Nordic Cool: Hot Women Designers
Judy I. Larson, Director National Museum of Women in the Arts,

Nordic Cool Hot Women Designers is the first exhibition to explore the contributions of women designers from Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. What sparked my interest, and that of co-curator, Jordana Pomeroy, was our shared love of modern design and the fact that the women`s museum had never presented a design exhibition in its 17-year history. Design seemed an ideal subject for our museum because so many artists have exelled endeavors ranging from fine arts to architecture. We began our exploration by reading about design in the Nordic countries and working through the Internet and e-mails to establish contacts with design experts in Europe. Five Nordic Embassies sponsored a European research trip allowing us to visit designers, curators, and cultural ministers.

On our trip to the Nordic countries we were often asked: Why just women? Do women bring something special or significant to design? These were relevant questions. In a most basic sense, women can be inspired by the shape and size of their own bodies; they often uses themselves as the measure for whatever they design. We were less interested in defining a "feminine style" tied to personal inspiration and more focused on recognizing the talent of many successful Nordic women designers. Other important exhibitions have focused on defining Scandinavian modern design. We deliberately chose not to organize a chronological history of Scandinavian design; rather, we sought to explore women`s reaction`s to the land, climate, cultural rituals, and day-to-day events. Each object in this exhibition tells a story, and when pairings or groupings of objects come together, a dialogue ensues whereby everyday thing ssuggest evocative interpretations.