Finnish design is defined by practicality. Bold, distinct appearances are important, but without a functional purpose a Finnish design item usually doesn’t make it to production. In this article, you can learn more about form and simplicity in Finnish design and find out what designer Eelis Aleksi has to say about the theme.
Versatile practicality and four seasons
“I know it’s a cliché, but nature plays a vital role in the creative work of Finnish designers. Our four seasons inspire us. In the past, adapting to the harsh climate was a necessity and we still carry on the tradition of functionality,” says designer Eelis Aleksi.
Let’s be honest. Finland has become an intercultural country where people, and designers alike, draw their influences from all around the world. Still, if you ever get to spend time with a Finn, there’s a good chance you’ll end up going through an awkward silence during a conversation.
Eelis Aleksi sees a connection between Finnish culture and design: “We are frank. We don’t beat around the bush and sugarcoat things. It’s not because we are unfriendly, but because we just feel it’s unnecessary. Same with our design – we cut out the pointless aspects and keep the good stuff.”
Shortage of resources breeds creativity
Eelis Aleksi continues: “Many of our design classics have been created with minimal resources and with a clear use in mind, which has resulted in a simple but classy style. Designing items that are useful, durable and cheap is relatively easy, but adding elegance to the mix requires creativity and skill.”
A hundred years ago Finland was one of the poorest countries in Europe. Luxury materials or cutting-edge manufacturing technology weren’t available, and designers made do with what they had. At the same time, the products had to serve a purpose and be long-lasting. The result? Timeless products that last from one decade to the next.
Today, it’s a different story. Finnish designers are comfortable with the latest innovations in technology and the hottest trends in high fashion. Around the world you see people playing mobile games that are made by Finnish companies. While dining at a Michelin restaurant, you might notice the tableware is Finnish. We’ve come a long way during our century of independence, but we haven’t forgotten our roots. We still make products that are easy to use, timeless and simply beautiful.
Whim is a good example of Finnish design in the digital era.
Take a look at four Design from Finland member companies that showcase their take on form and simplicity.
Eelis Aleksi is a jewelry designer who has his own brand and also designs for Lumoava among others. He is committed to sustainable values and aims at combining aesthetics, functionality and personality.