Scandinavia is the undisputed powerhouse of architecture and design today. Its output is so rich, in fact, it’s hard to imagine stuffing it into a single show, as the architecture firm Snøhetta has done in Nordic Models + Common Ground: Art and Design Unfolded on view now at the American-Scandinavian Foundation in New York.
At the same time, Nordic designers are pretty predictable about the themes they emphasize (which might have something to do with a broader cultural preference for group values over individual ones). Nordic Models draws out these shared obsessions — nature, light, and social justice, among them — in the work of 35 artists and designers, who’ve turned a hand to everything from apartment complexes to lamps made out of codfish. The show is an illustration of how a communal sensibility can produce wildly diverse (and wonderfully creative) art and design. Highlights follow.
[All images courtesy of the American-Scandinavian Foundation]