Bloomsbury Design Library - Featured this Month

Featured This Month: Modernism in Scandinavia

This month, discover more about design during the long twentieth century. Learn about the influence, inspiration and originality of Scandinavian modernism, as well as the fascinating career of the German-American textile designer Anni Albers.

The famous modernist torchbearer lamps at Helsinki Railway Station, Finland © Getty / PHAS / contributor

Scandinavian design

The BDL features a wealth of scholarship on Scandinavian design. Charlotte Ashby's Modernism in Scandinavia and Kjetil Fallan's Scandinavian Design both provide critical overviews of the region and its designerly output as a whole, focusing on the eventful twentieth century. Mark Mussari's Danish Modern focuses on Denmark between the pivotal years 1930-1960 and Sara Kristoffersson's Design by IKEA explores the style and influence of the internationally renowned Swedish brand.

An IKEA store in New Jersey, USA © Getty / SOPA Images / contributor

Lesson plan: Modernism in Scandinavia

The BDL's first featured lesson plan is on the subject of Scandinavian modernism. Through it students can learn about the importance of national style to European modernisms, the commercialisation of Swedish design, and the concept of 'design heroes' such as Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen.

Portrait of Anni Albers© Gobonobo (talk | contribs)

Anni Albers

Anni Albers was a German-American weaver and textile designer. Born in Berlin in 1899, she went on to study at the Bauhaus. Discouraged from taking certain classes, Albers enrolled in the weaving workshop and made textiles her key form of artistic expression. After marrying Josef Albers in 1925, she wrote and taught at the Bauhaus for several years; you can read her article 'Design: Anonymous and Timeless' in the BDL. The Albers emigrated to the United States when the Nazis came to power in Germany, taking up posts at the newly-created Black Mountain College. Anni Albers' creative practice, and her promotion of weaving, had a profound and long-lasting impact on American textile design.