good design grows global

design forum shop

travel always affords you the greatest opportunities for design discovery, and my eagerly anticipated trip to helsinki’s design forum shop last last week certainly didn’t disappoint!

run by the finnish society of crafts and design, established in 1875, design forum finland is the second-oldest design-industry organisation in the world, and is dedicated to supporting affluence and competitiveness in the economy and society by promoting the widespread utilisation of design. i was thrilled to discover a wealth of up-and-coming brands there that hadn’t previously been on my radar and, having “discovered” them, i thought it only fair to share!

so, here are my top five picks from the store:

01. vaja finland

founded in 2009 by model-maker fred owren and designer henna lamberg, vaja finland‘s succinct but stylish collection consists of functional ceramic tableware in 2 striking geometric designs – sirkus and helmi – as well as a simple but beautiful classic white option.

02. kolme design

founded in helsinki in 2012, kolme design caught my eye with their delicate iglu tea pots and pupulu glass cups, designed by nathalie lahdenmäki.

03. latimeria

combining contemporary finnish design and experienced craftmanship to produce a unique collection of stainless steel tableware, latimeria‘s “velvet steel” salad and pasta servers were one of the most popular products in the store in the run up to christmas last year. this innovative new material shimmers in blue nuances, creates magic shapes and feels smooth like velvet – sounds wonderful, right?

04. kauniste

this isn’t truly a “new” find since i’ve written about kauniste‘s wonderful designs before, but i’m such a fan i couldn’t leave them out. created by uniting the talents of young scandinavian graphic designers and craftsmen, kauniste’s aim is to combine the best of both worlds, delivering fresh design combined with traditional screen printing skills. i still lust after their sokeri print, and am eager to see their new prints for 2014, launching soon…

05. markku salo

not a newcomer to the finnish design scene, having graduated from the university of art and design helsinki in 1979, i was still smitten with markku salo‘s  bold and experimental glass carafes and drinking vessels in the store – especially in that wonderful dazzling blue!

so, is anything catching your eye here friends?

design forum shop, erottajankatu 7, 00130 helsinki


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  1. Jane

    28 January

    Thanks so much for sharing these finds Kate! I love the glassware from Kolme, very scandi-chic :)

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