Minimalism is an expression, which today is used internationally as a reaction to the beginning of the 2000s’ maximalism and the wall street crack of 2008. The world had had enough and wanted to get back to basics. But in Scandinavia – We did not get back to basic – We were already there.
The Law of Jante
The law is not an actual law. It is a code of conduct amongst the Scandinavian people, which was written down in the novel “A Fugitive Crosses his Tracks” from 1933. It gives a very clear description of our mental state, of not overshadowing one another. You should not boost your ego to thrive to be better than the rest of us. Though we laugh about it today, it is still deeply rooted in our sense of community and in many other aspects of our lives. Don’t be too much – be yourself, but not too different from the rest of us. One of the most obvious signs of this mentality for outsiders can be found in our very monotone “uniform” of designs. We stay within certain rules and guidelines, with everything from our interior to our sense of style. The sleek and often black designs can have attention to the little details, but from a distance, look the same.
Lagom – Just enough
There are different explanations of the Swedish expression of Lagom, which can be roughly translated into: just enough. Some tales date back to the Viking Age, where it is said to have rooted in the ceremony of sharing a horn of mjod (Alcoholic beverage). If you did not drink from the horn, you were rude, and if you drank too much, there would not be enough for everyone. It could stem back from the Viking age, but it is more likely due to the famine in the 18th hundred, where everybody had to share, for everyone to survive. You never purchased more food than you needed. If you did, there would not be enough for everyone in your community to eat. People shared. It is a deeply rooted expression, which is in many ways a sign of solidarity for your community.
The spirit of just enough is a part of everything in Sweden.
When you look at Swedish fashion and interior, you will rarely be distracted by colors. Everything is kept simple, with the attention to few details. Your eyes will feast on details, which are just enough – not too much and not too little. Should you be so lucky to see a color breach in Sweden, it is most likely still a natural hue, that does not dominate the entirety of the full picture.
Minimalism is living within the Scandinavian soul and is rooted in the history of our old civilizations, as a sign of solidarity for our communities. It is shining through in our simple, but clear, way of expressing ourselves through art, designs, fashion and atmosphere