The Next Generation of Finnish Designers Infiltrate the Icon’s Helsinki Abode
With Helsinki’s inauguration as the World Design Capital next year and Helsinki Design Week beginning today, NOWNESS invited Finland’s top contemporary design talent to showcase their work in the home of the country’s greatest most celebrated aesthete, Alvar Aalto. Today preserved as an atmospheric museum, the Alvar Aalto house, which was the architect’s domicile and studio from 1936 until his death, is an intimate memorial to the modernist master. The clean lines, functionality and unpretentious nature of classic Finnish design pioneered by Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara and Kaj Franck still permeates much of the work by the discipline’s current stars. Here we select our top Finnish designers for further scrutiny.
Jussi Takkinen––"Untitled" folding chair and "Osio" wall clock
Takkinen is a young talent whose pleasing contemporary style offers fuss-free, elegance with a graphic edge. The “Untitled" folding chair is a triumph in practicality, while his ceramic Osio Wall Clock is clever and commercial (in a good way).
Matti Syrjälä––"Riuku" stool and "Loiste" storm lantern
Matti Syrjälä of Kaamos group, a young Finnish collective, produces quiet and elementary, yet startlingly smart, pieces that successfully reflect the gentle Finnish sensibility.
Hannu Kähönen––"Kapeneva" bench
The industrial designer’s multidisciplinary studio, Creadesign, outputs everything from product and service design to consultation and design research. His "Kapeneva" modular benches demonstrate the basic tenets of the Finnish outlook in their "essential, natural, practical" style.
Ville Kokkonen––"White 4" table lamp
The design director of Artek, Kokkonen recently launched his innovative White collection, which places pure light, rather than its frame, at the forefront, resulting in four beautifully sparse and minimal objects.
Ilkka Suppanen––"Kaasa" lantern
Suppanen first made his name with the Snowcrash collective in the 90s, and these days is an established figure in Finland, producing items like "Kaasa," the soon-to-be-launched lantern inspired by the beacons once used by Finnish fishermen.
Klaus Haapaniemi––"Rabbit Throw"
Haapaniemi’s fantastical illustrations have adorned everything from ceramics to cookies, but for his first signature collection, produced in collaboration with Mia Wallenius, he chose traditionally weaved textiles as a platform.
Marko Nenonen––"Lounge Chair"
A little more playful than that of his peers, Nenonen is against “anonymous” design and has a varied collection of works that explores different materials and forms.
Harri Koskinen––"Remain in Light"
Helsinki’s very own superstar, Koskinen’s fresh, functional works are lauded at home and abroad. His collection, Hari Koskinen Works, is made up of simple, desirable products.