The New Scandinavian Design

By Sergio González | 10:09

Scandinavian design as recognizable branding emerged around the 50s, and it involved every Scandinavian country (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) except Iceland. It was the time of Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen and many other geniuses who soon made Scandinavian design famous for its clean, smooth lines and overwhelmingly beautiful simplicity that never sacrifices functionality. Can you find the connection between Scandinavian design and Andy Warhol so far?

The motto behind both and many other modernist movements afterwards is that useful and beautiful objects shouldn’t only be affordable to the rich. This is why Warhol’s pop-ular paintings range among everyday objects we all can experience like soup cans and bananas and why IKEA’s designers work their hands to bone to reduce packing and transportations costs. What is more, Scandinavian societies have rooted democratic beliefs and they apply the principles of social equality to their very designs.

The new Scandinavian design remains loyal to the foundations and has made fans by the millions but today’s generation of new designers is updating modernism, making it cleaner and fresher; where possible. They have also added a new dimension to their designs that pretty much has taken them back to the blackboard: Scandinavian design must be eco-friendly. They say design is a reflection of any society’s beliefs so given that these people always rank first on every worldwide green list, you can totally trust that they’ve gone miles beyond usual eco-standards.

To learn more, the book New Scandinavian Design by Katherine Nelson is the best visual display of who’s who in today’s Nordic design and a source of inspiration for your next home improvement, but here comes the basics:

Nowadays Scandinavian interior design likes light rooms with blank spaces and slightly worked wooden furniture. No toxic varnish or impossible colors, just the natural wonders of nature and a short palette of primary colors to work with. It may sound pretty simplistic on paper but once you are inside one of these rooms you understand why it works; it makes you feel chilly, with no extravaganza messing with the furniture’s good vibes.

Furniture is still mainly functional but their simpler lines hide complex engineering meant to fit modern living needs and neater lines that allow the focus to remain on the practical use; pure Scandinavian inspiration we all can use sometimes. If you want to keep up with the latest trends and are curious about how this cool furniture looks, there are three furniture brands you should be paying attention to -at least because everybody else is.

Muuto is one of the newest design companies in the Scandinavian furniture industry but their new approach to Finland’s classic design (muuto means “new perspective” in Finnish) has already engaged in their team designers like Norwegian laureates Anderssen & Voll or Danish icon Cecile Manz. Get inspired here by their latest collection of furniture and lighting. – Manifest film from Bolia on Vimeo.

When Gena Hansen told her folks she wanted to graduate from Bauhaus University, the Harvard of design, nobody was surprised. She comes from a large family of carpenters and architects who all together have pulled off The Hansen Family, the Scandinavian furniture label you wish you had heard about earlier. Her retro designs have been published in several worldwide decor magazines and fashion editor giants like Glamour and Elle simply couldn’t resist the Kitsuné, the new LV travel trunk.

Bolia designs furniture for people who love living and creating stories; their motto is that “the most captivating stories of all” happen at home, and your furniture must be ready for that. Bolia is the latest think-tank in Scandinavia (they are also in Germany) where all type of art mingle and thrive: Bolia lounge mixes are common hits in the Stockholm or Copenhagen clubbing scene and their free apps are top downloads for iPhone throughout the whole region. Check here to see what you are missing and get inspired by the coolest Scandinavian furniture!

Photo credit: observista


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