Scandinavian Design (& Culture): What It Is And Why The World Is Obsessed With It

Scandinavian Design (& Culture): What It Is And Why The World Is Obsessed With It

Get inside our Scandinavian design sit-down with Jacob Jensen’s Sébastien Maleville



You might not be familiar with the technicalities of it, but chances are you’ve come across—and maybe have even fallen in love with the idea of—Scandinavian design. Picture everything that has somehow become synonymous with it: white walls, wood floors and modern furniture; everything minimalist and practical and simple. 


One notable player in the field is Jacob Jensen Design—a name that may again not be familiar to the common tongue but whose work has truly helped define this corner of the design world.


scandinavian-design-jacob-jensen-toaster scandinavian-design-jacob-jensen-timer scandinavian-design-jacob-jensen-phone
Jacob Jensen Toaster Flat-Bed Jacob Jensen Kitchen Timer Jacob Jensen Telephone


We had the opportunity to sit down with Sébastien Maleville, Creative Director of Jacob Jensen Design in Bangkok, Thailand to talk more about Scandinavian design and why he thinks it’s made such big waves (figuratively).


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He first clarified that Scandinavian design cannot be encompassed by the few words that it has been associated with—true as they may be. Sébastien prefers to define it as “human-centric” type of design that is simple in that it creates “honest solutions.” This honesty, he explains, leaves no room for the unnecessary; the end product is the result of what is only essential and is built on quality. 


That’s another thing we touched on quite extensively during our chat: quality. Throughout the years, Scandinavian design has proven itself to be long-lasting, which is why it’s appealed to the market throughout the years. This enduring aspect, as Sébastien calls it, also gives way to Jacob Jensen’s sustainability efforts. 


Sustainable materials are all well and good, but something that lasts you decades are just as important. 


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scandinavian-design-jacob-jensen-watch scandinavian-design-jacob-jensen-watch-2 Scandinavian Design (& Culture): What It Is And Why The World Is Obsessed With It
Jacob Jensen Ascent Series Jacob Jensen Strata Series Jacob Jensen Dimension Series


But looking around at our local spaces, the philosophy of Scandinavian design doesn’t quite seem to fit the Philippine scene. Whatever your individual preference, the general Instagram-able factor always seems to win here. So is there room for this simplicity, this understanding of sustainability and forward-thinking design?


According to Sébastien, this discipline of design can work anywhere. While it’s named after a region, Scandinavian design is unattached to anything, whether that’s a geographical location or time—and who wouldn’t want that timeless type of beauty? 



Art Alexandra Lara


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