Iittala’s Fireplace and Arabia’s Oma among the top entries in the Fennia Prize design competition
Iittala’s unique Fireplace, designed by Ilkka Suppanen won one of this year’s Fennia Prizes, and the Oma range of tableware, designed by Harri Koskinen for Arabia, received an honorary mention at the awards ceremony held on February 19. Fiskars Brands Finland also received an honorary mention for its PowerStep pruners. The Fennia Prize – Good Design Grows Global design competition is organised by Design Forum Finland and is open to companies producing design products or that highlight the importance of good design in their operations.
The Fennia Prize Grand Prix, valued at €15,000, went to Genelec Oy for the Genelec 5040A subwoofer designed by Harri Koskinen. The other recipients of a Fennia Prize, in addition to Iittala, were Metso Automation Oy, Saas Instruments, and Polar Electro Oy.
A total of 16 companies were awarded honorary mentions for 18 products or product concepts. In addition to Arabia and Fiskars, these were: Kaipaus Finland Oy, Halti Oy, Isku Koti Oy, KONE Oyj, Nokia Corporation, Pedro Oy, Planmed Oy, Planmeca Oy (two mentions), Oras Oy, Pukkila Oy Ab, Realfina Oy, Rocla Oyj (two mentions), Rolls Royce Oy Ab, and Vivero Oy.
The jury included Antti Kuljukka, CEO of the Fennia Group, who acted as Chairman, CEO Deborah Dawton of the Design Business Association, Mikko Kalhama, CEO of Design Forum Finland, Katri Lehtonen, Senior Officer at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Jorma Pitkonen, Design Director of ED-design, Hannu Leinonen, Editor-in-Chief of business daily Kauppalehti, Janica Ylikarjula, Senior Adviser at the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, and Janne Viemerö, Senior Technology Adviser at Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. In addition to a high standard of design, the jury prioritised usability, environmental and social responsibility, and business impact.
Fireplace – bringing the camp fire inside
Iittala’s winning product, the innovative Fireplace table fireplace designed by architect Ilkka Suppanen, has attracted extensive international attention. Suppanen designed this modern take on the traditional camp fire using heat-resistant glass and metal with a flame fuelled by ethanol to create a focal point for people to gather around to tell stories or to relax alone with. The clean lines and form of the piece reflects Suppanen’s architectural background.
“Today’s televisions often play a similar role to that of the fires of the past, bringing people together to tell their stories and listen to those of others. I took this idea of the fire as an archetypical phenomenon as my starting-point – and ended up designing something with a very minimalist form of its own.
“The piece is very neutral until the flame is lit, only then does it come alive and take its place in a space and capture people’s attention.”
Oma – a range for all occasions
Arabia’s Oma range of tableware combines a traditionally large number of different plates and glasses with new items – and includes ceramics, glassware, an oak serving tray, and a large aluminium bowl. Although four different materials are used, all the pieces share the same distinctive design, and the low-key colour palette reflects the range’s generally minimalist approach. The range is intended for today’s more demanding consumers, who are looking for a touch of luxury and quality in tableware that is ideal for things like sushi and tapas, whether for everyday use or special occasions. The range reflects both the Scandinavian design tradition and Arabia’s own heritage based around combining artistic vision and practicality.
More information: www.designforum.fi