good news #23
Scandinavian design in 4 dates
They revolutionized interior design and deftly reinvented themselves in the following decades. What explains our love for this warm design from the cold countries?
1950-1970 The historical pillars
Scandinavian design is not only one of the most sustainable and practical design aesthetics, but it also possesses a history that marked that of design since the beginning of the 20th century. But it was at the end of World War 2 that the rest of the world, in the middle of the Reconstruction style, discovered pieces signed by funny new names: Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen, Alvar Aalto, Finn Juhl, Verner Panton, Eero Saarinen… They came from Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway and revolutionized the world of furniture with one simple idea: beauty is hidden in pure lines, simplicity and the warmth of wood.
1970 - 2000 The descendants
Nourished by philosophy and the new shapes of their elders, the designers of the second wave confirm the international renown of the Scandinavian aesthetic by driving the evolution of their design toward shapes that are more over the top and adapted to the era: Ruud Ekstrand and his Model Formula chair, Henrik Thor-Larsen and his mythical Ovalia Egg chair, the plastic and cloth chairs of Simo Heikkilä…
2000-2010 Breathing new life
Ikea furniture colonizes interiors to such an extent that people risk getting bored with their standards. Scandinavian design studios are obliged to re-invent themselves while also staying true to a DNA that is almost synonymous with well-being: the harmony of proportions in interiors in which one can take shelter from the aggressions of life. Their names are Klevering, Normann Copenhagen, &Tradition, AYTM, Bloomingville, Northern Lighting, Hay, The Hansen Family; and they avoid the trap of their predecessors of willy-nilly re-editions while also inventing a new interior harmony.
2010-2020 The New Wave
Scandinavian design has not renounced wood and “hygge” (the feeling of well-being in a cozy setting) but takes it a step further with improbable materials like the pigmented jesmonite urns of Swedish designer Hilda Hellström that resemble the aurora borealis; Studio Muuto, which hires young designers like Norway Says, Louise Campbell or Thomas Bentzen; the brand 101 Copenhagen with its super brutalist furniture and lighting collections; the 3D-printable chair of Alexander Lervik… Using less wood? There too, Scandinavian design was present.