Dansbana! is an organisation working to create public places in Sweden for dance. They found that spaces allocated for outdoor activities such as football fields or skateboard ramps were used almost exclusively by boys, with girls being heavily underrepresented users of public spaces. Dansbana! was created out of a desire to change this trend.

The organisation was founded by the architects Anna Fridolin, Anna Pang and Teres Selberg in Stockholm. Together they have experience in a number of different areas including architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, dance, and teaching. The name ‘dansbana’ comes from a type of building used for dancing in Sweden. They were important social spaces, especially for young people. Dansbana!’s ambition is to update the concept of the old public dance places, to allow for many kinds of dancers. They have developed hands-on methods to engage girls and local dance organisations in the planning and activation of each Dansbana!

(Photo: Nicklas-Dennermalm)

Key to the project is a terrazzo dancefloor fitted out with a high quality sound system made of bright and colourful metal-clad speakers. Anyone can connect their phone via Bluetooth to the system and dance.

Having been nominated for the prestigious Beazley Designs of the Year shortlist at the Design Museum in London back in 2017, Dansbana! goes from strength to strength and has just opened its first space in Vårby Gård, in southern Stockholm, Sweden.

As the shortlist curators state: ‘Design is both a reflection of its times and potentially a means of intervention’. Let’s hope similar ideas can be explored in towns and cities across the UK.

Find out more here: http://dansbana.se