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Fennia Prize 2005

The results of the Fennia Prize 2005 were announced 20 January 2005. The winner and the awarded companies were on show in the Fennia Prize exhibition at Design Forum Finland 21 January–20 February 2005.


Fennia Prize 2005

AXIOM range of playground products
Lappset Group Oy

Design: Hannu Ylinenpää, Marjo Naukkarinen, Esa Junttila 2003–2004

The AXIOM range of playground products takes as its starting point the needs of children in an urban milieu. The carefully studied and internationally tested products provide a high-quality playing environment of impulses and stimuli, merging the child’s world of imagination with the real built environment. Play helps children learn the motor, cognitive and social skills needed in today’s rapidly changing world.

AXIOM products are based on distinct, simple forms. Their geometric shapes relate to the modern built environment. While acquiring a knowledge of basic forms shapes, children will also learn motor skills, body control and how to solve problems. The materials, wood and aluminium, relate to a wide range of sensory perception. The colourful visual parts create contrasts between different shapes. They teach children to perceive space and their own movement, which increases safety. At the same time, the colours associate the playground with the constructed park environment. The main focus was on the needs of over-six-year olds to climb, slide and hang from bars. The equipment can be used for individual or group practice of a wide range of activities and social skills.

AXIOM products are a good example of how innovative yet researched design can help create a safe, educational and motivating growth environment with stimuli and impulses for children. The timeless, streamlined, high-quality design also shows that the needs of the target group are recognized as important and challenging. The products are well-finished, of high-standard, durable and safe. The various parts and components are easily assembled into different combinations and they are easy to care for.

The AXIOM family of products was recognized for its commendable use of design for educational purposes. The high-quality, modern range of products is also excellently suited to contemporary architecture and the urban environment. Known as a manufacturer of wooden play equipment, Lappset has boldly set out to develop a new range of products in response to the challenges of a changing society – also in the international market.

The Lappset Group is a major European manufacturer of playground equipment. Its products include sports ground equipment and furniture for yards and parks. Product design also takes into account children with impaired eyesight and motor functions. The firm’s product development work is based on design, research concerning development and learning in children, and a thorough knowledge of the needs of clients.


Fennia Prize 2005 Honorary Mentions

Flakes chair
Arvo Piiroinen Oy

Design: SHLDesign, Arkitekterne maa Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen K/S 2004

The Flakes chair was created in the spring of 2004 for the Århus Art Museum in Denmark. It was designed by the renowned Danish architectural firm of Arkitekterne maa Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen K/S and the Finnish manufacturer, Arvo Piiroinen Oy, was responsible for the product-development work.

This stackable chair of translucent fibreglass has a light feel to it. The fragility of the material, however, is only a positive illusion, for the chair is made of durable materials for long-term use. The seat is of fibreglass and the frame is of steel tubing. Ecological considerations have been taken into account: the fibreglass and metal parts can be recycled at the end of the chair’s use-life. An innovation is the addition of a decorative motif. The manufacturing technology makes it possible to embed fabric, logos, flowers and other features into the seat. The surface has the appearance of textile, providing new opportunities for interior decorators. The chair is easy to care for in use, while being expressive in an individual manner, or even playful or distinguished. Three fresh Marimekko patterns were chosen for production, Joonas (Maija Isola, 1960), Tuuli (Maija Isola, 1972) and Mojave (Erja Hirvi, 2002). A larger selection of fabrics is available on order.

The jury commented positively on perceptive product development making use of Marimekko’s textile and pattern expertise and its status as an internationally noted brand. In addition to its technical innovations, the Flakes chair was praised by the jury for its bold marketing concept. Solid Finnish skills in making furniture and a strong textile brand were combined with a Danish language of form. The result is a boldly different Scandinavian product concept offering new opportunities for interior design, international collaboration and marketing.

The Flakes chair belongs to the range of products made by Arvi Piiroinen Oy (founded 1949), a multi-branch company known for its high-quality surface treatment of metal and the manufacturing of metal components. Its clientele include the electronics and furniture industries. Piiroinen is also a leading manufacturer of furniture for public facilities.


