There is something uniquely compelling to be found in Scandinavian design. Whether it is in something as small as a piece of jewelry, or as large as a cathedral, as colorful textiles, or as well-crafted furniture, there is a distinctive quality, or essence, that characterizes the Nordic artifact. Elizabeth Gaynor identifies this quality “as some special esthetic that has produced in this century the most original and beautifully scaled and well-detailed objects that were fresh, but at the same time human.” The emergence of this quality may be attributed to the Scandinavian way of living — a way of sensing, of seeing, of touching, and perceiving — that had as much to do with the fine look and valid function of Nordic architecture and design as had sound logic. Hundreds of years at the northern edge of European civilization had taught the people to trust their senses, to rely on the work of their hands, to accept and appreciate the ways of nature. While this course will address all facets of design, it will primarily focus on the traditional (“folk”), classical, and contemporary architecture of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. (“Puu ja Kivi” means “Wood and Stone” in Finnish.)
Instructor Arnold J. Aho, A.I.A. (“Arne”) has taught architecture and basic design for more than forty years at North Carolina State U., Mississippi State U., and Norwich U., where he started the new Architecture Program and served as its first Director. He was educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied under Louis I. Kahn. He has many publications on materials and energies in design, vernacular (folk) architecture, and the relationships between natural and built environments. In addition to numerous design awards, he has received distinguished teaching recognition, including the Burlington Northern Outstanding Teacher Award (MSU) and the Dana Distinguished Professor (NU).