When the Norwegian Design Council was established by the Norwegian Export Council and the Federation of Norwegian Industries in 1963, it was in the spirit of the age of optimism, the golden sixties when Norwegian industry and the economy were expanding. In the field of design, the design biennales in Milan and a Scandinavian touring exhibition in Canada and the USA had helped to create the concept of Scandinavian Design as an international trend. Scandinavian applied art under the motto “More beautiful daily lives” was a success that generated great faith among Norwegian industrialists and politicians in the use of design in industry.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the markets for designer products were influenced by the establishment of strong retail chains. This led to a decline in the general focus on design in industry, although some companies were successful on international markets precisely because of their unique, holistic design solutions.
In the 1990s a new generation of Norwegian designers emerged, characterised by the daring, proficiency and international perspective of their work. Some of them have aroused a great deal of attention in the international media and some have signed production contracts with Norwegian and international companies.
We are, therefore, delighted to be able to show an international public a few selected examples of the work of this new generation of Norwegian designers, which the design group norway says has assembled for us.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their support, which has made this effort possible.
Jan R. Stavik
Norwegian Design Council