Konstfack recruits Sweden's first doctoral students in visual communication – a historic step for the area's development

8 October 2020

Illustrator and storyteller Cecilia Hei Mee Flumé and graphic designer Brita Lindvall Leitmann will be the first to enrol in doctorate studies in visual communication on an artistic basis in Sweden.

Cecilia Hei Mee Flumé and Brita Lindvall Leitmann
Photo: Jimmy Flumé and Märta Thisner

Sara Teleman and Johanna Lewengard, professors in illustration and graphic design at Konstfack, believe that the recruitment is a historic step for the area's development and that the two candidates are already paving new ways through their respective practice.

"These are people who stand out through their work – they stand with their feet firmly placed in practice and show how making and thinking are strongly intertwined processes. Their visual knowledge, craftsmanship, and curiosity are extremely valuable at a level where theory risks triumphing over practical knowledge", announce Lewengard and Teleman.

Cecilia Hei Mee Flumé (b. 1987, South Korea) graduated from the Visual Communication programme at Konstfack in 2016 and was awarded both the Åke Stavenow Scholarship and the Masonic Scholarship for her graphic novel on transnational adoption titled There Is No Place Like Home. With a bachelor's degree in art history from Södertörn University (2012) and studies in Korean languages at Stockholm University (2008–2012) behind her, Hei Mee Flumé has formed a storytelling practice where drawing serves as a tool for observing, comparing, interpreting, and analysing historical and contemporary issues of identity, class, and inbetweenship. Her well-executed visual and literary craftsmanship is the mainstay of her stories and shows how it is possible to seamlessly combine theory and practice.

Brita Lindvall Leitmann (b. 1977, Sweden) graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2007 and has been employed as a senior lecturer in visual communication at Beckmans School of Design since the autumn of 2019. Lindvall Leitmann is an internationally acclaimed graphic designer with 25 years of professional activity. Since 2012, Lindvall Leitmann has run the design studio Bastion where, together with Alexandra Falagara, they investigate how feminist and postcolonial theory can be transformed through visual communication. Most notable is perhaps their redesign of the Swedish magazine Bang (2012–2015), which illuminates and plays with typographic traditions, visual culture, and editorial principles — a project that encircles Lindvall Leitmann's aesthetically and methodologically ground-breaking practice.

Brita Lindvall Leitmann and Cecilia Hei Mee Flumé will begin their doctoral studies at Konstfack in collaboration with HDK-Valand in November 2020.