Skip to main content

You are here

  • Jan 19, 2015

Nobel Creations: Inspired by the Nobel Prize Opens at ASI



MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The American Swedish Institute (ASI) kicks off 2015 with an innovative look at the world’s greatest honor, the Nobel Prizes. Nobel Creations: Inspired by the Nobel Prize explores the winning concepts of the 2013 Nobel Prize Laureates through couture fashion, original music and floristry creations. Nobel Creations: Inspired by the Nobel Prize is on view at the American Swedish Institute January 31— May 24, 2015.

Nobel Creations comes to Minneapolis from Sweden’s Nobel Museum; ASI is the first museum outside of the Nordic region to host the exhibition. The project is a collaboration between the Nobel Museum and two of Stockholm’s premier institutions of higher learning: Beckmans College of Design and the Royal College of Music. ASI takes the original exhibition one step further with a local emphasis on the subject with corresponding floral creations organized by Koehler & Dramm Institute of Floristry. The Laureates are also honored in original woodblock printings by artist Noah Prinsen of Asheville, NC.

“The artistic and scientific process are both fueled by curiosity and progress. The desire to push mankind a little further and build off the shoulders of those who came before us. Through fashion, music and floristry, Nobel Creations creatively introduces the public to groundbreaking work in each of the six Nobel subjects,” says Scott Pollock, ASI’s Director of Exhibitions, Collections and Programs. 


The six prizes are set each in their own room of the historic Turnblad Mansion, creating an immersive experience of sight, sound and beauty as visitors explore the complex scientific discoveries of the featured Laureates.

Nobel Creations: Inspired by the Nobel Prize features the works of up and coming designers from Beckmans College of Design: Josephine Berqvist and Klara Modigh (physics), Livia Schück Johansson and Malin Delin (chemistry), Amanda Blom and Victor Lind (physiology or medicine), Emma Röstlund, Olle Daunfeldt and Anna Scholz (literature), Joanna Welinder and Petra Norden (peace) Siah Javaheri and Isabelle Larsson Knobel (economic sciences).

Fashion designers Josephine Berqvist and Klara Modigh interpreted the work of Francois Englert and Peter W. Higgs, the 2013 Nobel Laureates in Physics. Berqvist and Modigh’s final creation is composed of 65% concrete, 10% gravel, 5% pyrite, 5% silk, 5% wool, 5% tulle, 2% glass stone, 2.5% acrylic paint and .5% crystal.

“Our silhouette is a representation of the Higgs field. Interaction with the Higgs field, which pervades the entire universe, is what gives our bodies mass. Our bodies are made from crushed stones, in reference to the way that scientists collided particles to find the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is invisible, but is visible as a shadow falling on the collided particles,” the designers note.

The work of Canadian short-story master Alice Munro is celebrated in the Turnblad Mansion Library. Exhibited amongst Swan Turnblad’s extensive collection of Swedish texts, the garment of 70% white and red yarn and 30% toothed plate, was created by Emma Röstlund, Olle Daunfeldt and Anna Scholz:

“We have been inspired by Munro’s ability to draw attention to and express the everyday in an engaging way. During the process, we experimented with materials in which the contrasting qualities of hard and soft meet. Our ambition and challenge has been to capture the ambivalence in Munro’s work, which simultaneously advocates for realism that is both truly down-to-earth and painful. We want to recreate these contrasting emotions in a three-dimensional creation.”


The garments are enhanced through sound and original compositions by five students from the Royal College of Music (Stockholm): Tippan Phasuk (peace), Guto Lucena (economic sciences and chemistry), Isabel Gustafsson-Ny (literature) Filipe Raposo (physics) and Sebastian Bergstrom (physiology or medicine).

The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.” In interpreting this prize through music, Tippan Phasuk writes:

“In the beginning, we all arrive here from a peaceful world and I’m convinced that we all would like to return to such a place. Getting there requires that we understand the world today, how it was in the past, and in which direction it is heading. Things like what is happening in Syria today could also happen to our children tomorrow. That’s why I want to highlight the importance of OPCW’s work through this piece, together with ever individua’sl personal responsibility for raising his or her voice in support of world peace.”  


The exhibition offers an additional twist by inviting local floral designers, arranged by Koehler & Dramm Institute of Floristry, to interpret the six subjects through elaborate creations. 

Participating designers and design studios include:

Susan Andler, Mary Andler, and June Holmgrem (The Design Group from Koehler and Dramm Institute of Floristry, economic sciences); Juliann Geis Thavis, Nunu Ephrem, Catherine Benner, and Julie Burgart (The Design Group from Koehler and Dramm Institute of Floristry, physiology or medicine) Jessica Leopold (Koehler and Dramm, literature), Arts & Flowers Design Studio (chemistry), Lynne Tischler and Jessie Thompson (Your Enchanted Florist, physics), Nancy Helmbrecht, Cheryl Tragethon, and Emily Kroon (Dandelion Floral and Gifts, peace)

In their interpretation of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, Juliann Geis Thavis, Nunu Ephrem, Catherine Benner, and Julie Burgart (The Design Group from Koehler and Dramm Institute of Floristry) note: “The five suspended flower balls represent human cells, connected through their transportation system. The space between the second and third cells demonstrates an area in which cell transportation has broken down, mirroring the gap above the gloves in the fashion creation. The vase filled with glass orbs creates a visual representation of cells within a confined space.”


