Scandinavian Design Beyond the Myth—50 years of design from the Nordic countries. Simple Scandinavian design — pure myth or reality?

Scandinavian design has been a great source of inspiration and admiration ever since the first design exhibition, Design in Scandinavia, toured the United States and Canada in 1954 through 1957. Scandinavian design has been associated with simplicity, streamlined elegance and pure, distilled form.
But what is truth and what is myth? In a new and exciting exhibition, Scandinavian experts examine the question.

The Nordic Council of Ministers initiated the exhibition, which will open on 8th of October (9th of October for the public) at the Museum of Decorative Art by the Minister of Education, Science and Culture of the Republic of Iceland, Mrs Katrín Gunnarsdóttir. The Director of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, Helena Koenigsmarková, will welcome her at Rudolfinum (Alovo nábeí 12, Prague 1) 5 pm.

The title of the exhibition is Scandinavian Design Beyond the Myth, and it will present some new views on Scandinavian design. Perhaps the most controversial point will be discussion on the myths and stereotypical concepts surrounding
Scandinavian design. It is time for these concepts to be reassessed and relaunched — that is what this exhibition is all about. The young designers of today are more sophisticated and aware of the worldwide designfield, and will not allow nationalism
and regionalism to influence them. The exhibition deals with questions such as: will Scandinavian design remain uniquely Scandinavian in a future that is becoming ever more global, with enormous flow of information?

The new exhibition will display the diversity of design that has created and reinforced the image of Scandinavian design from the 1950s to the present. Several Scandinavian design gurus will be represented with a selection of their works. In search of a fresh point of departure for the contemporary section of the show, the exhibition was inspired by the author and philosopher Italo Calvino. His Six Memos for the Next Millennium — Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicity and Consistency form the basis of a new exhibition approach. "Through Calvino’s
categorization, the future of design becomes more exciting and modern. We are also abandoning the traditional country-by-country method that has so often been fostered by mystique and bias,” says Prof. Dr. Widar Halén, curator of the exhibition. The exhibition is also about design in a wider context and in a world in which we have become more mobile, communicative, and inspired by other cultural expressions. In the past 15 years, Scandinavian design has moved into new areas on the international stage, including music, video and fashion.

The exhibition opened in Berlin in November 2003 and will tour eleven countries during the next three years. The exhibition was shown in Milan at La Triennale during the Milan International Furniture Fair 2004. After Prague the tour continues to Budapest, Glasgow, Riga, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, New York and Oslo, where the tour will end in June 2006.

Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
Exhibition Hall
17. listopadu 2
110 00 Prague 1

Opening hours
Tue 10 a.m.—7 p.m., Wed — Sun 10 a.m.—6 p.m., Mon closed

Press releases
Scandinavian Design)

Chair Pastil
Eero Aarnio, Finland, 1967
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Alena Matějková:...) Jan Bartůšek:...) Czech Photography...) Josef Sudek:...) Masters of...) Enjoy Sports and...) Jiří Krejčí:...) Scandinavian...)