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Nordic Embassies Present: “The Century of the Child”

The Nordic Embassies in Berlin exhibit designs for children from the 1900s till the present

August 10th, 2017
Polina Andreeva, News from Berlin
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Children are a very important target group of many product designs, aiming to appeal to the interests of the young population. The focus of the exhibition “The Century of the Child”, which started on the 14th of July and will rung until the 22nd of October, presents the history and development of Nordic designs for children from the 1900s. It provides an interesting perspective, displaying Nordic culture embodied by designs for children throughout the years.

The aim of this exhibition is to delve into the lifestyles of children in the Nordic countries, namely Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, by displaying important aspects of children’s everyday life such as the toys, furniture, books, hygiene products and clothing.

The exhibition derives its name from a pamphlet from the beginning of the 20th century by the Swedish author Ellen Key, marking the beginning of the new century and illustrating the Nordic countries’ fascination with children’s lifestyles, particularly with the design of their living environment.

Famous designer names such as Alvar Aalto, Kay Bojesen and Olafur Eliasson are associated with designs for children. However, the exhibited objects are also by unknown or anonymous designers, displaying the origin of big design companies such as Ikea, Brio, Lego, bObles or Marimekko.

The exhibition is accompanied by design and illustration workshops for children, by Nordic film specials and by an expert seminar on the topic “Framing Childhood”.

This exhibition, supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers provides a novel perspective on the countries’ culture by emphasizing the importance of the history of design for children, thereby highlighting the development of children’s lifestyles in the region. It is an opportunity for the German public to gain an insight into the design history of the Nordic countries, thereby strengthening their relations through the expansion of knowledge.


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