Scandinavian design: A friendship of form and function

  • 8 years ago
  • Views : 1922
  • Ellen Ripa

Scandinavian design is taking the UK by storm! It has rapidly become one of the most instantly recognisable design styles, making it hard to imagine life without dominant white walls, simple but effective forms and of course; clever storage solutions! Form and function work beautifully together to create truly iconic spatial design.

But just how did the perfect balance between function and aesthetics come about? Well, as with many design styles; the main elements are based upon the country of origin. Due to the harsh seasonal conditions and predominantly rural surroundings of the Scandinavian countries, only what was needed would be used; meaning functionality was central to all objects.

Post World War One, the Swedish Society of Industrial Design created the ideology that functional design could be achieved without sacrificing beauty and aesthetics. Objects that were not only used for their purpose could be accessible to the wider population, and the design style boomed. This is the ideology that Scandinavian design prides itself on and lives by to this day.

Designers utilised the tradition of using only what was needed and what resources were readily available. They wanted to keep the design accessible and enjoyable for all. Below is the famous ‘Swan Chair’ by Arne Jacobson and the ‘Grasshopper Lamp’ by Greta Grossman.

The delicate balance is accomplished by combining classic clean lined furniture, bare walls and floors with additional textures and a neutral colour palette with fresh accents. Storage is clean and simple, utilising all available spaces including walls, under sinks, allowing designed pieces just for storing personal items. The origin of Scandinavia is visible in all aspects of the design. White walls demonstrate the need for more light in the dark winter months. Rag rugs give the comfort required atop a bare wooden floor (bottom left image is the Saga grey and white stripe rag rug from Skandihome)

All objects are made with the original ideology in mind, and will do so for years to come! Scandinavian design preserves the core notion that design is for all; uniting functionality, beauty and affordability.