Hanna Anonen came third in the FDS Award design competition in 2017. Since then her entry, the playful Cocktail pendant light, has been featured in international magazines and exhibitions and will soon become part of the collection of Hakola.
Hi Hanna! How are you?
“Hi, I feel great! My everyday work is about striking a balance between client projects and my design work. I have some exciting projects on the drawing board at the moment.”
What's happened since the FDS Award design competition?
“Quite a lot has happened since then. I participated in the FDS Award competition with my Cocktail pendant, since then the concept has come on in leaps and bounds. The lights in the collection have been shown in exhibitions in Milan, Vancouver, London, and Copenhagen. We are currently engaged in product development with Hakola to get the lights into shops soon. I've received a lot of inquiries about them.”
What was it like, taking part in the FDS Award?
“I thought that it was easy to enter the competition; there was a low threshold, even for wild ideas. I only had a draft ready, but I sent it in. It's somehow refreshing that it's the idea that counts – after all, it takes quite a lot of resources to make a prototype. The competition is a really good way to test your ideas!”
Has the competition opened up new doors?
“It was the first time that I had presented my idea for the Cocktail light. Of course, success in the FDS Award competition built trust in the concept. Without the competition, Cocktail may well have sat gathering dust in a drawer. So, yes is the answer!”
“I'm keenly awaiting production to begin on the Cocktail lights and to see how the large audience receives them.”
What kind of feedback have you received about the Cocktail pendant?
“Very encouraging and enthusiastic. The light has attracted the attention of interior designers and appeared in magazines in Finland and abroad.”
Anything interesting on the horizon in 2019?
“I have lots of new ideas and prototypes and had my very own SaloneSatellite stand at this year's Milan Furniture Fair. I'm also keenly awaiting production to begin on the Cocktail lights and to see how the large audience receives them. Also, I'm engaged in exhibition design for clients such as Grafia and the Iittala & Arabia Design Centre.”
To whom would you recommend the FDS Award design competition?
“To all designers. I think that it has a very low threshold, and participation is easy. It's for anyone who wants to test out ideas and make headway in his or her design career.”
And what advice would you give to contestants?
“Dare to present your ideas boldly. The daftest sounding ideas might just be the ones that differentiate you.”
What is your favorite object or piece of furniture and what kind of story lies behind it?
“In the early winter, I found an armchair with red stripes by Vuokko and Antti Nurmesniemi, which I'd wanted for ages. It's so eccentric, but also refined and straightforward.”
Editing: Sabiina Aalto and Laura Hallikainen Images: Aino Huhtaniemi, Mikko Rikala and Juho Huttunen