Living the Nordic Light: A tribute to the 100 year olds of the North

Living the Nordic Light is a moving tribute to the 100 year olds of the North, created by Oslo-based design studio Snøhetta. The book is based on interviewing four people aged over 100 years old who have lived their entire lives above the Arctic Circle and aims to explore the effect of living in, and in the absence of, Nordic Light.

Since 1992, the Zumtobel Group has commissioned renowned designers from the fields of architecture, graphic design or art to give artistic expression to their perception of light. Snøhetta designed this book, Living the Nordic Light, focusing on irrevocable and inherent relationships of light and darkness, lived time and individual perceptions of these relationships.

People born in the beginning of the last century are the last living generation to have experienced changes that have had a tremendous physical impact on humanity in the western world. They witnessed two world wars, worldwide changes in transportation, power supply transitions, revolutions, industrialisation and the overwhelming introduction of the digital era. With Living the Nordic Light, Snøhetta aims to capture individual experiences related to the indisputable presence of light, shade, and darkness, before and after the introduction of electricity.

“The encounter with these elderly yet vital people of the north – the opportunity to hear their stories – was the high point of the project,” said Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. “They’re our heroes. Back home, we continued the work by reviewing five centuries of efforts by scientists, artists and photographers to unlock the secrets of Nordic light, from Olaus Magnus’ naive woodcuts to contemporary selfies on Internet blogs. The result was a magnificent 160 page visual suite.”


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