Scandinavian design appeared in the 1950s in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, although Finland is not geographically part of Scandinavia. It is, however, from a design point of view part of it. Scandinavian design is a design movement and its main features are simple and minimalistic design, and functionality.
The Lunning Prize was a prize which was awarded to outstanding Scandinavian designers annually from 1951 to 1970. It helped Scandinavian design by making it more recognizable as a commodity and it defined the profile of the Scandinavian design. From the year 2006 the tradition of pan-Nordic design award has been resumed with the Forum AID Award.
The Finnish industry also became stronger, the market became more diverse and demand increased in 1950s. Simultaneously new professional designers were educated. In 1960s Finnish industry had the courage to use bold designs because Finland’s textile and furniture exports were doing well and it had economic importance to the country.
Scandinavian design has been the subject of scholarly debates, exhibitions and marketing agendas throughout the last fifty years and many democratic designing ideals that were the key theme of the movement have survived and they can be found resonant in contemporary design works by Scandinavian designers as well as international designers. Few prominent Scandinavian design and retail companies are for example Iittala and Marimekko from Finland, BoConcept and George Jensen from Denmark and Electrolux and IKEA from Sweden.