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Helsinki Design Awards to Aalto alumni

Winners include Aalto student Mikko Latomäki and alumni Yrjö Kukkapuro and Maria Korkeila.
The Helsinki Design Awards 2018 winners. Photo: Joonas Brandt

Since 2011, Helsinki Design Awards have been held annually to recognise outstanding Finnish designers as well as companies and organizations investing in design. The gala is organized by Helsinki Design Week and took place in Helsinki on Wednesday, 12 September.

Prizes are given in five different categories: Young Talent of the Year, Product of the Year, Lifetime, Internationalization and Jury’s Choice.

The Lifetime award was given to designer and interior architect Yrjö Kukkapuro. He is well-known especially for his breakthrough Carousel chair from 1964. In addition to his significant career as a designer, the jury noted Kukkapuro’s continued active influence in the field.

“A more human-oriented approach to the business”

The Young Talent of the Year award was given to fashion designer Maria Korkeila, who graduated from Aalto's Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design Programme in 2016. The award is given to a young talented designer, collective of company staying or working in Finland. Korkeila won the Gran Prix Prize at the prestigious Hyères Fashion Festival in France 2017.

“I’d like to find more human-oriented and humane ways to work in the business. I’d like to find alternative ways to work that means collaboration, that would be a bit more democratic and based on cooperation, not on hierarchies or egocentric design,” said Korkeila.

Korkeila has a multifaceted approach to fashion, ranging from garments and textiles to photography. In recent years, she has worked for fashion houses in Italy, France and Finland as well as on her own collection.

The Oura smart ring is Product of the Year

The Product of the Year award is given to a sustainably produced item that is particularly functional and well-designed. The prize went to Oura smart ring that functions like an activity tracker wristband, and represents tested, functional and aesthetically appealing design. Aalto University Collaborative and Industrial Design MA student Mikko Latomäki was involved in designing the ring.

The Helsinki Design Awards Jury members include Director of the Architecture Information Centre Finland Hanna Harris, Information Designer Juuso Koponen, Design Forum Finland CEO Petteri Kolinen, Designer Elina Aalto and Director of Strategic Initiatives at the City of Helsinki Sanna-Mari Jäntti. The chairman of the jury is Helsinki Design Week Director Kari Korkman. The gala has been organized since 2011 and was previously known as Muoto Gala.

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