A Brief History of Nordic Design

The concept of Nordic Design was first put forward at an exhibition in the United States in 1954. This exhibition was followed by other exhibitions around Europe, and it meant that the concept was soon spread throughout the world. It is a very broad term that covers a myriad of styles, developments and trends looking at the length and width of countries, regions and schools. Therefore, it is a concept that simplifies the attempt to create a common Nordic identity. Besides, it was on a concept that often ignores the many influences that the Nordic designers have received from the international design scene.

Nordic Design was particularly introduced to foreign markets as a movement that emphasizes the simple and uncomplicated functionality. The idea of the special functionality by Nordic Design is also a myth. The tradition is based namely on a locked and simplified notion of functionality despite the fact that the increasing internationalization just shows that design should be consumed in various ways and live up to very diverse needs. The whole notion of Nordic Design as monolithic and unchanging is altogether shameful in its moderation, intolerance and unwillingness to face the fact that the world have changed since the early 1900's.

Nordic Design is synonymous with the functionalism and modernism that evolved in the late 1950's. This concept was widely designated as a marketing strategy and a cultural project that would represent the Noridic countries. There was created a tale that should increase sales and create a common Nordic identity. The design objects that were created during this period, have become modern icons, which today is the epitome of good taste. Many of them are still in production and will be sold as classic design furniture. But it certainly was not all the Nordic products that reached out over the ramp and came into production. In Denmark, for example. many large furniture factories that had the necessary resources to market products abroad. The same was not the case in Iceland, which had the large production apparatus and some very fine furniture designers, who perhaps because of the lack of marketing never really broke through.