Dec Arts Seminar in Stockholm and Helsinki: Scandinavian Decorative Arts
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
Department: Art/Design Hist & Theory
Course Number: PGHT 5732
Course Format: Seminar
Location: Off-campus
Permission Required: No
  • Design History, Theory & Criticism
  • Art History, Theory & Criticism
  • Visual Culture
This course examines the predominant themes and concepts of Scandinavian design and culture from the 17th to the 20th centuries, focusing on built environments and the elements they contain, including architecture, interiors, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, industrial design, and glass. The course is set in Stockholm and Helsinki, capitals that share a long tradition of and commitment to decorative arts and design. Coursework includes in-depth study of works by noted Swedish architects and designers Gunnar Asplund and Carl Malmsten, among others. Students visit sites and collections in and around Stockholm, such as major art and design museums, Drottningholm Palace, Skokloster, and the Gustavsbergs porslinsmuseum. They travel to Dalarna and visit the Carl and Karin Larsson home in Sundborn. In Helsinki, the 2012 European Design Capital, students take advantage of the city’s many cultural offerings and design activities. Class participants also visit important Finnish collections and sites such as The National Design Museum, Alvar Aalto home and studio, Marimekko fabric printing workshops, and the Arabia factory and museum. On a day trip to Noormarkku, students visit Aalto’s iconic Villa Mairea and Paimio Sanatorium and Erik Bryggman’s Resurrection Chapel, enhancing their experience of design in situ.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All matriculated graduate students (and to undergraduate seniors upon approval of the instructor); and also to alumni and students with a BA.


Open to Graduate students.


Not open to Freshman students.

Not open to Junior students.

Not open to Sophomore students.