Scandi design, you either love it or hate it – but let’s face it – we’ve all got a bit of Ikea somewhere in our homes… But even to the side of the yellow & blue behemoth, the design talent coming out of Scandinavia is incredible.

We’ve just discovered a fantastic project that put the students of Helsinki University to the test and it’s so simple, it’s genius – and made waves at Stockholm Design Week.

steel-chairs-group

Stockholm Design Week has just come to an end and we were intrigued by the project created by students at Helsinki University. They were tasked to create a practical chair out of one type of material – steel rods.

As a base, I think we can all agree that they’re not the most exciting of objects, but as a testament to Finnish flair for design, the students not only created practical chairs, but pieces we’re a little in awe over.

Lecturer Martin Relander said:

“The purpose of the exercise was to create light, but strong furniture using the space frame structure,

The limited number of materials and uniform finish was chosen in order to make the power and possibility of the theme as clear as possible, and to assure that in the end each student found a personal way of expressing his or her talent.”

Here’s four highlights we picked from the group:

From bold straight lines to fluidic curves, there’s something a little different about each piece. We could imagine a ‘bake off’ style design room – with students peering over each other’s work, trying to find inspiration. Although we can bet no-one sabotaged each other by taking something out of the freezer…

If you think you don’t know anything about Finnish design, think again. Some from dish racks to clean water – we owe a lot to the Fins. Here’s some other fantastic pieces that have come out of Finland:

fiskars-scissors

Fiskars are a consumer good company founded in Finland in 1649, however, their most famous product didn’t arrive until 1967 with the introduction of their Orange-handled scissors. We think we all had a pair of these in the house at some point. Maybe not today, but we know our mum’s did!

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-17-10-01

Marimekko was founded in 1951 by Finnish couple, Armi and Viljo Ratia.Marimekko, translated literally means “Mary-dress.” Known for their bold, effusive textiles and readymade products, Marimekko has become a respected name in the design world.

Artek furniture designed by Alvar Aalto

The birth of Artek’s Stool 60 wasn’t a quiet one in 1933. Alvar Aalto threw the prototype of the stool on the ground of the furniture factory Korhonen again and again to test its resistance. It’s said that Aalto was fascinated and he shouted: “We are going to produce this stool thousands of times!”

Eighty years later, the stool has been sold millions of times by Artek. The simple, stackable stool out of wood represented new functionality approaches in furniture design.

Do you have any favourite Finnish design pieces or is there anyone you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.

It’s heippa (bye) for now,
David & Mark x

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