Norwegian Design

In honour of Norwegian Constitution Day on 17 May, I’ll show you some beautiful pictures of two Norwegian homes, which Norwegian Bolig Pluss magazine calls the most beautiful houses in Norway.

Norwegian design is still relatively unknown in the world. In connection with Norway’s small population and limited industrial capacity and the resulting relatively high production costs, Norwegian design products do not prevail to the same extent as Danish, Swedish or Finnish ones. Norwegian products in general also lack the stylistic energy and liveliness of consumer goods from Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Since there were no core fields of activity in their country for product designers comparable to the Danish furniture industry, Finnish glass production or Swedish consumer goods, the Norwegians were often disoriented. Although the idea in the 1970s that good design could serve as the spearhead of export-oriented production was completely neglected, there were some exceptions such as Peter Opsvik’s ergonomic seating for Stokke. His highly successful fold-out high chair Tripp Trapp (1972) is characterised by extremely original and functional forms and reflected the general trend in Scandinavian design towards socially motivated product solutions for real needs. Similarly, the world’s most comfortable chair, Stressless, by Jens Ekornes (1971) and the timeless kitchen bowls by Grete Prytz Kittelsen (1965) demonstrate functional clarity, user-friendliness and masterly workmanship of Norwegian designers’ materials.

Like I mentioned earlier, Norwegen celebrates on 17 May Norwegian Constitution Day and the readers´of the well beloved Boligpluss magazine voted the most beautiful house in Norway. There was a lot of great houses but here are the first two. Both are just simply beautiful, don´t you think?

This one won the second price…

…and here is the one with first price.


Whether Norway can make up for lost time – compared to its more successful neighbour – remains to be seen, but in any case the results of the efforts of young Norwegian designers are promising. No strong domestic design industry could be considered an advantage: the new Norwegian generation of designers can express themselves much more freely without always having to live up to a legend. Although they work with different formats, they have one thing in common: their willingness to experiment and take risks. Underdogs of Scandinavian design!