On January 15th, I had a birthday. No big deal, no wild parties. But one present in particular conjured a smile on my face: the book Scandinavian Designers at Work. It tells the different stories of young designers, how they set up their studios. I read it from cover to cover, and I'll probably read it again. The concept feels refreshing, the pictures are simply stunning. But there's more to it.
I must have been ten, eleven maybe, when my Mom pushed our entire household in the old Renault and made my Dad drive us northward. To Denmark, to meet people made out of Lego and see how little the Little Mermaid really was. Later, she would kidnap us to Sweden (twice) and Norway, where we rowed our own boat on a chilly lake. In between these trips, me, my sister and my two brothers were raised with Pippi Longstocking while we ate our meatballs in a yellow-and-blue painted kitchen. For years, we wondered why we never spent the summer at the Spanish coast, like our classmates.
So to me, the current craziness about the North came as a surprise. It's like my Mom put the whole hipster community in her car to show them how great life is up there. They all came back with viking beards, singing their love for wooden interiors. And when I opened this book, hell, I felt like singing along with them.
Her children leaving the house, my Mom learned how to speak Swedish fluently and built herself a Scandinavian library as large as, well, a Scandinavian library. People must think she became the coolest granny ever, following the trend. But I know better. About two decades ago, my Mom set the trend.
Scandinavian Designers at Work, by Jessy Van Durme & Piet Albert Goethals, published by Luster
Picture by Waltrui