UMAN magazine has been invisible for a couple of years, but now the student run magazine has celebrated a re-release of a brand new issue. Vertex met two of the coworkers.

The heart of the student magazine UMAN is located inside of the school of architecture in Umeå. Due to minimal interference between Umeå’s two campuses the existence of the magazine is not universally known among students. It has existed since 2014, yet yesterday there was release event at Scharinska villan in Umeå open to the public.

The re-release of the magazine is due to the fact that the publishing stopped at 2016. The magazine is run by a core group of students consisting of approximately 10-15 people. Consequently, the release of a sixth edition was the result of a growing interest for rebooting the magazine. The magazine is released once a year and is made possible by dedicated students.

Vertex took the opportunity to talk to the editor in chief and creative director Stellan Gulde, 25, and forum coordinator Tove Brunberg, 32. Both are studying their 6th semester at the Umeå school of architecture.

What is your focus with the magazine and why did you feel the need for a student run architectural magazine?
– The magazine is a platform to investigate architectural topics. It is important for students to run their own research and their own investigations, says Stellan Gulde.

This issue of the magazine is called ”Beauty” and poses the question; what is beauty? And it explores the view of it through the lens of art in all shapes and sizes, everything from architecture and design to how it is shaped by politics. Tove explained that the goal is to start a debate about the subject.

How have you attempted to spread the topic?
–  By, for example, organizing open lunch-lectures and meetings. And also screening a TedTalk regarding it, says Tove Brunberg.

This evenings event is no different. By having open events like this they try to spread UMAN and their subject-matter beyond the arts campus. A debate is held during evening where the topic is discussed.

The artworks in the magazine are displayed at the venue and there’s mugs to smash with a hammer, cloudberries to taste and horse manure to smell. Everything in an attempt to make beauty an all sensory experience.

But who has the right to decide what beauty is when it seems to be subjective and collective at the same time? Is beautiful architecture and design more important than functionality? Who can afford to even ponder about that?  I’m not sure if I know any better what beauty is. Which I think is the point of it all. But I do know that the magazine is well thought of, with an ambition to steer the discourse in society, and something more than just a student magazine.

Text & photo:
Julia Lidman