Wood in different shapes and forms, shadow and light—curves. Tree-shaped figures. Eero Aarnio, one of the most influential Finnish interior designers, sitting on his latest work and posing for Finland Today. That and many more are featured in the pictures of the leading design, furniture and interior decoration event, Habitare, which kicked off today at Messukeskus in Helsinki. Habitare’s theme for this year is roots and the authenticity and personality of things. According to the organizers, “In a globalizing world, we have a growing appreciation for our own roots and an interest in the origins of things and in other cultures.”

‘Organized Chaos’, by Ariane Relander, is one of the winning designs in the Habitare Design Competition where design, architecture and spatial design students compete for the grand prize of 5,000 euros. ‘Organized Chaos’ straddles the middle ground between a spatial installation and a sculpture. Made of aluminum tube, the design plays with kinetic and optical art and provides seating and shelter for communal gatherings. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today


Ariane Relander from the Aalto University School Arts, Design and Architecture, receives a winning hug. She shared the prize of 5,000 euros with designer duo (also from the Aalto university) Janne Pärssinen and Tony Yau with their design, ‘Spot’. ‘Spot’ is made up of modular elements, this piece of wooden furniture enables a variety of different experiences and uses. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Protoshop is an exhibition, which allows designers to test how their works are perceived by the industry and users. Here’s ‘Naru’ (‘String’), by Kristoffer Heikkinen. It is a multifaceted wall-mounted object where the ends of the curving wooden pole work as a coat rack and its arcs frame a mirror and a small shelf. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

‘Lokki’ (‘Seagull’) by the late Yki Nummi is a classic Finnish design lamp from the ’60s. The lamp goes also by the name of ‘Flying Saucer’. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The furniture of Juuripuu represents modern Finnish design. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Innovative student designs from the Lahti University of Applied Sciences are also featured at the fair. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

A magnetic tree by Pauliina Rundgren Handicrafts. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Kuovi (received its name from a curlew, a bird famous for its ‘curloo-oo’ sound) is a modern interior textile company offering a wide range of fabrics. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Eero Aarnio, one of the most innovative furniture designers in the history of Finland, posing for Finland Today. Most who have been Finland for a while have surely come across Professor Aarnio’s classic chairs featured in the background. One can find Aarnio’s works in museums around the world and even in some of the ’60s sci-fi films. Oh, and the bench he is sitting on is his latest work, called ‘Metallimiehet’ (‘Metal men’). It’s Aarnio’s idea of a park bench or one to place on your terrace. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Aarnio’s ‘Metallimiehet’ could soon be featured in your local park, if all goes well. Picture: Bongo House Oy

Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland, is held at Messukeskus in Helsinki from September 12 to 16.

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