FDS Award success stories: Hanna Anonen

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.

FDS Award success stories: Hanna Anonen
Designer Hanna Anonen was the second runner-up in the 2017 FDS Award competition. She holds degrees from both the Lahti Institute of Design and Aalto University.

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.”

FDS Award success stories: Hanna Anonen
Anonen's entry was the eye-catching Cocktail pendant light. Her aim was to design a modern chandelier that would be as bubbly and layered in its tones as a cold drink on a summer's day.

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!”

FDS Award success stories: Hanna Anonen
Presented at the Milan Furniture Fair, the Plizé boxes come in delicious color combinations.
FDS Award success stories: Hanna Anonen
The delightful Merry-go-around tables double as stools.

“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.”

FDS Award success stories: Hanna Anonen
The giant Cocktail pendant is a statement piece that features colorful rods in six overlapping layers.
FDS Award success stories: Hanna Anonen
Hanna Anonen drew inspiration for the wooden Beebee boxes from Fabergé eggs. Their shape also brings in mind beehives.

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.”

See also:

The rules and programme of the FDS Award competition >
FDS Award success stories: Mona Isotupa >

Editing: Sabiina Aalto and Laura Hallikainen Images: Aino Huhtaniemi, Mikko Rikala and Juho Huttunen

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