Woodpecker rocking all-purpose chair
Colmio Oy

Design: Päivi Mikola 2003–2004

Woodpecker is a rocking all-purpose chair, and a new expression and modern alternative of a traditional furniture item. Owing to its compact form, it requires as little space as an ordinary chair. It is easy to move or vacuum around Woodpecker as there are no protruding runners. The sculpturally modern armrest is mainly needed for rising from the chair or for attaching a separate small table. Its exceptional form permits the users shoulders to descend freely, providing a relaxed yet upright position.

Woodpecker is of simple and distinct appearance, representing the best of Scandinavian woodworking and design skills. It classically simplified language of form makes it suited to a wide range of different interiors. The upholstery and finish of the birch-frame seat and backrest can be changed. Woodpecker functions excellently on its own or in groups: as a chair for a dining table or a desk, in waiting rooms, or as the only chair in a student’s apartment. The design takes note of the needs of both young and elderly users. In public facilities, negotiations and meetings, the relaxed seated position arouses positive reactions.

The jury noted that Woodpecker represents new, challenging design taking into account changes in the lifespan of contemporary people. The business concept of the Colmio company of Oulu was boldly based on Woodpecker. Breaking down the traditional model and use of the rocking chair, this product is becoming the focus of a whole new family of interior design products. The shared features of Colmio furniture are movement, simplicity of form and the conservation of space. Challenging and insightful starting points for modern furniture design.

Woodpecker is made in Finland by the time-honoured Korhonen factory, widely noted for professional skill and high technical quality. Woodpecker has become popular in Japan, among other countries. The Japanese firm of Takumi Kohgei, representing the pinnacle of craftsmanship, has taken Woodpecker into production.


Universal Convenience Cutter
Fiskars Brands Finland Oy Ab

Design: Olavi Lindén ja Markus Paloheimo 2004

For many years, Fiskars has invested effort in developing high-quality gardening tools under the direction of prize-winning chief designer Olavi Lindén. This time a solution was sought that would be more efficient than traditional pruners and loppers. The new multi-purpose pruners have a larger working area  than traditional pruners and are easier to use in limited space than bulky loppers. The ease of working and the adaptability of the tool were particularly noted in tests. The new multi-purpose tools can be used with one hand, while using both hands is ergonomically lighter. By changing the position of the hands, precision can be improved or the user can reach deeper or higher into bushes or the branches of trees.

Innovative features are the Power Gear mechanism and the small blades. The gear mechanism is designed to increase cutting power. The solid blade easily snips old branches and extra growth. The beak-shaped blade is of PTFE-coated stainless steel. The handles are of durable, water and UV-resistant fibreglass-reinforced polyamide. The new pruners are easy to care for and they have a long use-life. Product development also took into account packaging to conserve materials. The pruners are packaged to be hung in shops from a minimum-sized plastic holder and piece of cardboard protecting the blade. The pruners come in two sizes: a shorter model measuring 400 mm and a longer, 630 mm model.

The jury described the multipurpose pruners as honest, enduring basic design with opportunities in a large international market.

Founded in 1649, Fiskars is an international group of companies operating in 20 countries. It is known not only for its world-famous orange-handled scissors but also for its axes and gardening tools.


Oka A, ceiling-hung rack and Oka B, standing coat rack
Inno-Tuote Oy

Design: Valvomo, Teppo Asikainen 2004

Designing a coat rack present a challenging problem-solving task. The rack should not require too much space; it should blend with its surroundings and even be unobtrusive, but it should still have the right aesthetic touch. The ceiling-hung Oka A rack and the Oka B standing coat rack are suited to many kinds of use and different types of space. The hanging rack presents a new solution; it can be hung from the ceiling with a steel wire. The necessary attachments are made with screws or ceiling rails. The height of the rack can be adjusted and it requires a minimum of space. Cleaning is easy as it doesn’t take up any floor space. The rack turns and moves sideways for maximum storage.

