Stadium Exhibition

The official motto of the Olympic Games is “Citius, altius, fortius,” which is Latin for “Faster, higher, stronger”. However, design focuses on proving that less is more. These two extremes meet in our Stadium Exhibition. What is enough and what is too much?

The basic task of a designer is to produce new solutions. Previously it automatically meant that old products were replaced by new ones and the supply was increased. Designers have called into question continuous production growth, however, and presented alternative methods and ways to produce and consume. The Stadium Exhibition does not display novelties available in stores but ideas, concepts, unique objects and installations. The participants have not been chosen to present exhibits polished to a tee. The most important selection criteria have been the speed, height and strength of their thinking.

Visitor information


Liike, 2020

Liike: Fitting values.

Liike is a collective of Finnish fashion designers, and Fitting Values is their experiential showroom that illustrates the value-based choices we make every day with our clothing. The complexity of the perspectives that impact clothes’ sustainability leads to a situation where a consumer can no longer with a clear conscience choose only the product they are rooting for. A choice based on one’s own worldview may be against that of someone else. The exhibition consists of three areas: a conceptual retail store, an experiential fitting room, and the events that bring the visitors and experts together.

Riku Toivonen: Kipinä & Leppänen – Dining table

Flint by Riku Toivonen.Kipinä, meaning a spark in Finnish, explores primitive and historical ways of making and controlling fire and how those methods and interactions can be brought into modern lighting. In essence, the project tells a story about the evolution of artificial lighting. Fire needs constant care, and so do these interactive objects. In these experimental objects, Riku Toivonen is exploring how electrical light could be controlled through unusual but intuitive and playful ways. The product family consist of four different approaches and prototypes that are all inspired by fire.

When timber is left outside for years, the climate and humidity enable the wood to rot, creating a pattern in the wood. Each beam rots differently making each wood unique and interesting. The Leppänen dining table utilises scrap material while embracing the natural imperfections of rotten timber. Assembling the body happens easily by sliding the legs into the frame and tightening a few bolts. When disassembled the table packs flat for efficient transportation.


UPCYCLING TEXTILES is a project focusing on utilizing discarded textiles by developing a DIY machine that helps to turn textiles into good quality ropes that can serve for different purposes or become a resource of new items. The main goal is to improve the process of textile upcycling on a consumer level and share that knowledge with society.

The installation consists of the hand-driven machine and display of ropes’ samples. Visitors will have a possibility to try out the machine and make ropes by themselves.

Maija Leskelä: Does a colour have a form? 2020

The installation seeks the relations between colours and forms. Leskelä ́s interests are in colour combinations, changing light and shadow, forms and materials. The installation is a collection of colour exercises which are a part of her master thesis at Aalto University. The study is based on colour theories and exercises by Josef Albers, Le Corbusier, Margrethe Odgaard and Hella Jongerius. The displayed colour studies are made by practice-led method where the design process is in focus.


Aalto University x Fiskars Group

This exhibition showcases the spectrum of outcomes from material experiments to high fidelity functional prototypes. Two collaboration projects between Aalto University and Fiskars Group’s brands Iittala, Arabia and Rörstrand brought together creative thinking, future scenarios, experience design and sustainability. These two projects, Nordic Senses and Future of Dining demonstrate the impact of collaboration.

Teachers: Nathalie Lautenbacher, Simo Puintila

Students: Stanislaw MacLeod, Anne Hirvonen, Yitzu Hsiao, Natalia Ruiz Román, Anurag Sarda, Zihao Xie, Songye Wang, Emma Sivusalo, Aleksi Peltonen, Niklas Alenius, Johanna Tarkiainen, Aarni Tujula, Tim Moesgen, Joona Järvinen, Tuuli Latvala, Emma van Dormalen, Laura Kytömäki, Aura Latva-Somppi, Bingdie Huang, Alicia Romero, Amedeo Martines, Linnea Kilpi, Miia Lötjönen, Joel Levander, Iines Niemelä, Jussi Alanen, Julia Strand, Milja Kalliokoski, Julius Rinne, Jeae Chang, Salla Luhtasela, Jenna Schenyer.

Inni Pärnänen & Marianne Huotari: Shelter Private Space

Private Space is a convertible space divider. The basic idea is to create private calmful shelter like spaces for public areas and working spaces. The material used is Paptic witch is a paper like sustainable innovative Finnish material made of wood fibers. The space divider consists of endlessly combinable 200 x 200 mm sized parts. Interlinking the parts create a pattern, which reminds of herringbone and it looks as beautiful on both sides. As the material is translucent the light can change the atmosphere of the shelter. Shelter can be packed in small box which is one-unit size pile of pieces.

People from the porcelain factory

Human Trace from the People from the porcelain factory exhibition.

Smooth, shining porcelain evokes cleanliness and perfection. When fingers or lips have left a trace on a cup, we feel an almost compulsory need to wipe it off, eliminate, recover the perfection, conceal the evidence of contact with the imperfect human body. We do not want to know if and how many times a cup has been touched before.

