Elizabeth Wilhide is the author and co-author of many acclaimed books on design and interiors. She has also contributed to many of Terence Conran's books, including The Essential House Book, The Ultimate House Book, Plain, Simple, Useful and Conran on Colour. Her own books include Surface and Finish, Eco and New Decor. Her first novel, Ashenden, was published by Penguin in 2012.
"This beautifully photographed compendium, which comes complete with profiles of major players, trademark designs, and house tours, depicts the global reach of Scandinavian design. The book opens with the inception of Funkis, or functionalism, in 1920s Swedish and Norwegian architecture. Chapters are arranged by Scandinavian country, highlighting each one's distinct contribution to the oeuvre. Denmark, for example, is most notable for furniture and a "strong craft tradition focused on utility coupled with a human-centered approach to design and an abiding respect for the past." Designers in Finland tend to exhibit a more obvious affinity with nature, as seen in the organic shapes and supersaturated, vibrant hues of Marimekko, a Finnish textile giant. Masters of Scandinavian modernism past and present receive their due with one- to two-page profiles providing career overviews and details of their most famous designs. Highlights include Alvar Aalto's wavelike vase, artist Maija Isola's floral textiles, Arne Jacobsen's swan chair, and Stig Lindberg's glassware. This solid entry point into the Scandinavian school of design has the elegance of a coffee-table book combined with the information of a reference guide." - Publisher's Weekly