"A Home”: Östberg’s search for the total artwork

This paper analyses the short pamphlet -"Ett hem. Dess byggnad och inredning" (Eng. "A Home. Its construction and interior design", 15 pages)- written in 1905 by Swedish architect Ragnar Östberg (1866-1945). It encapsulates the Nordic devotion to craft, in which handicraft and design join hands. Taking the wooden houses of the vernacular models as a starting point from which to penetrate this turn-of-century current in Swedish art, the study goes on to provide an English annotated translation, rendering the thoughts and notes of this last master of Norden finally accessible to a not-only-Swedish readership. As a leading exponent of National Romanticism, Östberg sought simplicity and truth in materials. All visual arts should work together closely, reflecting a balanced interplay of popular culture and craftsmanship. Each detail reflected the total artwork: a continuum between construction and interior design. The quest for a proper vocabulary and character suiting simple homes designed for the lower social orders would spread across Northern Europe, so that many architects contributed to the tradition of model book like it.

Rosso, Michela
Published in:
Investigating and writing architectural history: subjects, methodologies and frontiers - Papers from the Third EAHN International Meeting, 1205-1206
Presented at:
Third international meeting of EAHN. European architectural history network, Politecnico di Torino, Castello del Valentino, 19th - 23th June 2014
Scientific committee: Michela Rosso (Politecnico di Torino) Gaia Caramellino (Politecnico di Torino) Adrian Forty (UCL. Bartlett School of Architecture, London) Josephine Kane ( University of Westminster) Susan Klaiber (Columbia University, New York) Daniel Millette (UBC. School of Architecture, Vancouver) Nancy Stieber (University of Massachusetts, Boston)
Session: Architectural History in Italian Doctoral Programs: Issues of Theory and Criticism - PhD Round Table
Chairs session: Maristella Casciato (Alma Mater Sturdiorum - University of Bologna) Mary McLeod (Columbia University, New York)

 Record created 2016-03-30, last modified 2018-09-13

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