands to emerge in the past 50 years but I suspect my enforced history lesson may simply bore you to tears so, for now, I shall hold back. Just in closing though, go and listen to the 1976 masterpiece, “Trans Europe Express” and tell me your mind hasn’t been blown apart by its brilliance! Go on. I challenge you to tell me otherwise.
So now, where was I? Oh yeah, The Rhosska. The entry fee is relatively cheap. Around 8 Euro’s from memory and like all attractions in Sweden, the location is easy enough to find due to the fantastic sign posting around the city. There is very little to no chance of ever getting lost in Gothenburg due to some rather smart and sophisticated town planning. Booking flights in advance, you can get to Gothenburg for around 10 Euro’s from most major English hubs. The hostels are warm, welcoming and clean but most of all, dead cheap and all located in the city center. And like all major European cities, Gothenburg has a city pass which permits you entry into a number of attractions which provides substantial value, particularly for a budget traveler like myself. So what are you waiting for?