Journal Article

How an Excavator Got Aesthetic Pretensions—Negotiating Design in 1960s’ Norway

Kjetil Fallan

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 20, issue 1, pages 43-59
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/epl041
How an Excavator Got Aesthetic Pretensions—Negotiating Design in 1960s’ Norway

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • History of Art
  • Art Forms
  • Industrial and Commercial Art
  • Art Styles

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

The highly mythical phenomenon, or even mythological construction, generally known as ‘Scandinavian Design’ reached its zenith in the mid to late 1950s. These so-called golden years have been the subject of massive interest, both popular and scholarly. The inner dynamics of their subsequent demise, on the other hand, have received far less attention. Within the established applied art communities in the Nordic countries, the international visibility and acknowledgement brought about by this concept were largely considered desirable and well worth fighting for—perhaps especially so by the Norwegian community, who arguably had the most to benefit from this construction. This article sets out to investigate how and why the Norwegian applied art establishment constructed and negotiated strategies for maintaining the holistic/universalistic approach to design so characteristic of Scandinavian Design and the applied art movement when in the late 1950s and 1960s the concept was severely criticized and challenged from within. I will argue that artistic intention and quality were chosen as the defining principles in the heated negotiations on internal unification and external demarcation of the design field, and discuss some of the more problematic consequences of this strategy.

Keywords: design criticism; design profession; engineering; industrial design; Norway; Scandinavian Design

Journal Article.  11484 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.