1st Edition

Nordic Design Cultures in Transformation, 1960–1980 Revolt and Resilience

    244 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Covering the 1960s and 1970s, this volume explores new ways of investigating, comparing and interpreting the different domains of design culture across the Nordic countries.

    Challenging the traditional narrative, this volume argues that the roots of the most prominent features of Nordic design’s contemporary significance are not to be found amongst the objects for the home collectively branded as ‘Scandinavian Design’ to great acclaim in the 1950s, but in the discourses, institutions and practices formed in the aftermath of that oft-told success story, during the turbulent period between 1960 and 1980. This is achieved by employing multidisciplinary approaches to connect the domains of industrial production, marketing, consumption, public institutions, design educations, trade journals as well as public debates and civic initiatives forming a design culture. This book makes a significant contribution to current, international agendas of historiographical critique focusing on transnational relations and the deconstruction of national design histories.

    This book will be of interest to scholars in design, design history and Scandinavian studies.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    Introduction: Nordic Design Cultures in Transformation, 1960–1980

    Kjetil Fallan, Christina Zetterlund and Anders V. Munch

    PART I: Transforming Discourse

    1. The Way North: Merging Ideology and Methodology on the Road to Ecological Design

    Kjetil Fallan

    2. The Total, Global, Living ’Environment’: A Key Concept in the Danish Design Debate around 1970

    Anders V. Munch and Hans-Christian Jensen

    3. Students of Architecture as Environmental Activists: Two Sister Exhibitions about the Environmental Crisis in Sweden and Norway, 1968–1969

    Beata Labuhn

    4. Exhibition as a Critical Tool: A Conversation with Gunilla Lundahl on Exhibitions, Making Change and Participation

    Christina Zetterlund

    5. Nordic Revival: Crafting Rural Development in Finnish and Norwegian Design Discourse

    Malin Graesse and Kaisu Savola

    6. Sami Mobilisation: Institutions and Exhibitions in the 1970s

    Anna Westman Kuhmunen

    Part II: Transforming Institutions

    7. Exhibiting New Cultures of Design: Representing the Cultural and Social Meanings of Design in Three Nordic Exhibitions

    Peder Valle, Sabina Maria Rossau and Leena Svinhufvud

    8. On a Stormy Sea: Design Education  and Politics in Finland

    Pekka Korvenmaa

    9. Voices of Rebellion: Interviews with Former Students at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts 1969

    Vibeke Riisberg, Anders V. Munch and Patricia Fie Nielsen

    10. Harmful or Useless? Victor Papanek and the Danish Design Students’ Protests

    Anders V. Munch, Alison J. Clarke, Vibeke Riisberg and Lene Kiærbye Pedersen

    PART III: Transforming Practices

    11. Designing Together: On Histories of Scandinavian User-Centered Design

    Maria Göransdotter

    12. Between Craft and Commerce: Norwegian and Danish Textile Design in a Time of Change

    Tone Rasch and Trine Brun Petersen

    13. Sewing and Sisterhood: Elverhøj, the First Collective Craft Store in Copenhagen

    Tau Lenskjold

    14. Knowledge to the People: The Professionalisation of Graphic Design in the Norwegian Book Publishing Industry

    Thomas T. Nordby


    Kjetil Fallan is Professor of Design History at the University of Oslo.

    Christina Zetterlund is Associate Professor of Design at Linneaus University, Växjö and curator for the project (Re-)learning the Archive at The Design Archive in Pukeberg.

    Anders V. Munch is Professor of Design Culture at the University of Southern Denmark.

    "The period focus, the networked approach, and the comparative, pan-Nordic focus are all much needed. The focus on this period, as a foundational one for still ongoing discussions about consumption and ethics, will ensure this collection contributes to new scholarly directions inside and outside the Nordic countries."

    --Charlotte Ashby, Birkbeck, University of London

    "[This book] rethinks an important and transformative – yet understudied – period in Nordic design, by focusing on discourses, institutions, and practices. Abounding with remarkable, lesser-known case studies, the book offers a valuable historical account of how these transformative discourses connect to key topics in current design practice: co-designing, design as activism, and design transitions towards a sustainable future."

    --Ingrid Halland, The University of Bergen/The Oslo School of Architecture and Design