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100 Years T

he concept of Scandinavian Design as a particular style was first seen in the 1950s when a show featuring furniture and textiles from the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, toured Europe, the United States and Canada. It was further promoted by a number of prominent furniture designers that had a huge impact on the design philosophy such as Alvar Aalto, Verner Panton and Eero Aarnio. It was simple, fuss free chic and it caught the imagination of the world, much to the delight of the Scandinavians. At the time, there was increased availability of the new low cost materials and methods used for mass production and so the designers made good use of form pressed wood, plastics, anodized or enamelled aluminium and pressed steel to bring their ideas to fruition. A particularly ideological background emerged at that time as the Scandinavian countries practised social democracy, which expanded to most areas including industry and the arts. Historically, the Scandinavians lived in small homes, tasked with long, harsh winters that had few hours of daylight, so the traditional designs formed as a philosophy. This was called “lagom” and means “just the right amount”, not too little and not too much. The object was to create a space that was simple, uncluttered and efficient, yet warm and welcoming. To suffuse spaces with light, airiness, serenity and a feeling of oneness with nature. Another word to describe this style is the Danish “hygge”,

a term meaning to live the good life surrounded by loved ones. This innate trend continues today, with Scandinavians spending inordinate amounts of time and money on their number one hobby, decorating the home and entertaining guests. Today, there are many high street boutiques selling Scandinavian décor essentials and quite a number of superstores and online retailers all bringing the style within an affordable reach, which was one of the original tenants of the style – to provide designs of quality, using sustainable products that were affordable to every strata of society. This was a core theme in the development of modernism and functionalism generally, but the Nordic designers seemed to take it to heart in a big way. From the 1990s onwards designers began to treat every object they fashioned in décor as individual units of design, creating bold and unique statement pieces. Designers have focused on interior design style with furniture, lighting, textiles, accessories and everyday utilitarian items like dishes, silverware, cooking utensils and linens. Nordic countries now boast some of the best design schools in the world, such as the Bergen Academy of Art and Design in Norway, Finland's Aalto University and Konstfack University in Sweden. Investment in education (higher education is free in all three countries) is clearly paying off. Interest in Scandinavian design has grown due to new wave of creative energy from young Nordic designers.

LTD Magazine: November/December 2016  

Our last issue for 2016 and what a fabulous issue it is, we have Cheeky Pea, Revival, Train Stations, Christmas themed food, Outdoor Hot Tub...

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