Picture: Visit Finland
The 1980s saw the breakthrough of international postmodernism in Finland and elsewhere.
All the styles and movements of the twentieth century were freely reworked and juxtaposed, resulting in superficial, sensationalist design, but also in joyful and daring new departures.
Several young designers were discovered in the late 1980s.
The versatile Stefan Lindfors in particular has won wide acclaim.
Two trends may be discerned in the design of the 1980’s and 1990s: experimental art handicraft which is moving closer to the visual arts, and design that utilises recycled materials and information technology, often in a commercial vein.
In the 1990’s data communications technology, and especially mobile phones comprised an important part of the industrial production of Finland.
Nokia’s mobile phones have, as never before, exported Finnish know-how around the world.
Young fashion designers
The interest in the history of Marimekko has grown steadily, indicated also by the exhibitions and publications.
Maija Louekari is one of the company’s hot new designers with joyful, colourful textile prints and tableware design.
In the fashion business the retro-boom has brought young designers to the field.
Paola Suhonen designs for her IVANA Helsinki label, which was the first Nordic fashion house to have its own show in Paris Fashion Week main show, and Suhonen was the first Finnish designer to feature at New York Fashion Week.
Paola Suhonen has also done print and concept designing for various companies like Google, Canon, HP Sauce, Swarovski and Coca Cola.
The furniture manufacturing has started to produce models by young designers, such as Sari Anttonen’s Kiss-chair for Piiroinen and Samuli Naamanka’s Clash-chair for Martela.
The multi-talented Harri Koskinen has designed a wide range of products including tableware, furniture, lighting, watches, and textiles.
He earned international renown in 1996 with the Block lamp which has become a modern design classic, now part of MoMa’s collection.
His clients include Alessi, MUJI, Swarowski and Issey Miyake.