“The Human Trace” tableware set was produced on a factory production line by workers wearing gloves whose fingertips were dipped in cobalt salts. The traces of their touch remain almost invisible until firing, when they appear on the porcelain body, as the cobalt turns dark blue. In this way the porcelain tableware keeps the touch of the workers’ hands, revealing the role of the “human factor” in industrial manufacturing. The set is the result of the cooperation of the anthropologist and the ceramist, accompanying the research on various types of knowledge used at work in the factory and on the methods of assessing the value of this work.

The set has been manufactured as a part of the project “People from the porcelain factory”, carried out in one of the oldest ceramic factories in Poland. The factory in Ćmielów, established in 1790, has been active in fine porcelain production since 1838 and is currently owned by Polskie Fabryki Porcelany Ćmielów i Chodzież S.A. The project is financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education within the framework of the National Programme of Development in Humanities.


Kajo lamp by Päivi Keski-Pomppu.

This exhibition presents 12 lighting fixtures designed in the spring of 2020 by the third year interior design students of Aalto University.

The fixtures use recycled brass and copper plates and the Optogan Lilly80 AC LED component. Their design pays special attention to dignity, sustainability and conserving the manufacturing tradition. This exhibition presents a selection of foot and table lamps and pendant lights.

Both copper and brass are beautiful materials. They shine when new but after exposure to oxygen, they turn brown, and copper to green as time goes by. Some of the brass objects use a specific metal alloy that preserves the original tone of the metal and does not develop patina over time.

The copper and brass plates are easy to work on and join, their tones and textures rich and beautiful, and their material extremely long-lasting. LED lights are ecological because their liftetime is very long and energy consumption low compared to traditional light sources.

Light is indispensable for us to see around us. A shimmer of light in the dark is a symbol of hope and faith in the future. It creates its own space and gathers all around to share an experience.

Thank you Aurubis Finland Oy, Optoga AB and Helsinki Design Week.

Get to know the designers (in Finnish)

Eri Shimatsuka: Inner Flower

The theme of the installation is inner flower. Eri Shimatsuka believes everyone has a unique flower inside and each of us keeps pouring water and grow it through one’s life. We are facing new challenges at this moment and now it’s time to remember to respect and appreciate the flower of people in different colors and shapes, she says. In the installation, Eri would like to express the beauty of inner flower by means of textile and drawings.

Pekka Harni: Seven Chairs

Consistent structures that comply with the features of the materials, and dismountable, sectional and modifiable parts that can be transported and stored in a compact form and eventually recycled as separate materials, are the result of careful design during every stage of the lifecycle of these chairs.

Some of these seven chairs are structural experiments that were not meant to be produced as such. Two of the chairs have been in production. The oldest arm chair is from 1983 and the newest from 2020.

Less is more, produced with fewer raw materials and less energy, not forgetting the sustainable beauty aspect.

Heidi Uppa & Apaar Tuli: Value Shop, 2018

Value shop is an interactive shopping and voting experience at the cross section of design fiction and critical food design. It reflects upon a society where instead of being citizens, we have primarily become consumers, and where complex decisions have collapsed into polarised binaries. In this shop, the choices made through buying products with opinionated labels also become legal votes in a direct democracy. By making voting just another element of shopping, we free up more time to focus on consumption – the driver of economic growth.

Visitors can explore the Value Shop as an interactive voting experience. Texts on packages present a snapshot of many of our current societal tensions. The black and white packages with simple choices stand in stark contrast to obviously complex underlying issues. The Value Shop highlights where our society might be heading to, and the implications of such a future for the democratic process.

Henri Judin: Delusions

What happens when the interface of reality and delusion meet, when we can’t trust our senses? Applications of optical illusions have been used throughout history in fashion, in architecture and in art.

Delusions is an exhibition that gathers designer Henri Judin’s works from 2014-2020 inspired by optical illusions and experimenting them in furniture design. The purpose of the exhibition is to prove that things are not always as they appear. Especially, pay attention to your reaction when reality regains its former stability.

The pieces represent today’s minimalism. The main material is durable and 100% recyclable powder coated steel shaped in various ways creating interesting and timeless objects.

Bloft Design Lab: From sea to sea project

From Sea to Sea project explores the possibilities of marine plastic litter as a raw material source for 3D-printing. Project is a part of the agile experiments by the Baltic Sea Challenge in Helsinki. The outcome of the project will be the 3D-printed Traveller standup paddleboard designed by the Romu Shapes duo Elvis Muhonen and Ron Repo.The project seeks to find a concrete, economically sustainable and globally scalable solution for local plastic recycling. Bloft Design Lab exhibits the centerpiece of the project, the large format 3D-printer, that will be published in 2021 according to the open source principles. Bloft Design Lab is run by Metropolia UAS industrial design graduands Atte Linna and Ville Ojala.


