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Kalle Keinonen was nominated the Ceremonial Garland Weaver for the School of Arts, Design and Architecture

For the first time in the school’s history the position is held by a male student. The piece of jewerly for the Ceremonial Garland Weaver was designed by Theo Weckström.
Kalle Keinonen / Theo Weckström. Kuva: Veera Konsti

“It is a great honor to have this valuable symbolic mission. As a student I have been involved in many activities in the school, so I know the community well. Also, as a third generation student I am familiar with the school’s history", says Kalle Keinonen.

Keinonen's grandfather studied at Ateneum Drawing School, and his father Turkka Keinonen is a Vice Dean and Professor at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Kalle Keinonen is a fifth year student of Art Education, and he also teaches comics and animation at the Comics Center in Helsinki.

He is looking forward to his ceremonial role with interest. “We will begin the practical arrangements for the event soon. I hope that we can make the occasion festive, valuable and fun, but above all I hope it will match what our school and our students are like.”

Keinonen was nominated for the position in the festivities at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture yesterday. The Conferment Ceremony, organized every six years, is the fifth for the School of Arts, Design and Architecture and will be held on June 13 at the Aalto University Otaniemi campus

First male garland weaver

Ceremonial conferment is a grand celebration filled with academic traditions. Traditionally the garland weaver has been a daughter of a professor accompanied with a proper reputation, who is old enough to give their hand in marriage. To honor traditions, the student association TOKYO wanted to follow the biggest underlying tradition in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture in nominating the ceremonial garland weaver.

“Through generations our students have constantly questioned - and sometimes even defied - our old ways and traditions in order to see new perspectives. The board of TOKYO felt that this was the opportunity for our school to take the lead once again and to remind the academic community of the openness in terms of education and innovation; the same values that have made us successful also before, not only in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, but also in Finland”, states Irma Savolainen, the chairperson of TOKYO.

The garland weaver was selected based on their personal merits and achievements - since TOKYO board sees them more contemporary and forward looking metrics instead of gender, age, family ties and societal status.

“It is a position requiring reliability, good reputation and respect for the school’s community. As an active, creative and outspoken individual Kalle Keinonen represents the ideal of our student, who is not afraid of change and is able to solve even the trickiest of problems with his devotion to the cause.”

Keinonen is the former chair of the Student organization TOKYO and currently the chairperson of the student-founded and owned vegetarian restaurant Kipsari.

A golden brooch

The piece of jewelry for the ceremonial garland weaver was designed by jewel designer Theo Weckström. He says he got very free hands for the job.

“The importance of the task as a jewelry designer for me comes from that I can see the end result being meaningful for the customer”, says Weckström.

The starting point for the design was that the jewel should replace the rose in the chest of the garland weaver. The brooch was chosen, in order to also show outward. The designer says that the source of his inspiration was – a flower.

“It appears in the final design language, although the jewel is more abstract and interpretive. I want the jewelry carrier to be able to create an interpretation for their jewelry, have their own story for it.”

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