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John Lennon had already asserted in a famous autobiographic piece: there’s no denying the quality of Norwegian wood. And it’s much more than a mere fancy: it’s a matter only true experts can appreciate.
The last decade has seen a rise in the international fortune of Scandinavian design – and with reason. If you try to list its virtues there are at least three terms that spring to mind:
Although the colour palette has expanded considerably in recent years – Marimekko is an example of this – Scandinavian design has remained faithful to its fundamental principles, justifying its timeless appeal.
Timeless: according to Scandinavian style, a well-designed object has to satisfy this main requirement.
Throwaway design is out of the question, considering the low quality of the materials used and the consumer mentality: whether it’s a chair or a lamp, it’ll be with you for many years to come, growing old with you – and perhaps better than you.
This approach implies making two important choices. On the one hand, opting for extremely hardwearing quality materials. And on the other, especially when it comes to home décor and interior design, aiming to create a harmonious and comfortable space, to which we are glad to come home every evening.
Scandinavian design has a strong identity: the Swedish Society of Industrial Design was founded as far back as 1845!
The term Scandinavian design, however, was coined almost a hundred years later to illustrate a travelling exhibition that toured the Unites States and Canada between 1954 and 1957. The main intent was to promote the Scandinavian way of life, and as a result the exhibition introduced the world to Scandinavian design.
These historical beginnings explain why this emphasis was so important and why it only grows stronger with time: design had to make up for increasing industrialisation and its subsequent digitalisation, bringing back a more natural, immediate and humane feel to everyday life, which seemed to have been compromised for ever.
A hard-wearing, warm and welcoming material that makes you feel at home? Scandinavians have an answer to everything – because they’re surrounded by it: wood, wood everywhere.
Loving nature is an integral part of what it means to be Scandinavian: a Scandinavian person is as happy outside as he is in his own home and knows how to benefit from both.
You can take from nature, but you have to give back too, and honestly at that: the peace and comfort Scandinavian designers try to bring to the home are linked to the respect they have for the environment their materials come from.
Therefore: yes to wood, because it’s natural, insulating (perfect for the severe Scandinavian winters) and has warm colours and textures and, why not, for its visual links to a roaring fire. And, above all, because it’s sustainable.
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