A few months ago I had the opportunity to travel to the wonderful country of Sweden. Sweden, and Scandinavia in general, is well known for its simplicity and functional design. I've always found great inspiration looking at some of the beautiful work created there, whether it be a product, an interior of some sort, or graphic design.
So just a little background info for those not familiar with the country. Sweden is located in Europe. More specifically in Scandinavia, a northern peninsula made up of Denmark, Norway, Sweden.
Not Swedish flag: (Flag of Switzerland! Yes, they are different!)
Famous Swedish exports:
ABBA (no comment)
Meatballs (this picture is as swedish as it gets)
Which leads us into the topic of Swedish design. Ikea is Sweden's most well-known global design export. Today, most people are well aware of the Ikea style, which is the typical of democratic Swedish design traditions.
Birth of Swedish Design
The foundations of contemporary Swedish design started by a national awakening in the arts during the last decade -- a concept of "create things new for the world" and "more beautiful things for everyday use." Aesthetic inspiration also came from the German Deutscher Werkbund and Bauhaus.
Swedish design is said to have two legendary years:
1) The Stockholm exhibition in 1930 marked the breakthrough in functionalism in Sweden; the difference between old and new. Architecture and interior decor was highlighted at this time.
Bruno Mathsson one of the most internationally significant furniture designers of this time. He was renowned for his use of curved wood and steel.
2) The H55 Home Exibition in 1955 put new design craftmanship on display. (Even today, the H55 is a source of inspiration for many young designers.)
It was during this time that Stig Lindberg, a prolific post-war designer, made his mark as a great representative of the 1950's design.
At the moment, a new generation of designers is giving Swedish design a rebirth, pushing contemporary Swedish design and garnering international attention.
Links to check out for more Swedish (Nordic) design inspiration: