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Today – Contemporary Design from Norway

Speech given by HM Queen Sonja at the opening of the exhibition “Today – Contemporary Design from Norway” at Gallery Vizo, during the state visit to Belgium, May 2003.

Your Majesty,
Distinguished guests,

Successful design transcends limits and national borders. One of the characteristics of international design is the relationship between the global, the regional and the national. It is therefore with great expectations we present this exhibition of contemporary Norwegian design here in Belgium.

During the last years, geographical and cultural barriers seem to have disappeared. Today local handicraft is being increasingly influenced by global design trends, affecting not only our aesthetic surroundings but also our daily lives. Design has become an argument, a way of improving quality of life. Designers offer new experiences and provide new understanding. In this way they have a great impact on how we live and on how we plan our future.

Norwegian designers started to appear on the international scene during the 1950s, with the dawn of “Scandinavian Design”. However, during the decades that followed, design did not get the attention it deserved. Today this is changing. Norway is again taking a keen interest in this field, and Norwegian designers are displaying impressive creativity. Young designers are now achieving international recognition for their ideas and products.

Today, the Belgian public is being introduced to our new wave in Norwegian design. The objects on display here at the Vizo Gallery show pieces by young designers in areas such as furniture, textiles, handicrafts and graphic design. They have combined high-quality materials with simplicity. We see functionality put together with beauty, and complex ideas matched with simple solutions, all in a fresh and youthful manner.

I hope that you all will enjoy the work of theese young designers. Knowing that many Belgians take great interest in modern, bold design, I am confident that you will find the exhibition in this beautiful gallery a stimulating experience.

I wish you all an interesting tour of the objects displayed here.

I hereby declare the exhibition “Today – Contemporary Design from Norway” open!

Thank you!


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