Scandinavian design is a design movement characterized by simplicity,
minimalism and functionality that emerged in the early 20th century,
and which flourished in the 1950s, in the five
Nordic countries of
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
2 In the Scandinavian nations
2.1 In Denmark
2.2 In Finland
2.3 In Iceland
2.4 In Norway
2.5 In Sweden
4 External links
Bang & Olufsen TV and speakers
In 1914, the Danish Selskabet for Dekorativ Kunst (Company for
Decorative Arts) launched its Skønvirke (da) (literally
"Graceful Work") magazine. Its title became the name of a new Danish
style of arts and crafts, to rival
Art Nouveau and Jugendstil.
From the 1930s, designers such as
Alvar Aalto (furniture,
Arne Jacobsen (chairs), Borge Mogensen
Hans J. Wegner
Hans J. Wegner (chairs),
Verner Panton (plastic
Poul Henningsen (lamps), and
Maija Isola (printed
textiles) helped to create a "golden age of Scandinavian
The Lunning Prize, awarded to outstanding Scandinavian designers
between 1951 and 1970, was instrumental in making Scandinavian design
a recognized commodity, and in defining its profile.
In 1954, the
Brooklyn Museum held its "
Design in Scandinavia"
exhibition, and a fashion for "Scandinavian Modern" furniture began in
Scandinavian design is by no means limited to
furniture and household goods. It has been applied to industrial
design, such as of consumer electronics, mobile phones, and
The concept of
Scandinavian design has been the subject of scholarly
debate, exhibitions and marketing agendas since the 1950s. Many
emphasize the democratic design ideals that were a central theme of
the movement and are reflected in the rhetoric surrounding
contemporary Scandinavian and international design. Others, however,
have analyzed the reception of
Scandinavian design abroad, seeing in
it a form of myth-making and racial politics.
In the Scandinavian nations
PH-lamp (1958 version), Denmark
Main article: Danish design
Design is a style of functionalistic design and architecture
that was developed in mid-20th century. Influenced by the German
Bauhaus school, many Danish designers used the new industrial
technologies, combined with ideas of simplicity and functionalism to
design buildings, furniture and household objects, many of which have
become iconic and are still in use and production, such as Arne
Jacobsen's 1958 Egg chair and Poul Henningsen's 1926 PH-lamps.
After the Second World War, conditions in Denmark were ideally suited
to success in design. The emphasis was on furniture but architecture,
silver, ceramics, glass and textiles also benefitted from the trend.
Denmark's late industrialisation combined with a tradition of
high-quality craftsmanship formed the basis of gradual progress
towards industrial production.
Ceramics designed by Ulla Procopé for Arabia, Finland
Design Museum, Helsinki
Finnish design spans clothing, engineering design, furniture, glass,
lighting, textiles, and household products. The "
Finland" mark was created in 2011. Finland's
(formerly called the Museum of Art and Design) has a collection
founded in 1873, while Helsinki's University of Art and Design,
established in 1871, now forms part of Aalto University.
Prominent Finnish designers include
Alvar Aalto (vases, furniture),
Aino Aalto (glassware), Kaj Frank (glass, tableware), Klaus Haapaniemi
Simo Heikkilä (furniture), Kristina Isola
Maija Isola (
Harri Koskinen (glass,
homeware), Mika Piirainen (clothing, accessories), Timo Sarpaneva
Oiva Toikka (glass art),
Tapio Wirkkala (glass art,
Eero Aarnio (plastic furniture), Sanna Annukka
(screenprints), Anu Penttinen (glass), Aino-Maija Metsola (textiles,
homeware), and Maija Louekari (tableware, homeware).
Stacking chairs, Iceland
Iceland is a relatively young tradition, starting in the
1950s but now growing rapidly. The country's limited options for
manufacturing and its constrained choice of materials have both forced
designers to be innovative, though wool remains a staple material,
whether felted or knitted. Iceland's Museum of
Design and Applied Art,
aiming to record Icelandic design from 1900 onwards, opened in
Iceland Academy of the Arts was also founded in 1998,
soon followed by its Faculty of
Architecture and Design, which has
promoted a distinctively Icelandic character in the nation's
Telephone Kiosk by Georg Fredrik Fasting, Norway
Further information: Norwegian
Norwegian design has a strong minimalist aesthetic. Designed items
include lamps and furniture. Qualities emphasised include durability,
beauty, functionality, simplicity, and natural forms.
The Norwegian Centre for
Design and Architecture, "DogA", is housed in
a former transformer station in Oslo.
Norway holds an annual
design exhibition called "100% Norway" at the London Design
Prominent Norwegian designers include
Hans Brattrud (Scandia Jr.,
Grorudstolen, the table Fagott, and the armchair Comet), Sven Ivar
Dysthe (armchair 1001 from 1960,and the chair Laminette from 1964),
Olav Eldøy (chair Peel, the chair Date & the chair Eight), Olav
Fredrik A. Kayser (Chair “711”) and Ingmar Relling (Orbit
"HOL" furniture for IKEA, Sweden
Further information: Swedish Centre for
Architecture and Design
Swedish design is considered minimalist, with an emphasis on
functionality and simple clean lines. This has applied especially to
Sweden is known for traditional crafts including glass and
Sami handicrafts. Swedish design was pioneered by Anders Beckman
Bruno Mathsson (furniture), Märta Måås-Fjetterström
Astrid Sampe (textile), and
Sixten Sason (industrial).
Organisations that promote design in
Sweden are Svensk Form, the
Swedish society of crafts and design, founded in 1845; the Swedish
Design Foundation, known as SVID; the Swedish Arts Council;
and the Swedish Centre for
Design (known as ArkDes)
on the island of
Skeppsholmen in Stockholm, beside the modern art
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^ "The new old principles of HMD's #Nokia design". Nokia. 15 August
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^ Green, Gavin. "Designed to Delight". Volvo. Retrieved 3 January
^ Leary, Erin (2015). "'The Total Absence of Foreign Subjects': The
Racial Politics of US Interwar Exhibitions of Scandinavian Design".
Design and Culture. 7 (3): 283–312.
^ "Egg Chair". Aram. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
^ "The PH lamp". Visit Denmark.
^ "Furniture and Industrial Design" (PDF). Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Denmark. Retrieved 17 December 2008.
^ "Brand Stories". Finnish Design. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
Information from pages on each artist on that website.
Design from Finland. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
^ "Welcome to Finland, the design nation". This is Finland. Retrieved
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Information from pages on each artist on that website.
Architecture General information".
Centre. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
Design Centre. Retrieved 1 January
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Awesome". Complex. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
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Design Now". 100percentnorway. Retrieved 4 January
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