Five awards for Aalto student works at the creative design competition

The theme of the creative design competition in 2020 was care.
a blue colored print marking water has been placed on a rock to showcase the rising of water due to climate change
Waves rising installation and exhibition won Gold and Silver.

The Vuoden Huiput (Best of the Year) 2020 awards gala resulted in five awards for our students. The gala of the most prestigious yearly creative design competition in Finland was held online 22 April.

The theme for 2020 competition was care. ‘A difficult year has shown how many different ways we are connected to each other and our environment, and on the other hand, people are increasingly confronted only through the media’, stated the chief judge of the competition, graphic designer Arja Karhumaa, who is Associate professor and Head of the of Visual Communication Design master's program at Aalto University.

A total of 15 competition entries were awarded the Gold Award and 43 entries the Silver Award. In addition, the Grand Prix of the competition was awarded to The Polite Type, a project against cyberbullying designed by TBWA \ Helsinki. Altogether 726 works were submitted to the competition organized by Grafia, an association of visual communication designers. The annual event aims to raise the level of design, strengthen creativity and originality, and develop the professional skills of designers. The competition was held for the 41st time.

The awarded Aalto student works:

Waves Rising installationwas awardedGold Award in ”Image” category and Silver Award in ”Young Creatives” Category.

The sculptural installation and exhibition conceptually materializes predictions of sea level rise as a result of climate change. The spatial set-up of the work raises awareness through silent activism by creating a monumental dimension and atmosphere around the urgent threat of rising sea levels. The work informs and calls for dialogue about our relationship with the environment and the future of our seas.

‘An important current topic visualized spectacularly using abstract and artistic storytelling. A multidimensional entity where the photo series takes to a new level through a sculptural installation. The artistic implementation and approach of the topic caught the attention of the jury.’ (statement of the jury)

Designers: VCD MA students Sabina Friman, Ayano Honda, Olena Mohylna, and Fanni Perälä. The project was led by designer Päivi Häikiö

”Tarinoita Kuukautisista” publication won Gold in ”Young Creatives” Category

Red - Stories of Menstruation (Punaista – Tarinoita Kuukautisista) is a concept for a picture book in which menstruation plays a major role. The main goal of the picture book is to reduce the shame associated with menstruation and encourage discussion of menstruation openly and without embarrassment. The purpose of the book is to entice the reader to take it open-mindedly and get acquainted with the content in a positive way without forgetting the twinkle in the corner of their eye.

‘There is clearly a passionate interest behind the research, narration and visual product. The style of the book is consistent, the sound clear and the composition and color combinations stylish. The book gives a fresh perspective on an often silenced topic and communicates the subject humorously, hopefully while breaking menstrual taboos.’

Designer: VCD MA student, graphic designer, illustrator Sanni Wessman

”NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE” book won Gold in the ”Avoimet ovet/Open door” category.

The photo book, made by volunteers, captures historical BLM protests in Helsinki and elsewhere in Finland. The book consists of photos by over 40 photographers.

‘The timeliness and purpose of the work are evocative and impressive, it spectacularly records the events of 2020 in history. The work has been able to take into account the diversity of the working group; in photographs, typography and content. The project has succeeded in highlighting POCs (especially blacks) holistically. The work is a good entry in the Open Doors series, as it brings new marginal sounds to the field of the Finnish visual industry. The working group has considered the long-term social impact of the work process by supporting anti-racist activities in Finland.’

Designer: VCD MA student Annika Leppäaho

”Jäbät & Tunteet (Dudes & Feelings) Podcast” won Silver in the ”Avoimet ovet/Open door” category. 

The mission of the podcast is to normalize the fact that those who identify as men – Dudes – talk about their feelings. In the podcast, three young men from different backgrounds and starting points talk openly about their feelings through their own experiences, and try to encourage others who identify as men to speak more.

‘A diverse set of authors and an important topic made from their own starting points. Representation and open communication while fracturing gender stereotypes. Sound is the main media and the visual dimension supports the content - feet on the ground, not shouting. We admire the thoughtful whole.’

Designer: VCD BA student Aarni Kapanen.

In addition, book Immortal by artist professor Maija Tammi and graphic artist Ville Tietäväinen, published by Aalto ARTS Books, was awarded the Silver Top in the Publications category. The book combines narrative literature, science, and photography and illustration art.

‘A book-like work of art that fascinatingly combines research and visual narrative. The book not only reports the research results, but also produces themas if it were a form and method of research. Formalities have a narrative function. A great example of what at the same time artistic / research information production published in a university context can be. Classically beautiful and finished typography.’

Graphic design: Ville Tietäväinen. Photographs: Maija Tammi

Warmest congratulations to all!

See all results (in Finnish) at Vuoden Huiput 2020.

More information:

Assistant professor, Head of Visual Communication Design Programme Arja Karhumaa, Department of Media
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, [email protected], +358 40 570 7777

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