Constructing Scandinavian design: Cyclical clusters in global circuits
2009 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
This paper explores the notion that the ‘origins’ of cultural products are built up in a dialectical relationship between the products of a cultural cluster and its place. Traditionally, research on cultural agglomerations has posited direct links between products and place: Hollywood films, Paris fashion, Italian design. It has been thought that regional and industrial success can be at least partly explained by mutual reinforcing effects: the industry adds to the local/regional brand and vice versa. This view, we suggest, is too one dimensional to explain the ‘origins’ of cultural products or to explain how origins embed a place. In particular, we suggest that understandings of connections between cultural products and place must be put in the context of the role ‘cyclical clusters’ in global circuits have in the ongoing constitution and reconstitution of spatial identifiers and brands. The paper uses the example of ‘Scandinavian Design’ which in its 50 year history has become an important identifier and brand used by design, architecture and fashion consumers and industries around the world to imbue cultural products and firms with various intangible values. The paper uses the example to show that: (i) industrial narratives can be crucial to producing imagined geographies of cultural production; and (ii) that such narratives of place have complex geographies that should be understood less in terms of their roots in that place than in terms of their roots in discursive fields played out through cyclical clusters in global circuits. The paper concludes by suggesting that we must go beyond thinking about cultural products ‘origins’ in terms of place-based constructs and instead think about how spatial narratives are constructed in global circuits of overlapping spaces that are timed and arranged in such a way that spaces can be reproduced, reenacted and renewed over time.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Economic geography, cultural industries, cyclical cluster, global circuits
Research subject Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-119951OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-119951DiVA: diva2:301964
Association of American Geographers AAG Annual Meeting, Boston, April 15-19, 2008