The nuanced realm of Nordic design has two personalities. On one side, there sits the open, light, friendly, and democratic constituent. And, on the other hand, is its moody counterpart: sleek and sophisticated; timeless and traditional; and deeply rooted in the sensations and juxtapositions of nature. Within the lines of tile-covered roofs born from the existence of nearby clay deposits and large windows that let in light during the shorter winter days, insight into this special thread of skilled craftsmanship awaits. Scandinavia Dreaming presents dazzling interiors, architecture, and products that show the richness, variety, and intensity of contemporary Nordic spaces.
Artisans fresh from design school breathe new life into the wonted usage of tile, wood, glass, ceramics, and other customarily Nordic materials. Profiles of brands and personalities that have influenced and, arguably, brought Nordic threads to the forefront of design conversations, tell an intriguing story: an aesthetic and historic journey through a vast world of style and heritage. Design firms such as Hay, Ferm Living, and Frama are highlighted and extolled for the new layer of warmth and energy that they bring to contemporary Danish design while honoring Scandinavian aesthetics and a space’s need to be both livable and logical. Finnish home textiles by Klaus Haapeniemi and Kustaa Saksi prove that the categories of art and décor are not mutually exclusive. Be it the painstaking searches of Copenhagen’s Gubi design house for neglected furniture that needs a well-honed touch before becoming pieces of the current design narrative or the tantalizing sculptures of Oslo-based designers Kneip that illustrate and investigate the phenomena of nature whilst reflecting the gentle coexistence of Nordic architecture with its surroundings, there exists a seamless pairing of the aesthetic and the historical within this iconic tale of design.
The projects within Scandinavia Dreaming translate to any four walls and readily invite transformation from page to reality. Told through anecdotes from those who live in them and from those who exist in other sectors of the creative community, Scandinavia Dreaming tells of a design school that has a worldwide reputation for its effortless combination of classical restraint and warm materials.
Gestalten Books, 2016
Hardcover, 288 pages, full color, 12.00 H x 1.25 D x 10.00 W inches