How can art, architecture and design be given a national identity? This is a crucial question for many European countries. In Norway, it is particularly important in the years before liberation from the union with Sweden in 1905. Designers, architects and artists turn to the history and nature of their countries for solutions.

Norwegian designers seek inspiration in the pre-Danish period, in peasant culture and the craft traditions of the Vikings and the medieval period. Here they find what they regard as characteristically Norwegian forms of ornamentation, colour schemes and materials. They forge a new idiom in the spirit of the past.

Many also explore international styles of expression, but adapt them to the national interest by including elements of Norwegian flora and fauna. 

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