Sunday, April 15, 2007

Great from Finland Design

The most important Finnish architect of the 20th century, ALVAR AALTO (1898-1976) was a central figure in international modernism.

The five decades from 1870 to 1920 were the "Golden Age" of Finnish National Romantic Art, encompassing portraiture, naturalism, symbolism & impressionism. The six artists below excelled during this underrated epoch of world art: Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Elin Danielson-Gambogi, Albert Edelfelt, Helene Schjerfbeck, Eero Järnefelt, Ellen Thesleff.
finish design
According to international studies, Finnish industry today is among the front rank for competitiveness: state-of-the-art information technology and high levels of innovation, combined with excellent research and education, create a strong competitive edge and a basis for industrial success now and in the future. In the 21st century, an increasingly important part of this overall competitiveness has been played by industrial design and the added value it confers: it is frequently what makes a product the first choice.
The story of Finnish design is also part of the background to this success. First the myth of Finnish design was built, generating the international reputation of our design, which is still today the cornerstone of Finnish design’s success.

The myth of Finnish design is often perceived as a heroic story of individual champions. In reality, many talented designers in various fields took part in building the modern Finland in the 50s and 60s. Practicality, closeness to everyday life, sparing use of materials and techniques, combined with innovative and perceptive design solutions were a collectively shared reality and a foundation of values in the industrial arts. Glass, ceramics, furniture, textiles and clothing all underwent a thoroughgoing revolution and found a form that was related to and which supported people’s new situation in life. Among the products of those days were the Domus chair (1946), the Kilta tableware set (since 1957), the Antti pan (1957), Muurame furniture (since 1955), Fiskars scissors (since1960), Marimekko’s dresses (since 1951) and knitwear (since 1968). These are all products linked with the spirit of the times and with new consumer needs. The design supported social change on its various levels: women’s equality, urban migration, and new forms of modern life.

One of the main bases of the new form was the idea of modularity, which in practice meant individual solutions composed of elements, whether the end result was a table setting, a clothing ensemble or the decor of a home. The elements had a simple, timeless design idiom which made them long-lasting and, in many cases, different colour choices to allow changes. By mixing and matching forms and colours, the result was individual sets of products that met different needs and situations. This guiding principle has continued into the 21st century. For example, the changeable fascias for Nokia mobile phones follow this same concept.

The myth of Finnish design parallels another strong legend originating in the 1950s, Scandinavian design, a term applied to the entire modern industrial arts of the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden and Denmark). This concept was built up consciously through international touring exhibitions by the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design. The most important of the exhibitions was Design in Scandinavia, which toured the U.S. 1954-57 and was seen by more than a million people. Scandinavian Design is still today an internationally recognised and strong brand.

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