Modern Swedish Design: Three Founding Texts
Although modern Swedish design has exercised an extraordinary influence on international architecture and interior furnishings since the early twentieth century, some of the crucial generative writings on the subject have not been widely translated, and the movement's intellectual background is not well known. Modern Swedish Design collects three of Swedish design's founding texts for the first time in English. In Beauty in the Home (1899), philosopher and critic Ellen Key (1849-1926) promotes simplicity and clarity of purpose with the goal of social reform. Art historian Gregor Paulsson (1889-1977) was instrumental in the spread of ideas such as Key's; in Better Things for Everyday Life(1919) he contends that design should be true to its time and available to all, and calls for a modern design language reflecting new materials and methods. Finally, acceptera (1931), cowritten by Paulsson and architects featured in the famous Stockholm Exhibition of 1930, engages in a debate between the proponents of handicraft and those of design idioms emerging from industrial mass production. Lively illustrations and near-facsimiles of the texts' original publications, scholarly introductions by the editors, and an essay by architectural historian Kenneth Frampton, accompany the translations.