What makes Scandinavian design Scandinavian, and why does everyone want in on it? We’ve explored the matter in depth here, and it comes as no surprise that the Nordic region has put together a team lead by Danish bigwig Bjarke Ingels to continue to expand its branded reach.
Yet the easiest way to understand why it seems that every perfectly appointed home and cool office features sleek yet classic, unassuming furniture, or an aesthetic that is at once mindful of natural materials and poignantly sophisticated, is to simply look.
A new book by Gestalten titled, aptly, Scandinavian Dreaming lays it all out in one delectable package. And though it may seem unfair to lump the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden into “one big, blond-wood pile,” as the introduction notes, there’s still an undeniable tie that binds them together.
There’s the fact of the harsh weather and the even more severe terrains, but also of optimism, and of entrepreneurship coexisting harmoniously within a welfare state. There’s the element of fairytale and furry animals: of elves and trolls as well as polar bears and reindeer.
Mostly, though, it’s the spirit of cooperation and harmony—whether with the environment or an object—that makes Scandinavian design work for a wide swath of people, no matter where they’re form.
Below, take a peek inside the book, which showcases interiors, architecture, objects, and people that embody that Nordic touch.