Design and Architecture

We are all familiar with the traditional way of using design as a form of visual expression, but it is often very hard to define what design really is. What is certain is that it is getting increasingly more important. The Norwegian design environment is often characterized by playfulness, the use of strong colours and new thinking.


Norwegian architecture - the powerful and pure nature of Norway has powered an architectural tradition with many different architectonic expressions. Despite the variation, they have the nature alongside with the human, functional aspect.

Norwegian design is taking the world by storm
Traditionally Norway has not been associated with design in the same way that its Scandinavian neighbours have. Almost every building in Finland houses at least one item of Alvar Aalto furniture and a Marimekko textile or two. The Danes bask in the glow of their lovely Louis Poulsen lights while they curl up in Arne Jacobsen’s egg chair of a night in. Sweden – well we’re at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, so I don’t need to go into much detail here. Plus you have IKEA… the poor Norwegians have a lot to live up to really.

Industrial design: having an effect
Strategic design can have a positive impact on profitability and the company’s bottom line, according to the Norwegian Design Council. It has even created a new award called Design Effect – modelled after the British one – to recognize projects for their financial impact, part of the government’s Design Driven Innovation Program launched in 2009.

Norwegian architecture & design – does it make sense?
Does a specifically Norwegian architecture and design exist? Is there a collective identity which is essentially and tangibly different from that of other nations? Or, as national boundaries seem to dissolve, with trends and products spreading in global waves, is this mainly and outdated discussion put forward just to attract tourists? Even if Norwegian architects and designers today like to see themselves as belonging to an international community, there may still be something identifiable as a Norwegian sense and sensibility, communicated with varying degrees of awareness in their work.

Innovation through cooperation
The Norwegian Design Council, together with the design and architecture environment in Norway knows that user-oriented designers are possibly the most accessible and efficient innovation tools available in product development. Working creatively, with innovation and cooperation, Norwegian designers and architects will continue to “raise the bar” with products that are aesthetic, sustainable, user-friendly, environmentally responsible and commercially successful.

Norway’s take on eco-ethical fashion – it’s nice
The whole fashion community has been green-washing itself lately, from multi-brands to the local shopping mall. In Norway the main challenge has been putting good intentions into actual practice. But with a Nordic platform, things are moving forward.

Light creates moods – Beyond Light
dLighLight is more than lighting. Light can prevent and cure. It can accentuate moods, creating aggression as well as peace. Light can create confidence and romance. The design biennale BeyondRisør continues its experimental approach to design, from BeyondAcoustics in 2008 to light and sustainable design in 2010 – Beyont.

Increased awareness for environmentally friendly furniture
The brand name will in the future provide information about whether the furniture that is found in the market is environmentally friendly or not. The Norwegian furniture industry has made the environment a top priority.

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