Travelling exhibition in Japan
The travelling exhibition Iittala – The Stars of Finnish Glass by the Design Museum is the first exhibition on Iittala’s design products in Japan. The exhibition showcases Finnish glass and the Finnish lifestyle.
The exhibition was put together using the Design Museum’s extensive Iittala Collection of over 10,000 items. For the purposes of the exhibition, 400 items, sketches and images were given on loan by the collection. The travelling exhibition will tour Japan and visit seven museums and it is organized in collaboration with Japanese media group The Asahi Shimbun. The Japanese have had a particular interest in Finland and Finnish design for several decades. Exhibitions featuring Finnish design products have been organized in Japan since the late 1950s.
Iittala, established in 1881, is a Finnish design icon and an international success story. Iittala glass products and home decor ensure that the brand is a part of the daily life of many Finns, while internationally, Iittala has been a flagship of Finnish creativity and lifestyle over several decades. Finnish lifestyle is making a noteworthy appearance alongside Finnish glass in the exhibition. Simplicity, functionality, beauty and sustainability are qualities that reflect both the Finnish lifestyle and Iittala’s work.
The exhibition covers the history and present of Iittala, the themes that steer the company’s design and production process and some of its key designers. The theme component is based on the exhibition Iittala – Caleidoscope, From Nature to Culture exhibition that featured at the Design Museum in the spring of 2021 and was curated by architect Florencia Colombo and industrial designer Ville Kokkonen. Iittala’s connection to Japan is explored in more detail through designer Kaj Franck who travelled in Japan repeatedly, gaining inspiration and influences for his work. Japanese designers Issey Miyake and Akira Minagawa, Minä Perhonen, and architect Kengo Kuma, who have all collaborated with Iittala, are also featured.
Iittala is a significant part of the Finnish design history and modern design philosophy. During its long history, Iittala has contributed to the Finnish glass industry in a significant manner, and it has a key role in preserving the art of glass-blowing to this day.
Photo: Iittala Alvar Aalto Collection, 1937–2022. Photographer Rauno Träskelin.