We speak to Finnish designer Elina Aalto, who runs design office Aalto + Aalto and curates Habitare: The Block, an exhibition showcasing works by young designers in Finland.
Tell us about Finnish design.
It’s in our DNA. Finnish designers like to boil concepts down to the essentials; there’s an idea, but its execution isn’t flashy. On the other hand, our tactile industry is more adventurous with prints and colour. In Marimekko, for instance, the world is very vibrant. Finland gets dark and colourless during winter, so it’s necessary to get that dose of colour from something!
You work with many young designers. What have they taught you?
That you have to make things happen for yourself! The designers are very active in contacting manufacturers, in and out of Finland. This is not my strong point (laughs).
What is your advice to them?
There is an overflow of products in the world, so ensure that your designs are relevant by thinking about the life cycle of the product and its materials. It has to be long-lasting, and not contribute to the waste.
What is your trend prediction for 2018?
I think we might be revisiting the Memphis trend of the 80s, though in a slightly different and low-key tone.
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