Scandinavian design is synonymous with the best in modern design from the mid-twentieth century and forward. Initially, the look was revolutionary: light-filled, airy spaces, spare lines, and blond woods. Today, the look is ubiquitous and popular. Design for the masses was the point of the exercise.
Ingrid Sommar provides an overview in an updated edition of Scandinavian Design. She traces modern design back to its roots in the rural population which valued practicality using materials at hand.
She shows exhilarating architecture in single-family homes, apartment blocks and public buildings. In the interior of the house built in 1940 by architect and furniture designer, Finn Juhl, you see the skill of the cabinet maker with built-in furniture. Pale wood floors and ceiling combine with expanses of windows and white walls.
The esthetic is expressed today in contemporary homes furnished with classic modern Scandinavian furniture and fixtures.
The exciting furniture by Danish designer Peter Karpf (pictured on the cover of the book) is made of moulded beech plywood, which has been shaped from one piece without using screws or joints.
She also reviews the Scandinavian influence in fashion, jewelry, food and tableware. There are chic, urban bicycles built by the Biomega Company which was founded by two philosophy students from the University of Copenhagen.
There are telephones, tools and wind systems, as well as examples from the big names in home entertainment, like Bang & Olufsen.
Generally, it’s a great read for design junkies.