The American Swedish Institute will receive a Nobel Prize Medal Replica in to its permanent collection from Minnesota native, Dr. Peter Agre. Dr. Agre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003 for "the discovery of aquaporins, a family of water channel proteins found throughout nature and responsible for numerous physiological processes in humans."

Dr. Agre will present the replica medal to ASI as part of Nobel Creations: An Enchanted Evening of Taste, Science and Sound on Saturday, February 7.

"The longstanding admiration that my Agre family has had for the American Swedish Institute makes it an ideal home for a Nobel medal. It is my honor to make this gift with the hope that viewing the medal will encourage some young visitor to engage in a career in science and bring home another Nobel to Minnesota!" says Agre. 


Key programs and events at ASI highlight the life of Alfred Nobel (May 20), explore a night out at the exhibition at Cocktails at the Castle: Dynamite Night (May 15), and celebrate the scientific discoveries in the exhibition, Particle Fever film Screening (February 25). 

ASI will welcome special guests Olov Amelin, Director of the Nobel Museum, and Seb Chan, Design Director at Cooper Hewitt, for its signature “thinky-drinky” community conversation program, “A Night of Social Wonder” on Wednesday, March 18.

Tickets and more information for all Nobel Creations related events can be purchased at or by calling (612) 871-4907.

Nobel Creations Opening Night

Friday, Jan. 30 — 7 p.m. presentation; galleries open til 9 p.m.

Nordic Encounter: Nobel Museum’s Jeanette Peterberg
with exhibiting designers Klara Modigh & Victor Lind

Saturday, Jan. 31 — 3 p.m.  & Sunday, Feb. 1 — 1:30 p.m.

Nobel Creations: An Enchanted Evening of Taste, Science & Sound

Saturday, Feb. 7 — 6:30 p.m.

Film Screening: Particle Fever

Wednesday, Feb. 25 — 6:30 p.m.

A Night of Social Wonder:  Designing For A Better Tomorrow
with special guest Nobel Museum Director Olov Amelin

Wednesday, March 18 — 6:30 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. program

Curator’s Cocktail Tour

Thursday, March 26 — 6:30 p.m.

Curator’s Cocktail Tour

Thursday,  April 23 — 6:30 p.m.

Cocktails at the Castle: Dynamite Night

Friday, May 15 — 7 p.m.

Alfred Nobel: From Dynamite King to Purveyor of Peace
Talk by Glenn Kranking

Wednesday, May 20 — 6:30 p.m.

Curator’s Cocktail Tour

Thursday, May 28 — 6:30 p.m.


Nobel Laureates got their start as kids! The ASI Family Gallery has been transformed in to the Future Laureates Lab, a space where kids of all ages can unlock the creativity and innovation that all Nobel Laureates have exercised in the course of their careers.

Each month during the run of Nobel Creations, the ASI Family Gallery dedicates a Nobel Creations Family Day to explore how different creative outlets make us all inventors and innovators. Nobel Creations Family Days are included with museum admission.

Nobel Creations Family Day at the American Swedish Institute

Sunday, February 22 (12-4 p.m.) – To Build Is To Invent

Sunday, March 22 (12-4 p.m.) – To Write Is To Invent

Sunday, April 26 (12-4 p.m.) – To Compose Is To Invent


ASI will build on Nobel Creations with two smaller exhibitions focusing on the Nobel Prizes for Peace and Literature this spring.

Shaping Peace: A Visual, Interactive Exploration of The Nobel Peace Prize runs February 28 – May 24, 2015. The exhibition encourages visitors to explore the 128 individuals and organizations that have won the Nobel Peace Prize. The project was designed by students in the Art and Graphic Design Program at Augsburg College in collaboration with the English, Religion, and Political Science departments.

To win the Nobel Prize in Literature, you must be creative. To be creative, you must practice. ASI and Coffee House Press will co-curate The Laureate Lounge (March 7 – May 24, 2015), an inventive space inspired by the real and imagined habits of Nobel Laureates. Four talented writers, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Janaki Ranpura, Sun Yung Shin, and Andy Sturdevant, created dozens of short, thought-provoking assignments for you to complete. Do one or twenty, but give them a try.

The Laureate Lounge is curated by Chris Fishbach of Coffee House Press and independent curator Sarah Schultz.


Nobel Creations: Inspired By the Nobel Prize is a collaboration between The Nobel Museum, Beckmans College of Design, and The Royal College of Music in Stockholm. 


Nobel Creations: Inspired by the Nobel Prize is generously supported by Jack and Linda Hoeschler, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and the Anne Ray Charitable Trust. Tack!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

share this