December 13, 2018

10 Questions: Antrei Hartikainen

Antrei Hartikainen is the Finnish Young Designer of the Year 2018.

  1. What does your typical day look like?

My typical day is hard to describe because there aren’t too many similar days. Usually my days consist of designing, prototyping, sculpting, developing my works in general, contacts, exhibition planning and all kind of computer tasks.

  1. Why did you decide to express yourself through wood?

Since my youth, I have been very interested in doing things with my hands. My father had a kitchen/woodworking company where I was able to make small works for myself as a hobby. Later on, I had summer jobs there. That maybe led me to a vocational school to study woodworking and from there my path with wood really started.

  1. What do you think are the features that won you the title of Young Designer of the Year?

One of the reasons may be that I move smoothly at the boundary of art and batch production. I have developed my own strong design idiom, which makes my works clear and distinctive. Also my knowledge of materials enables me to utilise the properties of wood inventively, often challenging and searching for boundaries.

  1. Who is your favourite artist?

I do not have favourite artist. I follow and get inspired by those artists and designers who can create something totally with their own style and often are masters of using some specific technique or material.

  1. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Designing and making as such have lot of challenging aspects. Still I would say that getting people to understand the differences between fantastic, good, okay and bad quality is the biggest challenge.

  1. As a master cabinetmaker living in Fiskars village in Finland, how does your Finnish heritage reflect your designs?

I would say that it’s reflected in the authentic materials, nature inspiration and certain kind of humility of my designs.

  1. Which character trait do Finnish designers have in common?

Maybe one thing is that we don’t need to be at the centre of everything, but rather let the works speak for themselves. You don’t often find egocentric designers in Finland.

  1. What is a creative space for you? Where do you feel inspired?

Usually it’s a state of mind or environment where I have a chance to observe and wonder about all the things that I’m surrounded by. I spot interesting shapes and subjects in everything, from nature to architecture and our everyday environment.

  1. What is the one item you would take with you to a deserted island?

Definitely a carving knife.

  1. What would be your professional dream-come-true?

In the long term, it’s to have possibilities to develop and learn new skills all the time in my profession and be surrounded by congenial people to work with.


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