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Ville, Vakre Vega

Ville, Vakre Vega

How do we create an interesting communication concept and design for the main exhibition at the upcoming World Heritage Centre in Vega - one of the first UNESCO centres in Norway?

Team: Emergence Projects + Ida Skjefstad + Ways (Eivind Lindbråten) + Benny Lund + Vidar Grande

Timeframe: May - September 2016

Client: Stiftelsen Vegaøyan Verdensarv / Vega Archipelago World Heritage Foundation


Ville Vakre Vega. The title of the project can loosely be translated into wildly beautiful Vega. We’re talking about Vegaøyan – The Vega Archipelago in the northern part of Norway, just south of the Arctic Circle. After being inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage in 2004, a World Heritage Centre is being built at Vegaøyan. In May 2016 we were invited to pitch our ideas for the Vega Archipelago World Heritage foundation, and won the pitch over some of Scandinavia’s most experienced exhibition design agencies! That kind of made us proud!

The Vega Archipelago in northern Norway has a long history that centres around how people have survived throughout history, not alongside, but with the nature. It’s a story about the unique symbiosis between humans and eider ducks through generations. In 2004 The Vega Archipelago received their UNESCO status on the basis of this.

“The Vega archipelago reflects the way generations of fishermen-farmers have, over the past 1500 years, maintained a sustainable living in an inhospitable seascape near the Arctic Circle, based on the now unique practice of eider down harvesting, and it also celebrates women’s contribution to the eider down process..”
– UNESCO criterion

We first set off to Vega to experience to world heritage first hand. It was even more wild and beautiful than we could have ever imagined. Such a fantastic experience! This trip was an important part of our research, and it’s been invaluable to our understanding of the project to experience the nature first hand, meet the locals and above all: feel the eider down. It is mind-blowing how light is – and surprisingly warm too. ‘The Eiderdown Effect’ is magic.

As part of our project, we created a documentation blog where we posted stories from Vega and about the process of working back in Oslo. We always find it interesting to create a transparent process, and it allowed us to interact with the audience — most importantly the locals at Vega, giving us feedback and sharing their expectations. Check out the project blog here: villevakrevega.no

In September 2016 we handed over our final ideas for the communication concept for the main exhibition. The construction of the centre started late 2016 and will be completed in 2018 – so get ready to go check out our work in Vega. You won’t be disappointed.