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Designing the 'Consumer in Infinity': The Swedish Cooperative Union's New Consumer Policy, c. 1979
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, History and Theory of Architecture.
2012 (English)In: Scandinavian Design: Alternative Histories / [ed] Kjetil Fallan, Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2012Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This essay outlines the development of a new strategy worked out by the Swedish Cooperation Union in relation to governmental consumption policies in the late 60s and early 70s. In these years the citizen became institutionalized as a consumer through the politicization of consumption, but this is also the period when new strategies of marketing, commercials and PR were evolving which could in fact be seen as the starting point for a more liberal consumer society in the 80s. This development will be discussed through the story of two large campaigns made by the Swedish Cooperation Union: the introduction of the “meubius strip” as the new image in 1967, and the introduction of the basic wardrobe 1972. Being both a producer of design and a regulator of how to consume design the Cooperation clearly spells out strategies for designing products as well as consumers.

Abstract [en]

Scandinavian design is still seen as democratic, functional and simple, its products exemplifying the same characteristics now as they have done since the 1950s. But both the essence and the history of Scandinavian design are much more complex than this. Scandinavian Design: Alternative Histories presents a radically new assessment, a corrective to the persistent mythologies and reductive accounts of Scandinavian design.The book brings together case studies from the early twentieth century to today. Drawn from fields as diverse as transport, engineering, packaging, photography, law, interiors, and corporate identity, these studies tell new or unfamiliar stories about the production, mediation and consumption of design. An alternative history is created, one much more alive to national and regional differences and to types of product.Scandinavian Design analyses a century of design culture from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and, in so doing, presents a sophisticated introduction to Scandinavian design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2012.
National Category
Humanities Design Architecture History
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-59051ISBN: 1847889115ISBN: 9781847889119OAI: diva2:474963

QC 20130115

Available from: 2012-01-10 Created: 2012-01-10 Last updated: 2013-01-15Bibliographically approved

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