The Oka A hanging rack is made of chrome-plated steel. Its “thorns” or hooks are of flexible, durable and light polyurethane. The hooks of the standing rack are of the same material and the frame is of epoxy-coated steel. Different models and colours of the elegant coat racks make them suited to different types of space. The bold lime or orange of the hooks expresses youthfulness and a retro style, while grey is suited demanding interior design.

The suspended coat rack was praised by the jury for its new innovative design. While employing a youthful and bold language of form, the coat racks are nonetheless suited to a variety of location. The concept will be developed further; Inno is already working on new modifications.

Founded in 1975, Inno has become an appreciated manufacturer of design furniture and interior items.


Element, partition collection
Isku Interior Oy

Design: Tapio Anttila 2003

The Element partition collection takes as its starting point the needs of adaptable office space. The desk partition (40 cm high x 80 cm wide) is attached to the top or the edge of the desk with an aluminium cleat. Fixed partitions (height 126 or 164 cm, width 50 or 80 cm) and movable partitions are available in glass and upholstered finish. They can be arranged with various types of corner posts, or specially made posts with electrical wiring can be used for providing power to the work station. The flanged legs provide support, and the level adjustments can be made with the aluminium bottom profiles of the partitions. The electrical wiring posts provide easy computer connections. The AV partitions can be used for projecting images or they can be drawn on with felt pens.

The design of the partitions is as simple and restrained as possible, making the products suited to highly different types of interiors and spatial design. All parts are of the same construction, with an aluminium profile as the shared element. The fixed and table models are made of glass and with upholstered finish, the moveable partitions (height 120 cm) are only of glass. Safety glass is used, providing a factory safety when moving the partitions.

The partition series was commended by the jury for its adaptability and wide range of use. A positive feature was that it was made of simplest possible parts. Light, translucent construction, without a framework surround leaves the space open. The use of simple and subdued materials, safety glass and anodized aluminium, introduces the feeling of exterior architecture to the interior. Easily assembled from supplied parts, this series of products also has possibilities in the export  sector.

Isku Oy is known as a traditional furniture manufacturer in Finland, having designed, produced and marketed furniture for schools, homes and public buildings in the Nordic countries for the past 75 years. Over the past decades, Isku has established itself in the Russian and Baltic markets, among other areas. Isku Interior Oy is the company’s unit concentrating on furniture for public space.


Lempivaate, garment concept
Nanso Oy

Design: Paola Suhonen, Mirkku Kullberg, Leena Virtanen, Nina Pirhonen 2002–2004

People generally wish to express their own personality and values in dress. Contemporary fashion design increasingly seeks to emphasize not only aesthetic aspects but also traditional ethical values, nationality and history. Known for its tricot products, the Nanso company began to construct a new identity relying on its traditional strong points, the firm’s long history and family background, which it sought to pass on to established clients and young consumers alike.

In the Lempivaate (Favourite garment) concept design was embedded in business operations in a new brand-building process. Nanso’s traditional values of reliability, quality, Scandinavian design and a relaxed, informal product philosophy were expressed with the fresh idiom of young designers. The products of the new collection offer consumers narratives in a modern retro spirit, ranging from Paola Suhonen’s lively and familiar retro world and delicate new prints to Nina Pirhonen’s wallpaper-like feminine motifs. The names of the products exude recent history, the Finnish experience and national values: the Suomi collection, Lotto, Suomi-Filmi (a domestic film company of the past), Trees and Blueberry. 

The jury noted how the strength of the Lempivaate concept lay above all in a total concept. In its new brand concept, Nanso has successfully combined tradition – quality and solid textile expertise – with marketing, modern Scandinavian design skills and technical product development. Responding to the spirit of the times, the brand and the range of products have good opportunities to expand into exports and the international market.

Nanso was established at Nokia in 1921. From its inception, the factory had a dyeing plant and produced underwear. Tricot products were introduced in the 1930s. Nanso has its own facilities for knitted products, dyeing and printing fabrics. Environmentally friendly technology is used in dyeing.


