Nordic style: a touch of Scandinavia in the home, linear, clean and welcoming
Linear, sober, clean, refined and at the same time warm and welcoming. These are the characteristics of the Nordic style, also called Scandinavian, which, as its name suggests, was born in the countries of northern Europe, as a need for harmony between human and nature to resist standardization and the exasperated desire for innovation and modernity that flooded Europe in the twentieth century.
A design capable of placing itself at the service of a community, belonging to a territory with an conflicting climate and with little light, creating 'warm', bright and welcoming home spaces, with the predominance of white, despite the absence of frills, purity and order are its symbols.
The philosophy that form must follow function is the basis of all Scandinavian design, interpreted by many famous names including Arne Jacobsen, who even today, is considered the man of the Danish and Scandinavian renaissance of design and architecture. The Nordic style is therefore a lifestyle, which has specific characteristics, such as clean lines, the use of textures of quality materials, neutral and earthy palettes, and a simple and functional design.
The idea is to create a functional space that is lively, welcoming and warm, a result obtained by leaving the materials in their most natural state, such as for the grain of the wood, the finishes in metal or rough exposed stone, or even using fabrics such as wool, linen and leather.
Open and wide spaces, functional design and lots of wood: these are the basic elements of the Scandinavian design style that draws great inspiration from nature, not only in terms of the materials used, now increasingly green but also in terms of the shapes of the furniture. There are companies such as the Finnish Artek symbol of this style, which perfectly embody its philosophy and timeless spirit, always at the service of comfort for humans.
Artek, art and technology for a new culture of living
Artek was founded in Helsinki in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The name is a synthesis of "art" and "technology", central concepts for the international modernist movement that came to the fore in the 1920s.
It was Walter Gropius, one of the main supporters of modernism, who coined the motto "art and technology: a new unity". The technology was intended to include science and industrial production methods, while the conception of art has extended beyond the fine arts to include architecture and design. Modernism aimed to bring about a successful union of these two spheres.
This same aspiration guided the founders of Artek: their goal was "to sell furniture and promote a modern culture of living through exhibitions and other educational means". Even today their philosophy does not change: the company continues to develop products that are a mix of design, architecture and art.
It goes to Artek and Alvar Aalto's work to have made known the system of standardized individual components that can be assembled to form a complete collection of furniture, as well as having collaborated, in the late 1920s, with the furniture manufacturer Otto Korhonen to experiment with a series of innovative techniques for woodworking, which led to the development of the L-leg, an L-shaped leg composed of curved solid wood that allowed the creation of over 50 different products. Further experiments with pressed plywood and laminated birch slats yielded results that made possible some of the brand's most iconic designs.
Timeless elegance and style for the "400" armchair
The cantilevered armchair “400” was designed in 1936 but does not age at all. It is a comfortable seat with armrests padded with zigzag springs, PU foam and dacron to ensure maximum comfort, and a natural lacquered birch wood frame. The upholstery, on the other hand, is in leather or fabric, depending on the style requirements.
Stool 60, the most famous L-leg product in the history of design
It is Artek's best-known L-leg product, Stool 60, the 3-legged stool created in 1933. Millions of copies have been sold since its launch. In December 2020, Stool 60 received the German Sustainability Award, the German design sustainability award in the Icons category.
“It's not just the long anticipated life that makes the stool sustainable,” explained the jury in awarding the award. "Both the classic and the E60 are produced in Finland with regional wood in a responsible way. In addition, the manufacturer itself offers second-hand products through its 'Artek 2nd Cycle' platform and encourages conscious consumption with slogans such as 'Buy now keep forever' ".
Domus, the legendary chair designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara
Domus is a design masterpiece, by Ilmari Tapiovaara, who created it in 1946 together with a series of furniture for the Helsinki residential complex dedicated to the Domus Accademia. Made of wood, this seat is comfortable enough to allow you to sit for long periods of time and has short armrests that allow you to get closer to the table. Known internationally as "The Finn Chair", it has achieved worldwide success.