When it comes to Scandinavian design, there\u2019s often a big misconception \u2013 \u201cminimalism.\u201d Although there are parallels, such as the focus on function, clean lines and light colors, Scandinavian design is so much more than just neat and necessary. Equally essential as pure function is beauty, a beauty that draws inspiration from Nordic nature. To quote the press release for the Brooklyn Museum\u2019s 1954 \u201cDesign in Scandinavia\u201d exhibition: \u201cA feeling of quiet, good elegance pervades the entire exhibition area on the first floor where bright lights dance about on silver, glass, porcelain and handsome woods in forms and patterns of great variety.\u201d Scandinavian design \u2013 a defining style, both then and now The exhibition, which toured the USA and Canada for three and a half years following its Brooklyn debut, marked the coining of \u201cScandinavian design\u201d as a term. More than 700 exhibits of design from all over Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland together in one place. The style\u2019s distinguishing characteristics, which endure to this day, were summarized in the exhibition\u2019s accompanying brochure \u2013 a desire to \u201c create surroundings which satisfy the needs of modern man and simply and naturally fulfill practical and esthetic requirements \u201d. Scandinavian designers laid the foundations for our contemporary notions of modern beauty, particularly in terms of furniture design, with subtle, functional shapes in clean lines and light colors. Ever inspired by Nordic nature, its frigid winters translated into warmth, copious light, and open spaces \u2013 all primal human needs, arguably one reason why so many Scandinavian design classics are still produced today, as popular as ever. One of these iconic pieces is the String shelving system, first conceived in 1949. String: Scandinavian pioneers of modular shelving systems \u201cForm follows function.\u201d With these three words, Chicago-based architect Louis Sullivan (1854-1924) influenced countless other architects and designers in the 19th and 20th centuries, inspiring the German Bauhaus school as well as Scandinavian design in the mid-20th century. The latter included Nisse and Kajsa Strinning, who designed the famous String shelving system . The shelving system was the result of a clever marketing idea from the Bonnier publishing house, which launched a competition in 1949 to design the best bookshelf, which would then be produced. The requirements were that the shelf should be affordable, lightweight, and easy to assemble. Nisse Strinning had always had an eye for what people needed, even if they didn\u2019t know it themselves \u2013 and his wife Kajsa had already long had the seed of the String shelf in mind. In the end, the design that she submitted for the competition had another decisive advantage: the shelf, whose basic structure consisted of two ladder frames and some wooden planks, could be individually adjusted and assembled. Today, a standard feature; at the time, a revelation. As Bonnier eventually advertised: \u201cA bookshelf that grows with your collection.\u201d From the initial String shelf, the Strinnings soon developed an entire range with different functional elements and accessories, which can still be found in any room, home, or office to this day. In 1952, the UN ordered String shelving for their headquarters in New York; in the 1960s, it was the bestselling Scandinavian furniture in Germany; and since 1979, the String shelving system has been part of the Swedish National Museum\u2019s permanent collection. String shelving: now a modern design classic The String shelving system\u2019s classic design endures to this day, more than 70 years after the first model. In 2004, Peter Erlandsson and P\u00e4r Josefsson set out to breathe new life into the brand. Not only did they have the Strinnings\u2019 blessing to do this \u2013 Nisse himself conceived the \u201c String Pocket ,\u201d a smaller version of the wall model, specifically for the occasion. This would be his last design before his death in 2006. Today, the brand is continuously inviting different designers and architects to bring their own interpretation to String shelving. Available in a variety of colors and materials, the one thing that never changes in this constant reinvention are the dimensions. In this way, new elements can always be combined with older models. It\u2019s pleasing to think that String shelves can be passed down from generation to generation and still keep evolving in the process. A timeless, esthetic, and functionally ground-breaking design, today as much as ever \u2013 that\u2019s what makes a pioneer. Thousands of possibilities for the future and more. Learn more about String Furniture here.