I started my career as a computer graphics designer with no formal education in anything related to design. I realized that I had always liked more of a minimal, simple, yet functional design. I learned pretty late in my career that it has a term for it.
Scandinavian Design1 is the minimal, clean approach seeking to have performant functionality yet exquisite. Designs that focus on simple lines and light spaces, and are mostly devoid of unneeded clutter. The design strips back the unnecessary, showcasing the essential elements and there is nothing superfluous.
The current form of Scandinavian Design started in early 20th century and flourished throughout the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland), from the 1930s onwards.
Originating from the Danish Selskabet for Dekorativ Kunst, who launched its
Skønvirke(“Graceful Work”) magazine in 1914, the title went on to become the name of a new Danish style of arts and crafts to rival contemporary trends like Art Nouveau2 whereas Skønvirke promoted local crafts and accessible, democratic design.
The idea of Scandinavian design is to establish harmony with one’s environment and to create things made to last. It seeks to compliment the art of living well by promoting a simple home environment that is filled with quality items and enhances an unencumbered lifestyle devoid of excess consumerism.
It is important for an individual, as a home environment that encourages a life well lived is an increasingly important counter to the pressures of modern life, and for the planet, as it challenges rampant consumerism and deepens our connection to nature.
The propensity for utilitarianism, blends in well with the concept of sustainability and is thus an integral part of what makes Scandinavian Designs such a sought-after these days.
The design principles of craftsmanship, quality, and enabling a better routine are a natural cohesion for sustainability. The beauty and care of seeking local manufacturing of high-quality products that are designed to last.
Art Nouveau is an international style of art, architecture, and applied art, especially the decorative arts. The style is known by different names in different languages: Jugendstil in German, Stile Liberty in Italian, Modernisme in Catalan, and also known as the Modern Style in English. It was popular between 1890 and 1910 during the Belle Époque period, and was a reaction against the academic art, eclecticism and historicism of 19th century architecture and decoration. It was often inspired by natural forms such as the sinuous curves of plants and flowers. ↩