Social seating

Designer Jasper Morrison invited eighteen designers to take part in the Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale in 2019. As one could expect from Morrison, the brief for the designer was clear and simple: Design and build a bench. Social Seating, The theme and title of the exhibition, has an interesting opposition to Social Distancing which we we have had to get use to this year. Hopefully we are soon again allowed to share a bench.

Designers: Michel Charlot, Jens Fager, Martino Gamper, Thélonius Goupil, Klaus Hackl, Simo Heikkilä, Maria Jeglinska, Harri Koskinen, Wataru Kumano, Cecilie Mantz, Michael Marriot, Aino Michelsen, Hugo Passos, Julien Renault, Stafford Schmool, Keiji Takeuchi, Karin Widnäs, Sosuke Nakabo.

Nomen Nescio 2020: Tila

Nomen Nescio is a Helsinki based design studio focusing on minimalistic aesthetics and values. Seasonless collection of gender neutral black clothing is the core of Nomen Nescio.

Nomen Nescio studio is launching Tila, a holistic mini house concept. Tila is a mindful environment created for relaxing and slowing down. The flow of light, softly finished surfaces and meaningful design create peace and harmony. All the materials are carefully considered, high quality and ecologically sustainable.

A series of furniture, interior design products and textiles designed for Tila are part of Nomen Nescios new home line. Nomen Nescio home collection is focusing on a  minimalistic way of living. Everything is thoughtfully designed by eliminating the excessive to highlight the essential.

Aino Favén: What’s Going on Then?

What’s Going on Then? (“Kuinkas sitten kävikään?”) is a work of many stories. All of its parts have been cut from used plastic bottles and packages. They have contained shampoo, washing liquids, lotions, windshield washer fluids, soft drinks, or soap.

Aino Favén began her work by collecting all kinds of packaging. She washed them, removed the labels, cut oval shapes, and arranged the pieces into a landscape. Favén highlighted the most beautiful materials, pearly surfaces, transparencies and colours that have been developed for disposable packaging. Placed on a shelf in a store, the package is to attract the buyer. Favén, too, aims at an aesthetical and beautiful end result.

Caracara: Tatit

Caracara’s Tatit installation.Tatit, the installation hosts a collection of objects grown from mycelium, the root network of mushrooms, combined with elements of concrete, creating a conversation between nature and man. The objects hint at a future where our harmful practices are taken over by nature-inspired processes, creating a more harmonious coexistence. One of the leaders of this transition is fungi, an organism that can be grown into sustainable materials that consume waste during their production and provide food as a by-product.

Caracara is a studio in Helsinki that creates art and design installations using biowaste generated by our society. The studio is run by Aleksi Vesaluoma, designer and material maker, and Aleksi Puustinen, designer and fine woodworker.

Antrei Hartikainen: Seitikki

Antrei Hartikainen, master cabinetmaker and designer shows a sculptural light installation SEITIKKI, characterized by hazy, dreamy light. The veil-like web that supports the light sources stretches to a height of almost two metres at the sides, plunging into a valley in the centre. Each turned, mushroom-resembling cap is different, their sandblasted finish diffusing rays of light. The concealed gill sculpts a circle of light on the ground.

SEITIKKI, meaning a webcap mushroom, blends craftsmanship, sculpture and industrial design. SEITIKKI light installation was created in collaboration with lighting company Saas Instruments, who immersed themselves with an open mind and assisted with the LED technology used in the installation.

Ateljé Sotamaa: Meteorite

Meteorite is a unique, ecological, three-storey residential house designed by Ateljé Sotamaa in Kontiolahti. From the outside, it is like a black, mystical figure in the deep of the forest. On the inside, the building is a light, multifaceted, intimate collection of open interwoven rooms. In the middle of the meteorite, there is a tall atrium with a direct view to the sky through the frame of a large skylight on top. At the height of 7 metres, a catamaran trampoline net is suspended across the building on which the residents can float.

Meteorite is entirely made of CLT panels and insulated by air. It has captured 59,488 kilograms of carbon dioxide. The building has natural ventilation.

Pia Männikkö: Midsummer Night s Dream

Body, space and their interaction are the point of departure in Pia Männikkö’s art. Männikkö is interested in how we observe our surroundings; she’s inspired by the different natural and physical phenomena and varying spatial scales. The bodily connection between a viewer and an artwork is substantial in Männikkö’s art as she aspires to create immersive situations and spaces for the viewer to enter. Mapping the passage of time, as well as creating objects that gradually grow and change, play a central role in her working process.

Midsummer Night s Dream is made of two simple elements, golden rescue blankets and wind. They create an illusion of sunshine and waves.

Subscribe to the Helsinki Design Weekly newsletter

Helsinki Design Weekly is an online design publication presenting timely phenomena in the field of design and raises discussion about the future of the industry bolstered by top writers on the front lines.