Interplay of Cultures Studio: Sámi

The year 2021 Interplay of Culture Studio shares a set of works from a collaboration with the Siida museum and representatives of the Sámi communities in Finnish Lapland / Sápmi. Along with a great appreciation of the rich Sámi culture, the exhibition also gives insight into the complex political and future challenges of the Arctic landscape.
Raisa Mäkinen | Nature House
"Nature House" by Raisa Mäkinen (2021)

The Interplay of Cultures Studio, year 2021, originates in the Sámi culture of Finnish Northern Lapland / Sápmi. From a collaboration with the Siida museum and representatives of the Sámi communities in Inari, Finland, the studio sheds some light on rich Sámi history and culture as well as the complex political and future challenges of the Arctic landscape. The outcome displays a set of projects in most scales, from regional planning to local solutions, designs and hand sized objects. From a humble attempt to become wiser, this exhibition for Designs for a Cooler Planet 2021 foremost commemorates an appreciation for the resilient indigenous northern cultures, Sámi, and further sustainable design solutions and culturally knowledgeable architecture.

World in Transition Lab

New publication: Contemplating Northern Indigenous Cultures in Presenting Global Challenges

Structure of a Traditional Sámi Goahti | Photo by Taru Niskanen (2021)

The Sámi & Resource Wisdom

Of the many ways that resource wisdom is present in the Sámi cultures, it is especially through the philosophy of living with instead of above nature. The nomadic lifestyle has enabled a strong awareness of our own traces as well as the rich surrounding environment. Amiability, degradability, practicality are just a few of the many aspects naturally integrated into Sámi culture. In traditional Sámi culture, the sole idea of waste - as in our modern society - is practically foreign.

Cultural Awareness

The history of colonial misconduct is tragic, and unfortunately exists much closer than we would often like to think. If we are not suffering another great cultural loss, we need a raised awareness of many matters, derelict, unspoken and unheard that surround us. Before we consider our new grand designs, we should pay attention to the impacts of our choices and values.


Franziska Dalheimer, Gaspard del Marmol, Kathleen Diémé, Astria Excell, Saija Hollmen, Jinwook Hwang, Matti Jänkälä, Valtteri Kaarlamo, Akileia Krohn, Nathanael Larsson, Maria Luice Grayston, Louise Lecerf, Xinyan Li, Ida Lähdesmäki, Petra Minkkinen, Raisa Mäkinen, Sirena Nieminen, Taru Niskanen, Patricia Olaortua, Meeri Pitkänen, Katherine Romero, Emma Savela, Maiju Suomi, Moritz Schineis, Iiris Uusi-Kilponen

Research for sustainability

Complex sustainability challenges like climate change, loss of biodiversity and global inequality call for ground-breaking and societally impactful research. Our key research areas give us a unique chance for creating practice-relevant knowledge on cutting-edge sustainability solutions.

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CHEMARTS. Photo: Aalto University/ Eeva Suorlahti

The event is a part of Helsinki Design Week’s official festival programme and Year of Research-Based Knowledge. Aalto University is one of the EU's New European Bauhaus partners. 

#ACoolerPlanet #HelsinkiDesignWeek #NewEuropeanBauhaus #tttv21

Helsinki Design Week 2021 has landed in Otaniemi, showcasing three paths to resource wisdom

Radical ideas and prototypes contributing to a resource-wise future. The exhibitions and online lectures are open to everyone, and they belong to the official Helsinki Design Week programme.

Resource Wisdom - Designs for a Cooler Planet 2021

Loving Environments

Construction gobbles up half of the world’s natural resources. Collaboration between scientists, designers, architects, the public sector and companies generates ideas that can make living environments and the construction industry more sustainable.

Loving environments visual theme

Better to Wear

We get dressed each and every day: clothes protect us and help us express ourselves. We can dress better when we re-design the whole textile process from manufacturing to use to recycling.

Better to Wear exhibition visual

Infinite Materials

We need to radically cut our consumption of materials and energy by creating materials that are not just renewable but forever reusable.

Infinite materials theme visual
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