Sweden-born Johan Liden is an industrial designer and entrepreneur who now calls New York City home. He left Sweden and landed in San Francisco at Yves Béhar’s fuseproject where his clients included the likes of Nike, Birkenstock, Herman Miller, BMW, and Microsoft. Liden then went onto MAC Cosmetics and developed a series of products lines and new product categories, like the Sean John Fragrance. Nike’s Converse division enlisted his skills where he oversaw some of their most popular products. Then in 2006, he launched the multifaceted design studio Aruliden with fellow designer, Rinat Aruh, and the pair have been successfully producing award-winning work ever since. The duo merged their talents in product design and marketing which resulted in Producting, a term they coined based on the innovative perspective they offer their clients that range from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Along with their client work, the brand creates a curated line of products, including the ever-popular Fishscape fishbowl. Take a look at his Friday Five answers, which include a delicacy, a mode of transportation, and a favorite place to escape in NYC.
1. Kalles caviar
No better way to start your weekend morning then with a Swedish classic, rye bread, eggs, and of course “Kalles” caviar. This original brings back memories from my childhood and is still something I always make sure to have on hand. Not only has the product stayed the same for as long as I can remember, the timeless and iconic design is still holding up.
2. My Bike
I try as often as possible to get out and enjoy the city with my bike. Now, when more or less the whole city is bike friendly it’s not only the fastest way to get from one location to the next it’s also the best way to explore the city. Every transportation method provides a unique way of understanding your surroundings, some better than others and for me the bike gives you a new understanding of the neighborhoods and the cognitive tissue like no other.
3. Flower District on 28th Street
Over the years I have developed a love for Cacti, not only because of their architectural beauty but also for the remarkable number of species and types. It may also have to do with the fact that this plant transports you to a warm and dry place, something that is not always the case in New York City. These days you can find them everywhere, but there is no better place then 28th street and the flower market to spend an hour or two browsing the various stores, talk to the various vendors and just enjoy the almost jungle-like street lined with plants.
I was always a fan of the radio, the portable and mobile nature of this medium suits me well, it can always be with you and with very little effort be enjoyed almost anywhere. Now with podcasts and the enormous sea of content I constantly find myself on the hunt for a good show. Time spent in the subway becomes time for listening, and the trip that for some can feel long is now over before you know it. On occasion I even find myself wishing there was a stop or two more allowing me to finish a story. And best of all is that you never know what you will learn.
5. Sunday Dinner/cooking
The best way to relax and decompress after a long day is cooking. I look forward to the walk through the grocery store as this is where the whole process starts for me. Trying to decide what to make before you see the raw ingredients is set up for disappointment, much better to just get inspired and let the season guide you. Cooking is maybe also another way for me to create, use my hands and build something. Gratification is around the corner and the joy that comes from seeing other people enjoy it is truly rewarding.
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