Kaj Franck Design Prize 2019: Team / Aivan

Jarkko Jämsén, Minka Koukkunen, Aleksi Kuokka, Antti Mäkelä, Aki Suvanto, Saku Sysiö

The team of six partners at the design agency Aivan has been selected as the recipient of the Kaj Franck Design Prize 2019, granted by Design Forum Finland: Jarkko Jämsén, Minka Koukkunen, Aleksi Kuokka, Antti Mäkelä, Aki Suvanto, and Saku Sysiö. The Kaj Franck Design Prize is one of the most significant design prizes in Finland, and it will be granted for the 28th time this year.

Aivan is a multidisciplinary design agency founded in 2007. In 2010, it shared the Young Designer of the Year award granted by Design Forum Finland with the design community Imu. Aivan’s development from a promising young actor to a company with even international renown is exceptionally strong. Three of Aivan’s four founding members, Jämsén, Mäkelä, and Sysiö, still participate in the operations.

Aivan’s essential areas of business include brand and space design, product design, and strategic design. These often include graphic design, service design, and the development of identities and concepts, and Aivan has expertise in all of these. Customers include Finnish as well as foreign companies small and large.

Aivan’s expertise is related to boat design: its subsidiary Navia Design serves some of the world’s leading boat manufacturers. Navia has offices in Helsinki and Monaco, and its portfolio also includes the executive boat Kultaranta VIII of the President of the Republic of Finland.

The Kaj Franck Design Prize jury was impressed with the team’s comprehensive touch on design. The agency has succeeded in convincing the highest management of companies that change is necessary, and in building several comprehensive brands which have achieved international success. The quality of the design has been seen as uniform and high, and its form as topical, the jury’s reasoning continues. Aivan has formed a design DNA of its own, and the internal design management of the agency is well managed and logical. Marketing has not been very visible, and it seems that work done well has created new opportunities. The agency’s good reputation has carried it onwards and towards growth.

As design takes over new fields and areas, it is wonderful to see that well-implemented comprehensive design, including industrial design which had already been pronounced half-dead, is alive and kicking, the jury states.

The members of the Kaj Franck Design Prize jury of 2019 were CEO Petteri Kolinen / Design Forum Finland, Advocate Pentti Kivinen / Finnish Fair Fondation, CEO Ia Adlercreutz / Co-founders, Vice President, Professor Anna Valtonen / Aalto University, and designer Heikki Orvola.

The Kaj Franck Design Prize brings forth the central spirit and principles of designer Kaj Franck’s (1911–1989) oeuvre: high-quality, democratic and functional design that solves practical challenges and opens up new opportunities for companies excelling in design. A particular merit is if the rewarded designer brings beauty and joy to everyday life and enhances the quality of life. The prize sum is €10,000. The Kaj Franck Design Prize was established in 1992 by Design Forum Finland and it is funded by the Finnish Fair Foundation.

Photo: Paavo Lehtonen

Kaj Franck Design Prize 2019: Team / Aivan
8 November 2019–12 January 2020
Design Museum Gallery, Korkeavuorenkatu 23, Helsinki

In co-operation