Nokia Fashion Collection, 7260, 7270, 7280
Nokia Plc

Design: Nokia Design Team; Tanja Fisher, Sjunjiro Eguchi, Sami Viitasaari, Tej Chauhan 2004

New technological applications and innovations continuously appear in the mobile communication market. But how does a product forge a distinct identity, when the same applications are offered within a short time by almost all manufacturers? In its new models, Nokia is boldly committed to design and the concept of the product family. The mobile phones of Nokia’s new Fashion Collection combine Art Deco inspiration with the latest trends from the catwalks of Paris and Milan. The new range of products emphasizes the strong colours of the glamourous Art Deco era, with designs and geometric motifs corresponding to the shape of the phone. The collection of three mobile phones is suited to a wide range of uses, from everyday life to special occasions. The jury particularly noted that this was the first time that a range of mobile phones with a uniform identity and background has been introduced on the market.

An innovation of the Nokia 7280 is the lack of a traditional keypad. Calls are answered by sliding the phone open with a light movement of the finger. Important technological features are a VGA camera and a wide range of data transfer opportunities (image, sound, music, video clips etc.) via the Nokia Collector application. The Nokia 7270 is made of stainless steel with etched designs. In addition to a camera, this model includes a stereo radio and push to talk, among other features. The Nokia 7260, in turn, is distinguished by its materials, graphic design and colours. Here, too, the colours point to the Art Deco of the 1920s, while the finely finished details of chrome and steel reflect contemporary industrial design. The uniform identity of the product family is underscored with features such as compatible carrying straps and covers.

As a whole, the Nokia Fashion family of mobile phones is an integrated concept employing an elegant international language of form that will no doubt appeal to demanding consumers. By boldly investing in design, Nokia demonstrates how design, along with technological innovation, provides an important competitive edge in both Finland and the international market.

Nokia is a leading company of the wireless communication sector operating in the international market. It has concentrated on mobile telephones, visual communications, game and media applications and solutions for operators and companies, among other products.


AXN 300 and AXN 500, outdoor computers
Polar Electro Oy

Design: Olli Komulainen, Lauri Lumme 2003–2004

The outdoor computers of the Polar AXN series have been developed for various outdoor sports for both professional and amateur use. Especially designed for snow sports, the Polar AXN300 outdoor computer can be used to analyse and measure downhill runs, slope speed downhill and uphill, changing weather conditions and personal energy consumption. The stainless-steel AXN500 is a wrist-held computer especially designed for hiking and trekking. It permits the user to keep track of personal progress, energy level, fluid balance and direction, and to take into account changing weather conditions.

Both models have numerous measurement functions as standard features. An altimeter records current elevation, the graphic elevation trend and the speed ascent or descent. It can also be used for establishing location on a map. A barometer keeps track of changes in the weather with readings or air pressure and temperature. The Polar Fitness Test™ uses a heart-rate monitor to define the user’s aerobic level of fitness (cardiac and circulatory organs) in approximately five minutes in a state of rest. In addition the AXN500 contains a compass for navigation and orientation. Data can be transferred wirelessly to PC’s or compatible Nokia mobile devices with the Polar WearLink belt transmitter. The modern and sportive design of the AXN series represents Polar’s product-development work of recent years: rounded forms, distinct displays and graphic design, an integrated wristband and other features are combined with the latest information technology. High-standard, durable materials, including titanium, are used. New aspects of product development are to be found in details and materials that have become increasingly lighter with no compromises in terms of quality.

The jury particularly noted that as a market leader, Polar has in recent years been a good example of a company with the insight of employing design skills in its business operations.

Founded in 1977, Polar Electro Oy develops, manufactures and markets sporting instruments and heart-rate monitoring technology. The company’s head office and productdevelopment unit are at Kempele, and it has operations in over 50 countries world-wide.


