The Swedish word “lagom” would often be translated to “moderate” in German. The meaning of “lagom” within the Swedish culture is however far more complex than the word “moderate” would suggests. The origin of the word comes from “for the whole round,” meaning enough and the same amount for all, as it refers to the amount of food everyone can fairly claim for themselves. Lagom mentality is to my experience typical Swedish. “For all” is a socially oriented concept that properly also can be found in the origins of IKEA and H&M, as well as in many aspects of the Swedish welfare state.
Whereas the minimalist design, material consciousness and clean lines in general have led Scandinavian Design to great popularity in Germany, it is often forgotten that also this approach is based on questioning of the given. The artists exhibiting their work in LAGOMLAND belong to a newer generation of Swedish crafts, which re-challenges and questions the concepts developed under the well-known umbrella of Scandinavian form.
Lagom consciously implemented as an attitude means, among other things, to develop a critical attitude to norms and traditions. Since consideration for all others, is a huge challenge, and rarely completely ascertainable, critical thinking is a key concept in securing the idea of “lagom”. Therefore artistic positions that are questioning the traditions and preconceptions are crucial for the cultural development, such as the work of 13 artists presented in the exhibition LAGOMLAND!
text by Karen Pontoppidan