What is the Difference Between the Minimalist Style of Northern Europe and Japan?

For non-design professionals, when referring to the design style of Nordic or Japanese, the first keyword that comes to mind may be “simple.” SunLau, the interior & display designer, answered this question for us. Many people agreed. Let’s see what he said.

Questioner: Every time I look at the Japanese design and the Scandinavian design, I always feel similar. Small things, especially wooden furniture, are as big as home improvement. I do n’t know if there is any explanation for industrial design. In concept, does the so-called simplicity in Japan and Northern Europe mean? What are the similarities and differences?

Having stayed in Northern Europe in winter, Denmark and Sweden have the best impression; unfortunately, Japan has never been. After returning, I also like to drill Ikea. Muji went less instead. Simply talk about what you feel and open up everyone’s ideas.

When I was in Oslo, Norway, I took the train to the farthest mountain I could. When I was chatting with a couple in a restaurant, I talked about the chandelier. It was exaggerated like a branch like a crown, made of several antlers. There is also deerskin on the wall. It is also simple. Japan does not have such a flamboyant sense of style.

In addition, Ikea has significantly more colors than Muji. Taking someone to comment on Muji, those who are too vegan and pure have a sense of abstinence. The colors of Northern Europe will be rich, but it is estimated to prevent people from being too depressed in winter.

SunLau: The obvious “Nordic style” that we can come into contact with today is the modern Nordic style produced in the 1950s. Influenced by functionalism or modernism in the 1930s, Scandinavian modern style has driven this trend through furniture and architecture and industrial products. MUJI’s similar simple style is influenced by this trend, but it is still very different from the Nordic modern style, and it is more oriental with Zen. It looks pure and makes people meditate.

The origin of Nordic modern style:

In the 1930s, the trend of functionalism or modernism appeared in Northern Europe and began to rise in architecture, furniture, and crafts. At the 1939 New York Expo, the Finnish Pavilion showed the world the Nordic natural image, cultural tradition, utopian ideas, and opponents The sense of handicrafts and other elements, the awareness of the living environment of the Nordic countries on the ordinary level has also begun to emerge. At the same time, Grunge style is also emerging in Seattle, USA.

In the 1950s, those new materials and technologies developed for military purposes during the Second World War had a great impact on the furniture and construction fields after the war. The Nordic countries that were once backward countries are not only included in the ranks of developed countries, but also become leaders. This is the golden age of the Nordic countries.

In the 1970s, there was a crisis that led to the stagnation of the Nordic economy, and the design and construction fields also took advantage. But under such circumstances, Sweden’s IKEA has made surprising developments. Furniture is no longer passed from generation to generation, but waste is eliminated and used more freely. Retro style has also become a trendy choice

After the 1990s, with the smooth flow of information and the continuous awards of Nordic designers in the world, Nordic modern design is further sought after by the English-centric region.

The foundation of the Nordic modern style still has a strong national flavor, more like an improvement and more inclusive. There are traditional evolutions, and there are also full modern feelings. There is no obvious symbolic feature, it gives a feeling.

Let’s talk about Japan / MUJI

Japan ’s post-war industrial development has been rapid, but it has been confused. Fortunately, Japan is a relatively inclusive nation. Know how to absorb and better understand the improvement of localization. Today, Japan ’s simple style is greatly influenced by the Nordic modern style. Japan is also a process from copying to improvement to innovation.

Japan values ​​the “communication” between things and people, and between people and nature. The simple design in Japan often feels natural and simple. After solving the basic functions, it makes her more real and will not be deliberately modified. Also because of land resources and wars, the starting point in the design tends to return to the original point.

A product has good functions, reduces waste as much as possible, is more environmentally friendly, has excellent performance and durability, and of course has the most fundamental cost control. There is a trade-off between the design and the design itself is a compromise. After a lot of thinking, the subtraction step by step determines her appearance.

The conciseness can be a straight line, such as the line of most MUJI products, or it can be a simple look without deliberate modification.

In a few words, it is impossible to sort out the difference between Northern Europe and Japan. People who basically like this feeling can appreciate the subtle differences, but they are not clear. Just like me, I often mix Nordic furniture, MUJI furniture, and IKEA furniture together without any sense of disharmony.

Japan gives people a mood, which makes people want to blend into it; Northern Europe is more intimate, even if it is dark and light, it is sunny; IKEA is moderate and peaceful, without a sense of violation. Being able to do what you ca n’t say is the greatest success.

I easily found a picture, it is difficult to tell what style it is. There is a slender and modern design in Northern Europe, and there is an artistic concept brought to you by Japan. If you say this is the new model of the IKEA Stockholm series, you will not have any opinions.

Craft, tradition, human touch:

1. Due to its emphasis on traditional craftsmanship, Northern Europe combined traditional craftsmanship with modern industrial design. The simple, simple, high-quality and practical features of traditional crafts are carried forward.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, due to the harsh environment in Northern Europe, people were eager for quality life. The design often emphasizes the function and the human touch of the design, and pays attention to providing users with a comfortable experience with meticulous craftsmanship and simple form aesthetics.

2. Because the wind of democracy prevails, the design is often for mass production. The simple and simple shape is suitable for mass production.