Behind the timeless and multifunctional Arabia products are many talented designers. Part of them belongs to the Arabia Art Department Society which was established in year 2003. The society maintains and nurtures the cultural heritage of the Art Department, which was established in the 1930s in the Arabia factory in Helsinki.
Inkeri Leivo (1944-2010) began her career in Arabia in 1969. Inkeri’s best known designed series is without any doubt the pure and white Arctica. In her unique art works Inkeri was inspired by the nature. Among other prizes she received the Formland -Design Prize in 1988 and State of Finland Award for Industrial Design in 1992.
Pekka Harni's works exhibit his mastery of architecture and industrial design. He has carried out numerous projects in the fields of applied art and architecture. As an industrial designer, he has worked among other things with ceramics (Arabia) and textiles (Marimekko). In 1999, Harni's Nero series was awarded the Design Plus prize at the Frankfurt fair.
Kaj Franck (1911-1989) had a strong social conscience that was aroused particularly during the war. He was interested in mass production and the possibilities of technology to produce diverse practical objects at a reasonable price. This can be seen in, for example, the Iittala Teema and Kartio series.
Pekka Paikkari (b. 1960) has worked for Arabia since 1983 as a product designer and artist. His work for Arabia includes numerous unique sculptures and installations inspired by their materials. Pekka Paikkari is a member of the Art Department Society. Pekka Paikkari has given the form to some of the Arabia Lysti items and the Factory visit mug.
Tapio Yli-Viikari (b. 1948) worked as the Director of the Arabia Art and Product Design Department before his transfer to management of the Department of Ceramics and Glass at the University of Art and Design Helsinki UIAH in 1987. Yli-Viikari says he has removed all excess from the oven dishes. Appropriateness is beauty.
Heini Riitahuhta (1975) graduated from the ceramics and glass department of the University of Art and Design in 2002. Today Heini works in the Arabia Art Department. She has received among others the Honorable mention in Mino, Japan. Heini Riitahuhta has joined Arabia Art Department’s exhibitions in Japan and Denmark.
Kati Tuominen-Niittylä (1947) began working in Arabia in 1980. Her minimalistic and timeless language of forms appears in several serial unique art works and objects for serial production as Koko together with Kristina Riska. Kati Tuominen-Niittylä has received among others the Grand Prix, honorary mention and the Gold Medal in Mino, Japan.
Tove and Lars Jansson's original drawings have been transferred to Arabia's Moomin products thanks to Tove Slotte-Elevant. She has completed the drawings that were limited by cartoon frames, added the measurements to suit mugs, plates and bowls.
HELORINNE & KALLIO
Designers Harri Helorinne (b. 1971) and Jarkko Kallio (b. 1970) look into the future and design desirable ranges of products and looks that provide long-term joy in everyday use. Helorinne & Kallio have been awarded a Fennia Prize commendation in Finland and the international Red Dot Award in Germany.
Markku Salo (1954) is a bold and experimental glass artist. His glass works in serial production are characterized by disciplined functionality, unembellished beauty, and designs that work from a production standpoint. The Georg Jensen award in 1990 and the State Industrial Arts Award in 1989 are examples of the recognition he has received.
Kristina Riska (1960) worked in Arabia for the first time in 1984. She has concentrated on creating unique ceramics works but has also designed some objects for serial production as the Koko series together with Kati Tuominen-Niittylä. Kristina Riska has received among others the Suomi (Finland )-Prize in 1995, the Medaglia D’oro, Faenza, Italia and in 2002 the Silver Medal in Mino, Japan.
Professor Heikki Orvola (1943) has worked in the Arabia Art Department since 1987. He has specialized in industrial serial production and has designed many popular series such as Moreeni, Illusia, 24h and Lumi. Orvola has received several respected prizes such as the Kaj Franck Design Prize, Pro Finland Medal and Design Plus Award. He received the title of professor in 2002.
Professor Heljä Liukko-Sundström (1938) knows every secret there is about ceramics. She came to the Arabia Industrial Art Department in 1962 and continued to the Arabia Art Department in 1967. Among prizes she has received is the Finnish State Prize for Children’s Culture, Gold Medal in Italy, Gualdo Tadino and Pro Finlandia -medal. She received the honorary title of professor in 1994.
Nathalie Lahdenmäki (b. 1974) graduated with an M.A. in art from the Department of Ceramics and Glass of the University of Art and Design Helsinki UIAH. She is both a Finnish and French national. She works as a researcher and teacher at her Alma Mater. She was awarded the Design Plus prize for her Fire series in Germany in 2002.
Professor Birger Kaipiainen (1915-88) was one of Finland’s best-known ceramic artists. He spent most of his 50-year career creating unique art ceramics in Arabia’s art department. Kaipiainen’s colour-saturated, lush yet refined art inspired his contemporaries to call him "the prince of ceramics" and "the king of decorators". Kaipiainen received the honorary title of Professor in 1977.
Fujiwo Ishimoto (1941) who was born in Japan has created unique ceramics art works in the Arabia Art Department since 1989. Ishimoto’s works are inspired by the surrounding nature. Ishimoto has received among other prizes the State Industrial Arts Prize, Kaj Franck Design Prize and Honorable mention at Finland Designs exhibition in 1983, 1989 and 1993.
Piia Keto has a strong, unique and distinctive style. Keto is a clothing artisan from the Lahti Crafts and Design College and a Master of Arts in Textile Art from the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Keto is one of two founders of the Kaksitvå clothing brand. She designs clothes, accessories, tableware (Piilopaikka) and interior design items.
Pattern Bakery's design trio, Minttu Wikberg, Miia Pöytälaakso and Salla Kangasniemi, have their roots in the University of Arts and Design Helsinki where they studied commercial surface design together. Pattern Bakery is best-known for the illustrations and patterns it has produced for interior design, fashion and the paper industry.
Pentagon Design (founded by Arni Aromaa and Sauli Suomela) is an industrial design company whose methods are based on combining rational and passionate approaches. For Arabia Pentagon Design has designed new parts to the popular Arctica series. The agency has received among others iF Product Design, red dot, Design Plus and the Industrial Designethe State Prize for Design.
Miira Zukale a 2007 graduate of textile design from the University of Arts and Design Helsinki works as a freelance designer and specialises in creating patterns and decorations. Miira is particularly inspired by nature; in the artist's own words, city nature is close to her heart. She likes to use colours in her work and chooses colours by feelings, not by trends.
Dutch artist Vincent Bakkum (b. 1962) is a self-taught artist and known as a romantic aesthete. His strong sense of beauty finds expression in richly coloured, sensitive works of art which often depict female figures or birds. Bakkum has held numerous exhibitions in Finland, Paris, London and beyond.