Design Notes from the Barcelona Chair: Mid Century Modern + Scandinavian

If you are a careful enthusiast of Design, you will notice that there are some similarities and coincidences between Scandi and Mid Century Modern Style, at the point to make us think if aren’t we talking about a single movement instead.

Mid Century Modern and Scandinavian are two of the major trends in interior design in America and Europe, with iconic creations like the Barcelona Chair (van de Rohe) and the Shell Chair (Wegner) as its achievements.
You can say that Scandinavian and Mid Century Modern are related movements. Just from a visual point of view, its very common to appreciate that Mid Century Modern pieces look Scandi, and viceversa.

Mid Century Modern made its appearance in the 1950s, when the Scandi movement already had at least 10 years in the making. The greater minds behind what we call the Scandi movement, like Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Eero Arnio, and Ingvar Kamprad (the famous founder of Ikea), are names considered both part of Mid Century Modern inheritance, and Scandinavian as well, by each group of scholars and designers.

Though there are some particular differences between this two trends.
For starters, we have to be clear about where did they come. MCM and Scandi originated in the middle of Modernism, a movement generated in the 1920s along with the fever of Art Noveau. Modernism defended a new order, where ornamentation, luxury and the exoticism of past times resulted outdated and undesirable. Instead of that, Modernism looked for a Design approach that works for a greater amount of people, with the use of cheaper ans simple materials to create a more balanced space.

Arne Jacobsen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Hans Wegner, Eero Saarinen, were among the figures that shared that postulate, but they took different approaches to make it real. Scandi looks inside the tradition and Scandinavian nature, where long winters forced to extreme precautions about the use of natural light, the convenience of wood for furniture, and the need for simple, functional designs. This is why Scandinavian is mostly associated with white walls, clear wood furniture, and wooden floors. Just like Mid Century Modern, they share the taste for minimalism and functionalism over ornaments but looking at the answers mainly in their master and craftsmanship with wood. One fine example of this approach is the Shell Chair, of Hans Wegner.

On the other hand, Mid Century Modern looked for quality design to be at the reach of most of the people, but differing with the naturalist approach of Scandinavian, MCM masterminds prefer to use the giant resources of American industries, where metals, polymers, and plastic fiber made cheaper work to get any furniture. One great example of this is the Barcelona Chair, created by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich.
Come to Manhattan Home Design, to know more about Mid Century Modern, classic furniture like the Barcelona Chair

and the Shell Chair and the great designers of all time.