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LDF Preview: The Online Design Gallery Redefining “Nordic”

The London Design Festival began in earnest this weekend, and while much of the work on view will never have been seen before, there’s one exhibition that we’re now missing for the second time around. Now Nordic — organized by the Copenhagen-based digital design gallery Adorno in collaboration with five curatorial teams from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland —actually debuted last month at Chart Design but will see a reprise at the London Design Fair at The Old Truman Brewery (the spot where Sight Unseen showcased its own selection of designers last year). For Now Nordic, Adorno invited each curator — Pil Bredahl from Copenhagen, Rebecca Ahlstedt from Stockholm, Sebatian Jansson from Helsinki, Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir & María Kristín Jónsdóttir from Reykjavik and Kråkvik & D’Orazio from Oslo — to assemble a collection from 5-7 designers working at the intersection of art, design, and craft. The point of the exhibition is to explore whether the label “Nordic” — or what the organizers call “design-world shorthand” for clean lines, natural materials, simplicity and functionality — can meaningfully describe an aesthetic or if lumping designs from different countries together actually does each of them a disservice by sanding down the quirks. Judge for yourself here, or in person this weekend.

Top: Jonas Edvard, Copenhagen

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Astrid Tolnov, Copenhagen

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Pettersen Hein, Oslo

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Hanna Whitehead, Reykjavik

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1+1+1 (left) and Tinna Gunnarsdottir, Reykjavik

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Hanna Whitehead, Reykjavik

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Jonas Edvard, Copenhagen

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Tero Kuitunen, Helsinki

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Lotta Lampa, Stockholm

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Studio Finna, Helsink

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Elina Ulvio, Helsinki

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Lotta Lamp, Stockholm