Finnish textile designer Johanna Gullichsen has won the Kaj Franck Design Prize 2021. According to the prize jury, an appreciation of natural materials, handicrafts and the preservation of the weaving tradition are clearly visible in her textiles.
DESIGN FORUM FINLAND has awarded textile designer Johanna Gullichsen the Kaj Franck Design Prize 2021, one of the most significant design awards in Finland. The prize is granted for the 30th time this year.
Johanna Gullichsen is known for her graphic interior textiles that make use of traditional weaves. She has made determined and systematic efforts to update traditional textile types and patterns. Gullichsen founded her own company in 1989 and made her international breakthrough in 1997 when she opened a shop in Paris. At the same time, the first connections to Japan were established. Gullichsen's own collection includes fabrics, interior decoration items and accessories, and along with design assignments, she has expanded to new areas, such as cement floor tiles and tatami mats.
According to the prize jury, an appreciation of natural materials, handicrafts and the preservation of the weaving tradition are clearly visible in her textiles: “She has succeeded in combining her artistic and creative work with sustainable serial production. The textiles produced under Johanna Gullichsen brand are woven in Finland from natural materials, and their carefully considered colour combinations are a natural addition to Finnish interior and furniture design.”
“The unique approach has also resulted in collaborative projects with domestic and foreign designers and companies. Johanna Gullichsen’s designs are a strong continuation of the Finnish tradition of textile art,” stated the jury.
The Kaj Franck Design Prize brings forth the central spirit and principles of designer Kaj Franck’s (1911–1989) oeuvre: high-quality, democratic and functional design that solves practical challenges and opens up new opportunities for companies excelling in design. A particular merit is if the rewarded designer brings beauty and joy to everyday life and enhances the quality of life. The prize sum is €10,000. The Kaj Franck Design Prize was established in 1992 by Design Forum Finland and it is funded by the Finnish Fair Foundation.
The members of the Kaj Franck Design Prize jury of 2021 were CEO Petteri Kolinen from Design Forum Finland, Chief Design Offícer Hanna Harris from City of Helsinki, clothing designer Anna Ruohonen, CEO Päivi Tahkokallio from Tahkokallio Design+ and designer, Professor Heikki Orvola.
Kaj Franck Design Prize exhibition is a part of the Design Forum Finland Awards exhibition at Galleria A2, Helsinki, 3–24 June 2021.
Edit: Design Stories Images: Elina Simonen and manufacturers