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Lifting columns become a Mummotunkki (Granny jack) and a space divider that opens up into steps

Aalto University presents fresh and inventive student design at Helsinki Design Week.
Mummotunkki and Fold,  photos by Aleksi Tikkala.

When a group of furniture design students are assigned the task of designing new home and office uses for the lifting columns used in office desks, the outcome can be just about anything. The Up & Down exhibition that begins in Helsinki's Jätkäsaari district on 9 September provides the chance to see Anna Krivtsova's Fold, a space divider that opens up into steps, Elina Ulvio's Obelisk telescope clock, and Laura Väre's Mummotunkki (Granny jack), which makes it easier to get books and dishes off shelves.

The exhibition works were produced in the What Comes Up Must Come Down project, a joint project between the Aalto University Product and Spatial Design degree programme and Linak, which manufactures lifting columns. The goal was to find unconventional, new operating models and familiarise students with industry and corporate culture operating methods.

– This was a demanding assignment, because a moving structure is one of the biggest challenges a furniture designer can face. Five of the designs produced during the project were selected and developed into prototypes by the students during the spring and summer. The works combine insight with a surprising use, explains Professor Jouko Järvisalo.

Up & Down at the L3 Design Dock in the Jätkäsaari district of Helsinki 9–13 September 2015. More information on the Helsinki Design Week website.

Art from LEGO blocks, benches from concrete

For the second consecutive year, LEGO® and Aalto University students are joining forces on a project for Helsinki Design Week. Last year, a group of architecture and engineering students used blocks to build large, tower-like structures based on shapes created by algorithms. This year's work will be more artistic in nature, as art students are also involved in the project. The work utilises architecture, cinematics, art and robotics and has an underwater feeling to it. Movement plays the most important role and is supported by a soundscape.

LEGO® + Aalto + HDW 2015 at the L3 Design Dock in the Jätkäsaari district of Helsinki, 9–13 September 2015. 

A bench that turns into a sculpture or a sculpture than becomes a bench? For her master's thesis, MA Katja Auvinen designed Complete: a simplified concrete seat based on minimalist sculpture art that can be used to create spatial and varying structures. The module functions as an individual seat or it can be placed vertically in a group to form a spatial and local work of art. The bench system is designed for use at harbours, piers and outdoor public spaces, and Auvinen cooperated with Marinetek Finland, a company specialising in piers and boat harbours, while working on it.

You can learn more about Complete at any time of day in the square in front of the Design Museum at Korkeavuorenkatu 23, Helsinki.

Design and Finnish history

What will the future of safety look like? Dutch-Finnish designer Anna van der Lei and Aalto University graduate Kristos Mavrostomos create an installation based on the thought of city residents at the L3 Design Dock on 9–13 September 2015. 

The Refreshing take on Finnish history – Morphing our national identity exhibition being held at the National Museum on 3–13 September 2015 showcases products with a theme related to Finnish history that were designed by Aalto University BA students of graphic design. Come and see how home-brewed beer is packaged, how coats of arms are turned into jewellery, or how characters from Finnish mythology are immortalised as pop-up cards. 

Finnish fashion design is already world famous. The Liike clothing shop presents fashion collections by Aalto graduates Carolina Forss and Timo Helin on 10–12 September 2015. 

Photos of the Up & Down exhibition works and presentations of the works, as well as a photo of Katja Auvinen's master's thesis project can be downloaded at Aalto University's image bank.

More information:
Milla Eronen
Communications Manager
tel. +358 50 384 1785
[email protected]

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