Me, my husband and my son lived in Sweden for a year when my son was little. It had a profound effect on me as a person and as a designer. If everyone lived abroad somewhere for a year and learned another country’s language and culture it would really make us more open-minded and curious as people. I was already a big scandiphile before we went and am even more so now. I really enjoyed learning the language, the less frantic way of life with Fika breaks everyday and of course the amazing design (and I’m not just talking about Ikea!) We did a weekend stay across the water in Copenhagen too which I really loved and also had some fantastic quirky design shops.
Having a young child I was most influenced by discovering some of the amazing scandi kids fashion brands. Back in the UK I had been struggling to find unique, fun designs that weren’t baby blue or covered in trucks or dinosaurs. So, Mini Rodini, Smafolk, Polarn O Pyret and many others were a real joy to find with their bright, fun all over prints often with quirky motifs.
But there were also many other wonderful design products ranging from home textiles to ceramics that inspired me to start designing my own prints .
Stig Lindberg is the most well known of designers in Swedish Ceramics. His simple repeating geometric designs are still in production today and the Berså design in particular is popular worldwide. Amazingly his passion for drawing came about while recovering from having chopped off his thumb! He studied at the University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design in Stockholm and went on to work at the nearby Gustavsberg Porcelain factory from 1937-1980.
Astrid Sampe’s most well known designs were for the Swedish homeware brand Almedahls where her designs are still used today across many items from tea towels to biscuit tins. Often known as Sweden’s textile queen she attended Stockholm State College of Craft, Art & Design (Konstfack) and the Royal College of Art, London and went on to work at Nordiska Kompaniet in 1935. This design was based on her friend Signe Person-Melin’s spice cabinet.
This herring (a typical Scandinavian staple) design was designed by Marianne Nilsson for Almedahls in 1955 and is still a true Swedish classic. This design has influenced many other designers with fish being are seen across many home textile designs even today. She was a close colleague of Astrid Sampe at the NK Textile studio and part of a group that redefined Swedish textile design.
Referred to as Sweden’s mother of porcelain Marianne Westman studied at the University Academy of Arts, Crafts and Design and then went to work at Rörstrand where she spent most of her career. Her Mon Amie range is her most well known design and was inspired by a rainy midsummer’s day in 1932, while other popular designs which feature on kitchen linen and other homewares include Pomona, picknick and frisco.
Although Lotta is a contemporary designer you can see the influence of Stig Lindberg in her work for Sagaform. She is one of sagaform’s most prolific designers with many ranges to her name. I love her simple designs and retro feel.
Would love to hear of any scandi designers that you love or have influenced your work or home décor.
https://www.nordendesign.com#surfacepatterndesign #scandidesign #designinspiration