Norwegian style blogger Fredrik Risvik crosses a road in Oslo in front of a parked Volvo XC40

City

XC40: the Oslo edit

Norwegian style blogger and content creator Fredrik Risvik joins us in Oslo to talk about Scandinavian style and tech, with the new XC40 as our guide.

WORDS: LEO WILKINSON | PHOTOGRAPHY: SAM CHRISTMAS

 

“Technology, especially our phones, opens up so many possibilities,” says Fredrik Risvik as we wind our way through central Oslo in the Volvo XC40. “If I’m going to a new city, for example, I’ll probably use Instagram to follow a food or style blogger who lives there, to get inspiration for where to go.”

Fredrik, an influential style blogger and content creator, is known for his own take on minimalist Scandinavian style. Today, he’s hunting out new spots and catching up with friends in the XC40. He expands on the topic of technology: “I do much of my work on my phone,” he says. “I can catch up with my social media accounts and emails anywhere. I shoot photos using my phone to control the camera and the images are there, ready. And my phone is the remote control for my music and TV at home. Having one piece of technology that can do everything makes things easier.”

As Fredrik is talking, the seamless smartphone integration in the XC40, and its intuitive apps and technology, illustrate that point. The car’s Sensus Navigation system makes getting around this bustling city effortless, giving us clear guidance and a great view of where we are on the large centre display. And, as we dash from place to place, the Park & Pay app that’s part of the Sensus Connect package helps us find vacant parking spaces and pay for them.

Style blogger Fredrik Risvik stands beside a Volvo XC40

Fredrik, who lives in Stavanger, Norway’s third-largest city, visits Oslo three or four times a year. “Most of the brands I work with are international,” he says. “So I actually spend more time in London or Stockholm than Oslo.”

Finding out more about our current surroundings is easy, thanks to the apps in the XC40. Wikilocations gives us interesting information about the places immediately around us, so we can get a better feel for the city’s culture and history. We can use Google Local Search or Yelp to discover places to eat and things to see, and also read other people’s reviews of them. And if Fredrik wants to share his location – or destination – with a friend he can send a link to their phone using the built-in Glympse app. All of this is done safely, and with the minimum of fuss, using the car’s touch screen.

As beautifully illustrated through his social media channels and website, Fredrik has a passion for fashion and interiors with a clean, uncluttered style. So the cabin of the XC40 seems an appropriate setting as talk turns to what he thinks represents great design. “The best contemporary Scandinavian design is laid back and minimalistic,” he says. “It’s about things that are made to last and functional.”

“Finding out more about current surroundings is easy, thanks to the apps in the XC40”

We stop for a cup of coffee and a Norwegian Skolebrød pastry (one of Fredrik’s guilty pleasures) in the Barcode district, an area of contemporary, high-rise buildings. From the comfort of the café we use the Send to Car function of the Volvo On Call app to set our next destination in the Sensus Navigation. We’re heading to an exclusive menswear store co-owned by one of Fredrik’s former colleagues. On the way, as we move from the crisp, geometric surroundings of the Barcode district to the eclectic mix of architectural styles in central Oslo, Fredrik reflects on why we choose the things we do. “Nowadays, thanks to technology, we have access to absolutely everything, and there is so much to choose from,” he says. “So I think it’s important to make an informed choice and select the product from the company that does that particular thing the best.”

As our day spent in Oslo draws to a close, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that there is no better car to explore the city in than the new XC40.