Electric Reach Truck
Rocla Plc

Design: Rocla Product Development 2000–2003

Warehousing is demanding work, with considerable requirements of quality and durability on equipment. Rocla Plc’s new-generation mast truck is designed for handling heavy pallets. Product development took into account the special requirements of the United States, the target country for the products. These included working in a standing position.

The range of products includes many technological innovations and a new ease of use. Owing to new AC and control technology, the trucks are light to steer and the need for service has essentially decreased. The performance and capacity of the truck correspond to internal-combustion engine technologies, with the lack of exhaust fumes. The electric motor is quiet; individual movements and the changing of direction are fast, but safe. The mast lifts items up to a height of over 10 metres, and loading capacity varies according to model from 1,200 to 2,000 kilograms. The easily used and ergonomic joystick permits the control of three functions simultaneously: driving, lifting and an optional additional function. The distinct interactive display gives the direction of travel, speed, battery capacity and other information. Display symbols warn of any sudden malfunctions. Owing to its long service interval, the truck can be used almost round the clock.

Product development has commendably focused on ease of use and safety. The truck is optimized for space, and working in different positions produces the least possible strain on the user. There is unobstructed visibility and the clearly marked control panel is ergonomically placed. The light joystick has rounded resting position for the palm of the user’s hand. The corners of the truck are rounded and it is of overall compact design. The truck range developed by Rocla for the US market, was commended by the jury for its usability and ergonomically simplified design.

Founded in 1942, Rocla is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of warehouse trucks and forklifts and a global leader in automated truck systems.


Procap, helmet for respiratory protection
Scott Health & Safety Oy

Design: Jyrki Järvinen, Esko Jalkanen, Severi Uusitalo (Scott Health & Safety Oy), Juha Kinnunen (JK Projektio Oy), Ville Nenonen (Muotoilutoimisto 5D) 2004

Working safety is a major challenge in product development. Regulations are continually changing as the result of research, and information technology and innovations have made it possible to improve safety and ergonomic properties. The Procap helmet is designed for demanding work, such as welding, quarrying, construction and handling noxious chemicals. The helmet contains many innovations in safety and ergonomics.

The design is compact and ergonomic and the helmet does not require much space. The strong polyamide shell withstands impact and heat. Procap is balanced and solid, yet lightweight, with its centre of gravity designed to avoid strain on the neck. It has a removable face seal and the diameter and height of the helmet can be adjusted. The visor is attached a rail mechanism making it easy to move. A breathing hose is attached with a push and lock balljoint connector. The air duct filters respiration air evenly and prevents the visor from fogging.

Procap offers optimum safety and ease of use. Efficient ear protection keeps noise levels low. The helmet’s patented parallel rail mechanism permits the attachment of both a welding visor and protection for the wearer’s face. The helmet requires little space and is easy to care for. The jury commended the compact, safety-oriented design. Ergonomic considerations and ease of use were taken into account from various perspectives, resulting in high-quality, safe working gear that is easy to use even in demanding conditions.

Protective masks began to be made by NBC Depot of Defence Forces in Vaasa in 1939. Scott Health and Safety, which carries on the traditions of the firm, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of respiratory protection systems.


Suunto D9, dive computer
Suunto Oy

Design: Suunto design team, Mikko Ahlström 2003–2004

Diving usually requires the simultaneous control of different meters and gauges. The Suunto company’s wrist-sized D9 diving computer is the first device of its kind to combine the information required by the diver, such as a compass and an airtank pressure gauge.

The D9 compass, which can also be used on dry land, employs a graphic compass rose and gives a precise bearing in degrees. The wireless tank-pressure gauge permits the diver to monitor breathing-air use directly from his or her wrist display. The remaining air-tank pressure is given both graphically and numerically. At the same time, the diver can read the depth down to 200 metres. An integrated log displays not only the basic information but also a graphic diving profile permitting the use to analyse the course of the dive, along with the water temperature and remaining breathing air. The Suunto D9 includes a USB-PC connection for transferring the depth profiles to the Suunto Dive Manager 2.0 program.

