Petra Lilja
Design Studio


Curating has been a great interest of Petra Lilja since 2006 when she curated her first design exhibition, displaying interesting to peculiar objects designed for specific purposes for e.g. the agriculture industry, far away from flashy design magazines. Between 2013 - 16 she ran an eponymous design gallery from a converted car repair shop, also her home, in Malmö. Please visit the archive for an extensive list of the international and local artist and designers exhibited.

The Age of Entanglements

The Age of Entanglements is a two year long project where 8 international design studios are working with the planet Mars as a projection plane for critique and speculation to create spaces for discussion and debate about what it means being human on Earth today. The Age of…? is the first of two exhibitions in the project and shows the design processes where the designers explore different future scenarios through speculative design.

As a response to environmental decay and increasing material scarcity on Earth, scientists and the space industry are investing in the potential of asteroid mining, planetary engineering and in-space manufacturing to meet the demands of our growing population.
Much of the research and development today is primarily human-centered, very little has been done to consider the potential ecological impact on this unknown environment of Mars. Is it easier for humans to imagine life on Mars than to change our destructive behavior on Earth? At the same time, a growing understanding of that we as humans are not exceptional beings but rather fully entangled and dependent on other species, renders the urgency of our own extinction clear.
What if focus would shift from exploiting space, just as we have exploited Earth, to develop more sustainable lifestyles in mutualistic symbiosis with other species? What can we learn, or perhaps unlearn, by imagining and designing for multispecies life on Mars?

Participating designers: Mariah Wright (USA), Cathrine Disney (UK), Nonhuman Nonsense (SE), Pleoforma (USA), Thomas Pausz (FR), Frederik Deschuytter (BE) & Pleun van Dijk (NL), Wang & Söderström (SE), Agi Haines (UK)

Work-in-progress exhibition at Form/Design Center, Malmö August 27th - October 6th, 2019

Final exhibition at Volvo Studio, February 3rd - 9th, 2020, as part of the Stockholm Design Week.

Project managed and curated by Jenny Lee (UK) and Petra Lilja (SE) from non:agency

Funded by Kulturbryggan

Workshops funded by Sparbanksstiftelsen Syd

Material sponsorship from RIAS, Swerock

Thanks to STPLN for providing work space, maker space and great company


The Future is Handmade

The exhibition “ The Future is Handmade “, curated by Petra Lilja, shows 46 design objects that in some way relates to craft or the handmade process. Examples from the 70’s when radical designers such as Erik Höglund was inspired by folk craft when he designed furniture, to the 90’s when a number of young designers seriously started experimenting, such as Droog Design, M/M Paris and Sandra Backlund. Today, craft is one of the most important driving forces in the design world, and many of the most prominent young designers refer in different ways to traditional craft. Like for example, Hilda Hellström, Kiki Van Eyck, Anders Lagombra Jacobsen, Tobias Alm, and others.

The Future is Handmade was made for and in collaboration with Kalmar Konstmuseum and then toured to Form/Desig Center in Malmö and Falkenbergs Museum, Sweden in 2014-15. In addition to curating, Petra Lilja also made the exhibition design and arranged an open seminar on the theme. International design professionalstook part in a panel discussion moderated by art and design critic Dennis Dahlqvist. International guests: Rianne Makkink of Studio Makkink&Bey, Holland. Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno, Zaven, Italy. Tomek Rygalik, product and furniture designer, Poland. Kasia Jezowska, curator, Young Creative Poland/UK. Hanne Lange Houlberg, Fine Crafts Professional and photographer, chairman of Danish Arts and Crafts Association, board member of World Crafts Council Europe, Denmark. Jerszy Seymour, designer, Canada/Germany.



This exhibition was designed and curated by Petra Lilja, commissioned by the Embassies of Sweden and Finland in Bucharest and displayed during the Romanian Design Week, an annual event in Bucharest that promotes design and architecture. The idea behind the exhibition design was a smorgasbord of objects representing emerging tendencies in Scandinavian design. The large table was designed as an easy-to-assemble flat pack podium where upon the objects where elevated and placed on reflective mirror glass. Skilled carpenters manufactured the design in Bucharest. The idea behind a free-standing podium was to optimize long distance collaboration where important information like exact location and facilities could be subject for change and the designer not being able to visit the venue prior to the opening. Please read more about the exhibition under Curating.