Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Tag: stockholm

Not sure what this tower is, but it’s awesome

Stumbled on this tonight, and it’s a great piece of architecture.

Downtown Stockholm

I don’t know what it is, though.

Downtown Stockholm

However, in its small way it’s as cool as the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

Patronas Twin Towers at night

Evening in

It started snowing this morning, and hasn’t stopped. I didn’t expect to see several inches by this evening, but that’s what we’ve got.

I went to the conference for a morning session on innovation systems; it was interesting to compare attempts to build systems here to ones I’ve seen or been involved with in Silicon Valley, thought reading John Kay’s Obliquity has made me skeptical of all attempts to reduce things as complex as innovation and entrepreneurship to a set of business processes. However, that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t keep trying to work on these issues, just that we need to recognize that our best efforts are likely to move the needle just a little.

My kind of place

I confess I didn’t know much about the Mobile Life Centre, but was quite favorably impressed with it. There’s a neat group of students, and several really great senior researchers, including a couple who’ve had close ties to Microsoft Research.

After that I met Heather and had lunch in a pizza and kebab place in Gamla Stan.

Today's lunch: Kebab and chips

It was unexpectedly huge, so instead of eating out, after going to the Royal Palace and the medieval museum, we had coffee at Coffeehouse by George, bought some bread and cheese at NK, and had dinner in our room. Between Heather having a bit of a cold and it being freezing cold outside, a quiet evening inside seemed like the thing.

It's snowing! WTF is it doing snowing?

Our hotel room, by the way, has been quite nice: it’s essentially a studio apartment, with a little kitchen, and one of those slightly mysterious European bathrooms (what do people have against showers that don’t spill water everywhere)?

Our hip, ultramodern hotel room in Stockholm

We leave Stockholm tomorrow morning, and head back to England. Then we have Saturday to ourselves, and Sunday the kids arrive for a week.

Just another quick note

After the conference, Heather and I went to the Vasa Museum, which is pretty incredible.

Vasa Museum

The Vasa was an 17th-century warship that sank within minutes of setting sail off the waters of Stockholm. (The amazing thing is, everyone involved knew that the design had been screwed up, and nobody was willing to tell the king.)

Vasa Museum

In the 1950s, an explorer found it; for the next several years the Swedish Navy worked to salvage it, the scientists spent more years preserving and reconstructing it. Finally, they built a museum around it, rather than try to move it again.

Vasa Museum

The museum itself is quite amazing, and the Vasa is spectacular. Of course, had it been a successful warship it would have been worked to death; the fact that it sank immediately, and therefore is available to us today, is a great example of how surviving historical artifacts and documents can be the unusual and anomalous things, not the everyday and truly representative ones.

Vasa Museum

If you can’t tell from the pictures, the Vasa itself is huge, and the space around it is fantastic. Very worthwhile. As Heather notes, so much of what you can see in an interesting city is actually stuff you can see, with some variation, in many great cities– the Asian art museum here may be as good as the one in Paris or San Francisco, but they’re all Asian art museums– but this is one of a kind.

Lots more pictures here.

Wacka wacka wacka

At one of the Metro stations here in Stockholm.

Wacka wacka wacka

This place is very cool.

Wacka wacka wacka

In Stockholm

We’re in Stockholm, Sweden for the next couple days. I’m at a conference at the Mobile Life Center, in Kista, which is the high-tech neighborhood of Stockholm. Lots of interesting-sounding stuff the next couple days, but we got here in time to see a little of the city.

After flying from Heathrow via Amsterdam, and taking a taxi from Arland airport to the city (hint: take the train, there’s nothing to see driving), we got to our hotel, then immediately set out for Gamla Stan, the old town (actually its old island).

Around Gamla Stan this evening

More about it later; I’ve got a bunch of pictures up on Flickr. It’s a really cool place.

Around Gamla Stan this evening

© 2019 Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

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