Tuesday, 29 October
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
This Design Evening event explores the world of collecting and Finnish design. There will be guided visits for the public to the new Collectors and Collections exhibition and a decoration workshop open to all visitors. There will also be a talk about the oeuvre of Tapio Wirkkala by Marja-Terttu Kivirinta, who has written a book about Wirkkala. Kivirinta will be interviewed by Johanna Korhonen. Design Evening will also include a visit to Design Attic with its recently opened exhibit of work by Margareta Ahlstedt-Willandt. Educational Curator, Head of Learning Leena Svinhufvud of Design Museum will give a talk about women textile designers who wove their works.
The programme of Design Evening:
4 – 7 p.m. Design Attic open to the public
5 p.m. Talk at Design Attic: Weaving women designers: entrepreneurship and modern design (in Finnish)
5 p.m. Design Museum’s guide will introduce the new Collectors and Collections exhibition to thevisitors (in Finnish)
5:30 p.m. Marja-Terttu Kivirinta, the author of a book on the oeuvre of Tapio Wirkkala will give a lecture on Wirkkala’s career
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Open workshop in Design Museum’s Studio
6 p.m. Design Museum’s guide will introduce the new Collectors and Collections exhibition to the visitors (in Finnish)
6:30 p.m. Talk at Design Attic: Weaving women designers: entrepreneurship and modern design (in English)
7 p.m. Design Museum’s guide will introduce the new Collectors and Collections exhibition to the visitors (in Finnish)
7 p.m. Design Museum’s guide will introduce the new Collectors and Collections exhibition to the visitors (in English)
More about the programme:
Discussion on Tapio Wirkkala as a designer and artist
5:30 p.m. in the auditorium, first floor
Art critic Marja-Terttu Kivirinta, Ph.D., the author of a recently published work on Tapio Wirkkala will give a talk at Design Evening on Tapio Wirkkala’s oeuvre seen from various aspects.
Tapio Wirkkala is known above all as a designer, but Kivirinta’s book also describes him as an artist of much greater diversity and broader scope. She considers various aspects of Wirkkala’s extensive life’s work in relation to the history of 20th-century modernism and avant-garde art.
Marja-Terttu Kivirinta, Ph.D., is an art historian, art critic, non-fiction writer and journalist. She came to know Tapio Wirkkala (1915–1985) as an individual and an artist while she was still a student. She also became familiar with Wirkkala’s design agency in Lönnrotinkatu street in Helsinki and its staff. Kivirinta will be interviewed by publisher Johanna Korhonen of the Maahenki publishing agency.
Talk at Design Attic: Weaving women designers: Entrepreneurship and modern design
5 p.m. (in Finnish) and 6:30 p.m. (in English) and 18.30, Design Attic, third floor.
Weaving with handlooms became a central feature of modern textile design in the inter-war years in Europe and the United States. Many people are familiar with the progressive teaching in weaving provided by the Bauhaus school in Germany (1919 –1933), which is now celebrating its centenary. At the same time, there were larger and smaller weaveries run by artists in Finland and other countries which produced modern textiles for homes and public spaces. The traditional handloom was a tool for making individual textiles in series.
At the time, weaving by hand gave women artists and designers, in particular, an opportunity for producing contemporary works and for an independent livelihood. Many of these women were entrepreneurs who established their own weaving firms, thus providing employment for craftspersons. This was an international phenomenon and some of the firms were successful until the 1960s. The best-known ones in Sweden were the weaving firms of Märta Måås-Fjetterström and Elsa Gullberg and in the United States the work of Dorothy Liebes, among others, was well known.
In Finland, Margareta Ahlstedt-Willandt, Maija Kansanen, Dora Jung and Greta Skogster-Lehtinen, among others, established their own weaving firms. A special feature of these Finnish designers was their wide professional range in different areas and their extensive clientele. Interior textiles for new buildings were designed alongside handicraft patterns for enthusiasts.
Leena Svinhufvud, Adjunct Professor in Art History at the University of Helsinki and Educational Curator, Head of Learning at Design Museum, has explored this topic in, among other written works, her doctoral dissertation in art history on textile art and the modernising applied arts in Finland in the inter-war years (Moderneja ryijyjä, metritavaraa ja käsityötä – tekstiilitaide ja nykyaikaistuva taideteollisuus Suomessa maailmansotien välisenä aikana, Design Museum 2009). Within this thematic, Svinhufvud has most recently collaborated with Professor emerita Päikki Priha of Aalto University on a biography of textile artist and designer Greta Skogster-Lehtinen published by Maahenki in 2019.
Making decorative patterns in the Design Workshop
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Design Evening workshop session focuses on the world of tableware decoration of the Arabia factory. Visitors can drop in at this non-stop workshop to design their own decoration for tableware. The visitors’ own decorative patterns are designed with the Arabia factory’s patterns as their starting points and with the aid of material from old books of patterns. The decoration is designed on paper with guidance and instruction from Design Museum’s workshop guides. Participation in the workshop does not require any previous skills. All visitors are welcome to participate.