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Laura Väinölä

Young Designer of the Year 2016

Laura Väinölä, you have been selected as the winner of the Young Designer of the Year prize in 2016. Tell about your work!
I find that I have personally shaped my work into what it is now. I trust my intuition and can make quick decisions if they feel right. The versatility of my work keeps me in continuous motion. Sometimes I feel I'm a role player because my work is changing so much. For some persons I'm a graphic designer, for others a flower girl. One day I'm concepting some largish event, another day considering details. In most cases the client trusts me wholly, which brings out the best results.

What inspires you?
Art, conversations, people, fashion, history, dreams, fairytales, anything and everything, keeping my eyes and ears open, being sensitive. Ideas are quite often born by mixing differing things, with different people or out of demand. As an example, Flora & Laura and Elsa Eventful were both born out of demand as services such as those were not available.

When do you feel you have succeeded in your work?
The feeling of success can be generated by conquering oneself, concretizing an idea in a planned way. Some unexpected turn that makes the end result more interesting than before. When I can work with people I value. When I'm arousing discussion. When I'm invoking feelings. When I'm creating something new. When I'm questioning something prevailing. By bringing joy.

What is important in design?
It is important to find a shape or form which suits the end-user and for whose existence there is a reason. For example the Pre Helsinki concept is there for the designers and it is designed after their wishes. Creativity means, among other things, finding new modes of operation and not being content with existing solutions. That's why it is important that a service / product is redesignable if it doesn't work in the desired way.

What is your greatest dream in your work?
To maintain freedom of doing and an open mind.

What is it like to be young designer in the 2000s?
Free, privileged and lots of work.

What would you do if you were not a designer?
I would study people.

What inspires you just now?
My problem is that I'm always interested in too many things at the same time. But just now I'm mostly interested in everything that concerns the "normal" life – things that I have not been able to enjoy lately.

What next?
To the world.

Photo: Osma Harvilahti