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Design Forum Newsletter

December 2017


Design Forum Finland / The Finnish Society of Crafts and Design wanted to celebrate the centenary year of Finland's independence and gave out the Estlander Medal, named after the Society's founder, Carl-Gustaf Estlander. The receiver was Professor Yrjö Sotamaa, former Rector of the University of Art and Design Helsinki and reformer of design education and research. With the choice, the Society wishes to emphasize Sotamaa's contribution to raising new generations of designers. Design has been strongly involved in building the Finnish society and will have a significant role in the future, too. Yrjö Sotamaa has brought new modes of thinking and forms of cooperation into design education, and under his rectorship the University, presently part of the Aalto University, rose to the summit of the world's design schools.

Photo: Pentti Sammallahti

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On 10 December 2017, Design Forum celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. It was originally founded as an information and exhibition centre of industrial design, the founders being the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design, the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo, the State of Finland, and industrial companies. Over the years, Design Forum has, apart from changing its name to Design Forum Finland, developed into a significant operator in the field of Finnish design, focusing today in enhancing the use of design as a strategic tool in companies and organizations.

Image: the cover of the first Design Forum bulletin 1988


Pitti Uomo, arranged yearly in Florence, Italy, is the most important event of male fashion in the world. The success of Finnish fashion designers, especially students of the Aalto University, has aroused attention, and so Uomo Pitti selected Finland as its Guest Nation in 2018. The event next January will showcase eight Finnish brands: Rolf Ekroth, Teemu Muurimäki's Formal Friday, Ikla Wright x Turo, Mannisto, Maria Korkeila x R-Collection, Nomen Nescio, Janne Lax's Saint Vacant, and Vyner Articles by Heikki Salonen, the receiver of the Young Designer of the Year Prize of Design Forum Finland in 2011. Frenn and Makia are participating with their own stands at the fair.

Photo: Vyner Articles, photographer Chris Vidal Tenomaa, styling Tuomas Laitinen, model Kerkko Sariola for Nisch Management


Cellulose-based bio materials of the future and corresponding technologies are actively being developed in Finland. Wood fibre and cellulose are yet underused raw materials, and new ways of usage for them are widely searched. One of these projects is Design Driven Value Chains in the World of Cellulose (DWoC), a multidisciplinary collaboration project funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, combining design thinking with technological innovations. The third seminar Designing Cellulose for the Future III will be arranged in Helsinki 9–10 January 2018.


Design Forum Finland / The Finnish Society of Crafts and Design wishes its partners and friends a very merry Christmas and successful New Year!