Ergonomic properties have been particularly taken into account in the design. The device automatically monitors the dive, letting the user concentrate on the actual event. The large display permits observation even in difficult circumstances. The lightweight titanium shell, weighing only 110 grams, contains the latest technological applications. The reliability and high quality of this product are also important aspects for the safety of the user. In addition to its technical innovation, the Suunto D9 was commended by the jury for its user-friendliness and highquality design.

Suunto is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports instruments. Suunto products making use of advanced measurement technology and PC’s include diving computers, wrist computers, land and sea compasses and other precision measurement devices.


Finnpipette Novus, electronic pipette
Thermo Electron Oy

Design: Juha Telimaa, Mikael Lind (Thermo Electron Oy), Heikki Salo, Marko Ståhlstedt (Ed-design Ltd) 2004

Laboratory work includes many repeated stages calling for a steady hand and tools and equipment of proper ergonomic properties and usability. The Finnpipette Novus electronic pipette is primarily designed for the precise dosage of small amounts of fluid in laboratory conditions. Product development was carried out on the basis of ergonomic testing and feedback from clients and users.

The lightweight pipette has ten different functions and nine different dosage speeds. It is extremely easy to program and use, with a distinct and simple menu and graphic display. The battery takes less than one hour to recharge and the pipette is immediately ready for use. Calibration and other service functions have been kept as simple as possible. Ergonomically, the device takes into account the correct anatomy of the hand and its movements – also for left-handed users. The position can be changed and the keys are light to use, thus avoiding strain on the fingers.

The design is commendably user-friendly with easily performed functions. Optimum ergonomic properties were achieved. A finger support rotating 120 degrees permits the user to adjust the pipette to personal requirements. The fingers can also be rested during used. The surprisingly light pipette is compact and sturdy in use. The Finnpipette Novus is the lightest instrument of its kind on the market, which provides a distinct competitive edge in exports.

The multi-national Thermo Electron Corporation is a world-wide market leader in research equipment. Originally founded in the USA, the Thermo Electron Corporation has a total of some 10,000 employees in thirty countries.


iCare, intra-ocular pressure measurement device
Tiolat Oy

Design: Antti Kontiola, Rolf Fryckmann (Tiolat Oy), Hannu Kähönen, Jukka Mikkonen, Antti Raudaskoski, Anne-Mari Tornberg (Creadesign Oy), Mariachi Oy, Alphaform RPI Oy 2003

iCare is a new method for measuring intra-ocular pressure, and the result of a decade of development work by MD Antti Kontiola. The design and realization of the method and its equipment have involved a number of partners, including the Helsinki University Eye Clinic in the clinical testing, and the Mount Sinai Medical School in developing the veterinary modification of the instrument. Owing to its unique and carefully studied and tested measurement technique, local anaesthesia is not required. An ultra light, sensitive probe touches the eye for a moment, and does not cause, for example, the corneal reflex (blinking). The disposable probe is also safe for the eye in microbiological terms. The accurate measurement device is primarily intended for professional use by general practitioners, opticians, nurses etc., but it can also be used in self-care.

It is the only portable device of its kind that does not require anaesthesia. Compact and easy to use, it is suited to the investigation of patients such as children. Made of durable plastic and anodized aluminium, the device is light and small. Comfort and ease of use in different positions have been taken into account. The device employs an electromagnetic field, and the disposable probe is easy to change. It is also sturdy and the possible movement of the patient during investigation will not affect it.

A new and recognizable identity was created for this exceptional measurement device, with durable, streamlined design underlining its innovative nature. The appearance of the device expresses safety and reliability and will no intimidate patients. The jury commended the iCare tonometer not only for being an important product innovation but also for its perceptive and userfriendly design.

Creadesign Oy was the responsible partner taking care of total design in the project. This unique invention has a broad international market, and the product will be an important export item. Tiolat Oy is a private Finnish company specializing in intraocular pressure measurement technology.