• Discussion

Design Diplomacy 2019: Slovakia

Sep 11, Wed 14:00-16:00
Event type
Registered Only
Accessibility for all

The residence of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic was designed in the early days of the Garden City Movement in Kulosaari in 1907 by the renowned architect Oscar Bomanson. He first built the villa for himself, but the villa passed through many owners in the following decades. In 1952 and 1975, it was completely reconstructed and gained a white look in a functionalist style, as it has remained until today.

The Design Diplomacy discussion at the Slovak residence will be between designers Zuzana Gombošová and Outi Korpilaakso.

Zuzana is the designer of Malai. Malai is a biocomposite material that aims to substitute for leather in some of its applications and has outstanding environmental credentials. Malai started in 2015 when she moved to Mumbai, India, where she was invited to work on a project initiated by one of India’s largest manufacturing companies G&B, which focused on industrial waste materials research. She and her current business partner Susmith initiated work on project Malai, which focused on developing commercially usable materials based on bacterial cellulose grown on coconut water waste. This project evolved into a start-up company which is now based in Kerala, India. Zuzana now collaborates with multiple brands, manufacturers and designers all over the world aiming to offer the world better, more sustainable and healthier materials.

Lovia was born when Outi realized she couldn’t continue as a designer unless she came up with a way to turn a vicious cycle around. While new stuff was constantly produced in a way that nobody (even herself) really knew much about, people had started respecting products less and tossing them away more quickly. She wanted to let abandoned materials dictate what she designs and have a production that could be transparently presented to everyone. Seam by seam the small pieces of someone else’s waste started forming bags, strongly connected to her roots in the forests of the north and inspiration in folkloristic functionalism.

Register to the event here.

Seats are limited. Please note that the registration is binding. Only two registrations to Design Diplomacy events per person.

Get to know the Design Diplomacy speakers’ works at the Design Diplomacy exhibition at Erottaja 2.

The event is part of the Helsinki Design Week Design Diplomacy discussion series, which open the doors to Helsinki-based ambassadors’ residences. See the participating embassies and their schedules here.

More information


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