uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Formens frigörelse: Konsthantverk och design under debatt i 1960-talets Sverige
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The liberation of the form : Arts and crafts and design subject to debate in 1960s Sweden (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores a relatively unknown phenomenon in the design world. Here, the term den fria formen [the free form] is introduced as an analytical tool to narrow down this phenomenon, which was to be found in arts and crafts. The free form emerged in the 1950s, blossomed in the 1960s and lost in importance in the first half of the 1970s. The intention of the study is to analyse and explain the emergence and development of the free form, in the light of contemporary transformations of discourse, both within and without the design world. In the study, the free form is explored from four perspectives: object-oriented, aesthetic, social, and historiographical.

The starting point has been a number of objects with an abnormal aesthetic expression. The term free [fri] has been borrowed from their contemporary context. I have defined the core based on three central aspects: an aesthetic dissociation from a normative concept of beauty, a rupture within the technical tradition of craftsmanship, and a subordination of the object’s practical function in favour of its aesthetic expression. However, the most important feature was a critical stance towards prevailing norms and structures. During the period a radical aesthetic transformation took place. This opened for a freer approach to the design world’s objects, which included an acceptance of a wider aesthetic concept.

In the 1960s, the Swedish arts and crafts industry was compelled to undertake a major realignment to face an increased international competition. This meant that the platform, which had provided craftspeople with an income as well as a possibility to develop creatively, practically disappeared. Designers now had to refocus: either to become craftspeople or industrial designers.

The study discusses arts and crafts’ position in history writing, not least in relation to the international debate pursued in recent years. Here, the area’s marginalisation has been emphasised. An efficient way of deconstructing this marginalisation has been to leave the aesthetic design vocabulary, the mystique of the material, and the object’s practical function – to, just as the free form, approach the visual art.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Arvinius Förlag , 2010. , 373 p.
Keyword [en]
Applied Art/Arts and Crafts, Design, Form, Debate, 1960s, Sweden, Swedish Society of Industrial Design
Keyword [sv]
Svenska Slöjdföreningen
National Category
Art History
Research subject
History of Art
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-123708ISBN: 978-91-85689-32-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-123708DiVA: diva2:315391
Public defence
2010-06-04, Ihresalen, Engelska parken, Humanistiskt centrum, Uppsala universitet, Thunbergsvägen 3P, Uppsala, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-04-29 Last updated: 2010-05-11

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

By organisation
Department of Art History
Art History

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1727 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link