In addition to the beloved classics, Finnish Design Shop also wants to spotlight new and exciting design talent. In honor of Finland's Independence Day on 6 December, we present ten interesting Finnish brands and designers, whose products we predict will become design classics of the future.
Glass artist Katriina Nuutinen's pieces could be described as something between art and everyday objects. The charming Lyyli glass jars, Vieno and Pulmu vases and Alva wall clocks are crafted from mouth-blown glass, making each of them wonderfully delicate and unique. The glass pieces' design language is an original fusion of Nordic minimalism and distinctive playfulness. In addition to her Finnish-made glass art, Nuutinen has also designed products for the Swedish brand Klong, among others.
Hetkinen, founded by Mona Isotupa, has a very special place in our hearts: Isotupa won the FDS Award design competition in 2017 with her entry Pine Lip Balm, featuring cosmetics packed in pine boxes – the Hetkinen brand was later developed around the victorious concept. In addition to lip balms, the Hetkinen range includes hand creams, salt soaps and vegetable wax candles. The brand's latest addition is a festive candle, Happy Holidays, which has a wintery scent with notes of Finnish forests, spices and citrus fruits mixed with the earthy fragrance of vetiver.
Saana ja Olli
Turku-based design studio Saana ja Olli is known for their high-quality and durable textiles that combine distinctive patterns with subdued shades. The popular home textiles are made of European hemp, a traditional material known and loved for its ecological properties. In addition to the top-quality materials, we also appreciate their strive to carry out each production phase in Finland – from the printing of fabrics to filling the cushions with recycled polyester. In addition to the brand’s own collections, Saana ja Olli has also designed products for other manufacturers, including carpets for Finnish Finarte and MUM's.
COMPANY x Artek
COMPANY, formed by Aamu Song and Johan Olin, collaborated with Artek in a collection consisting of charmingly naive, handmade ceramic objects that tell stories of Finnish seasonal rituals from Midsummer to Christmas. Suitable for both decorative and functional use, the ceramic figures fit nicely into Artek's traditional but forward-looking line and bring joy to any interior with their distinctive look. The highly popular items, such as the Lucia candleholder and Midsummer Dream vase, also make perfect gifts throughout the year.
Teemu Järvi x Lapuan Kankurit
The Teemu Järvi x Lapuan Kankurit collection is a collaboration between two renowned Finns: Lapuan Kankurit, a weaving company known for its traditional and high-quality textiles, and artist Teemu Järvi, whose unique illustrations draw on the atmospheres of Finnish nature. The Teemu Järvi x Lapuan Kankurit collection features towels and kitchen textiles made from European linen and organic cotton and woven at the Lapuan Kankurit weaving mill in Finland. The series continues the delightfully strong tradition of collaborations between Lapuan Kankurit and contemporary Finnish designers, such as Matti Pikkujämsä and Reeta Ek.
Interior architect and designer Joanna Laajisto is definitely one of the most versatile and creative visionaries of new, contemporary Finnish design. In addition to interior architecture and concept design, Laajisto has designed a wide range of products ranging from furniture and lighting to rugs. Her Kaski armchair, produced by Made by Choice, draws influences from a rustic country style, while Laajisto's lighting designs, such as the Lumme lamp, rely on modern, industrial aesthetics. We also admire the soft shapes and colors of the Rock rugs by Roots Living and the Bobo lounge chairs and sofas by Hakola!
Industrial designer Hanna Anonen charms with her playful and open-minded approach to colors and shapes. Designed by Anonen for Made by Choice, the wooden jars of the Beebee and Plizé collections blur the boundaries between art and utility objects in fun, distinctive ways. The vibrant colors and form languages are far from traditional Scandinavian minimalism, and that’s what makes them so special. Anonen’s Cocktail lamp, manufactured by Hakola, was a real eye-candy – we hope that the sold-out luminaire will be available again in the future!
One of the most interesting products of winter 2020 is Bird Silo from Mika and Julie Tolvanen's new Pidät brand. The designer couple developed their bird feeder slowly over the years and observed small birds feeding on different prototypes from their dining room window. The end result is a modern, sculptural bird feeder made from 100% recycled plastic and inspired by grain silos. Bird Silo is designed for birds that feed vertically, such as chickadees, nuthatches, finches and woodpeckers, who all prefer sunflower seeds and peanuts instead of grain.
Wesley Walters and Salla Luhtasela, also known as Kaksikko, have enriched the field of contemporary Finnish design with influences from both Nordic and Japanese cultures. Their Perch stool won the first FDS Award in 2016 and is now manufactured by Nikari. Walters and Luhtasela have since continued working with wood and minimalist design on items such as Matri’s Ilta night stand and Nikari’s Akademia chair. In terms of smaller items, our recent favorites from Kaksikko include Muuto's charming Ridge vase and Skagerak's Piippu slow brewer.
In recent years, the Finnish rug company Finarte has delighted design enthusiasts with exceptionally lovely patterns and textures. One of our favorites is Marianne Huotari’s Suovilla wool rug with its fluffy texture and crisp colors inspired by Finnish bogs. Huotari's graphically patterned Atrium rug has also been a real hit. Finarte’s most recent collaborations include Saana ja Olli’s Dyyni rugs that draw from desert landscapes. The hugely popular rugs will soon be available again in all sizes!
More Finnish design
Text: Emmi Ratilainen, Nora Uotila and Mikko Vaija
Images: Chikako Harada, Suvi Kesäläinen, Unto Rautio, Mikko Ryhänen and manufacturers