September 15, 2017
Snapshots of tomorrow’s home
Susanna Björklund (left) and Sisse Collander take design to the next level with ‘Signals’: a collection of themed rooms that each have a different approach to lifestyle.
The design euphoria of Habitare, Finland’s biggest interior decoration, design and furniture event, is here once again for all to enjoy.
Under the theme of “Tomorrow’s home”, this year’s Habitare seeks to highlight the changing definition of home. Whilst still a safe zone, the space in itself can be something temporary, mobile, shared or virtual.
This premise is delivered not only by the hundreds of companies attending the event but also via special exhibitions that challenge the audience to think about the terms ‘home’ and ‘lifestyle’ from a broader perspective.
Habitare is a unique celebration of design and at the same time the perfect springboard to Finnish and global markets. For you who cannot attend the event yourselves, no worries! We brought our camera along to the scene to share the buzz with you.
Nordic Hysteria’s stand lights up the event with a bunch of design items, such as the flower lamp designed by Inni Pännäinen and the indecisive coat hanger “Eikun” designed by Pentti Hakala. Another brand new product launched at the fair is a chair with an inbuilt sound system that only the person in the chair can hear, creating a disturbance-free music moment. “We use a unique method of manufacturing that makes it possible to bend the veneer in a new way and add elements into the material,” says Ville-Veikko Häkkä, the designer of the chair and founder of the company.
For Formaloft, 1 + 1 = 3! In this simple formula, a window divides one room into three spaces by playing with the see-through effect of the glass. “The window brings something unique to a space and can give structure also to small apartments,” says Elina Aalto (right) who founded the company one year ago together with Sabrina Aimak. For them Habitare is a first step towards international markets.
A cupboard of a few square meters for all your beloved things. This fresh design piece made by Hanni Koroma is a sample of the unique art and furniture found in Lokal gallery and shop. The cupboard is a unique playful “mystery box” that can be opened from all angles – if you figure out how. Lokal is a world renowned company that presents independent Finnish art, design and crafts with the philosophy of bringing forth long term and sustainable design.
A world-first launched at Habitare! Desiot’s Mikko Veikkeli (left) and Lauri Lemmenlehti, see opportunities in the upcoming trend of virtual reality. They believe that the high-tech equipment will become more popular for home use, which will create a need for a completely new type of design. As a first aesthetic addition to this digital development, these guys came up with a rack for virtual reality headsets. “Expensive equipment needs a good rack to sit on,” says Veikkeli. “The environments of virtual reality and the reality we live in create an interesting interface that can be brought to interior decoration.”
This massive trailer has been filled with real rubble from destroyed Syrian homes creating a tangible symbol of homelessness and refugeehood. The contemporary artwork, called Street View (Reassembled), was commissioned by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux and made by artist Anssi Pulkkinen. “The trailer emphasises how people’s homes have travelled to a new place,” says Pulkkinen highlighting the difference to merely just showing the ruins.
Today, physical paper and writing letters can offer a counterbalance to the highly digitalised world. This, together with a love of paper as a material, makes the foundation for Papershop. Their stand at Habitare is crowded with people interested in handpicked Finnish design as well as English products signed ‘London Rifle’. Among the novelties in the selection is a bunch of calendars for the rapidly approaching new year. “At the moment we are also developing our own production so next year we will probably showcase our own products,” says the owner, Anna Fryckman.
MUJIs first ever pop up store in Finland came to Habitare together with its chairman Masaaki Kanai, the international friend of this year’s event. MUJI’s presence at the fair was another reason for one of the biggest Japanese newspapers, Yomiuri, to travel to the event. Their reporter Chikara Shima, attended Habitare through a media tour organised by Finnfacts.
“Nordic furniture and lifestyle is very popular in Japan but people are not that familiar with Finnish lifestyle, so this is an opportunity to showcase that,” says Shima who is also here to conduct interviews with Finnish healthcare companies. “Everything was smoothly organised for me so I’m very thankful.”
Skanno is back at Habitare! This year, displaying a fresh selection of the French brand Ligne Roset which is a perfect mix of Scandinavian style and high fashion. “The design is ascetic but then there is always the standout treats like this red sofa by renowned Bouroullec brothers,” says decorator Maria Hietaranta. Skanno has formed a bridge between international and Finnish design for decades and are attending the fair after a break of many years. “The event has got a real facelift so we decided to join again,” says Hietaranta.
The design deed of the year goes to FRENN! This brand is on a mission to reinvent Finnish menswear and the uniqueness lies in the free style of dressing – FRENN clothes can be worn for both work and leisure. The founders, Jarkko Kallio (left) and Antti Laatinen, believe in dressing that is free from norms and environmental responsibility.
“The award is especially valuable in supporting the company’s development and internationalisation at this juncture, as we’re currently seeking new investors to accelerate our growth,” says CEO Kallio.
Is this the packing area? No, look again! This invention, found in the Block area for young designers, is a reaction to worldwide crises and refugee accommodation. Room dividers, tables and even beds made of cardboard offer a fast and durable variant of living for many people. “Next step is to offer this to organisations such as the Red Cross,” says Samuli Strander, who took part in the project held by the design department at Lahti University of Applied Sciences. “There are cardboard factories all over the world so the global distribution is easy to realise.”
“Finland has valuable raw materials and I want to honour that with tangible pieces of Finland,” says designer Anne-Mari Sundqvist. Her first product, a small fell, was a reaction to the big skin rugs found at the airport which are difficult to transport. Gedigo Piece of Finland has achieved great success abroad and now it is presenting its first piece of furniture in Finland. The geniality of the Odda bench is a design that is easy to assemble at home and that fits in a small package. This is both ecological and convenient when shipping abroad. “I want to create products that can be used for many generations,” Sundqvist says.