Scandinavian modern design, as a style, first emerged between the First and Second World Wars but peaked in popularity in the 1950's and is in vogue again today. It includes objects designed in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Scandinavia is the geographical region around Scandia, the mountain ridge running along Norway and Sweden, a land mass that included Denmark before the ice age separated Denmark from the north.
Until the end of the 19th century, the Nordic region was a poor agricultural backwater. For most Scandinavians, money was short and eking a living from the land was a struggle. As a result, homes and possessions were simple, spare and functional. This pared-down design ethos continued into the industrial era, which started later in Scandinavia than the rest of Western Europe. Decorative objects were produced mainly for the small upper class, and were often based on patterns borrowed from France, Germany and Britain.
Organic shapes and styles are characteristics of Scandinavian design, and reached a peak during the 1950's. These fluid, curvaceous outlines were very different to the modern designs of the Bauhaus designers, which employed square shapes and hard lines, but Scandinavian designers still remained true to the idea of creating simple, functional forms.
-Magnus Englund & Chrystina Schmidt of SKANDIUM. Photography by Andrew Wood.