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Modern Classic - Steve Harper Interview

Modern Classic - Steve Harper Interview

Thu 24th March 2016

In late 2015 Keith Adams of Modern Classic interviewed Steve Harper in his Studio about this past...

Scandinavian Design Principles

At the launches of the Volvo ECC & S80 projects in 1998, the then Design Director Peter Horbury related how the form of the iconic Volvo broad shoulder design had been developed from that of the Volvo PV design of the 1940’s, which had in-turn owed its ancestry to that of the classic Scandinavian bent plywood furniture design of the same period.

When Ford took stewardship of Volvo in 2003, this original quotation had grown in magnitude and now embraced a complete philosophy of Volvo’s Scandinavian heritage of Design.

This ‘Red Book’ soon became the definition of what makes a Volvo a Volvo.Together with Jose de la Vega, Steve Harper & the Strategic Design Team developed the philosophy which covered all aspects of Scandinavian Social & Natures influences on Volvo’s design.

This has been presented throughout the World, giving many sales teams and customers a unique insight into how their cars were created in an individual style.

More recently even the Marketing Department have seen the potential of this brand philosophy. Especially the social aspects of Volvo / Scandinavian culture’s care & consideration for others, in the ‘WE’ & ‘Life is better lived together’ campaigns.

The Scandinavian Design philosophy is a ‘Living Document’ is regularly updated, but it is also a useful tool for new designers and others joining the company, to understand the heritage of one of the world’s most iconic brands.