The Best of Habitare 2012

During Helsinki Design Week, I visited Habitare 2012, a furniture and design fair that drew about 57,000 people over the five days it was open. There was such great work on display including a large amount of student designs and work by Finnish designers.

The Ecobol display from Jouni Leino really caught my eye. The bowls are made from recycled wood that is wedged between two pieces of colorful laminate.

Never have acoustical panels looked so good! Made from felt, the three-dimensional panels by Anna E. Vaarala are colorful works of art full of fun texture.

Anna E. Vaarala

Secto Design creates sculptural lamps from sustainable Finnish birch.

Secto Design

You might remember that we featured a version of this Studio Eero Aarnio design several years ago, but the latest version, entitled Pony, is a bit smaller and made from a soft plastic. Plus, it can now go outside!

This line of sofas from Tapio Anttila Design features lucite sides and ottomans on hinges that rotates from the end of the sofa to the front, depending on where you want it.

Luhta is a Finnish company that has a home collection featuring pretzel-shaped pillows and towels with triangle designs on them (I want!).

In the Protoshop booth, this adjustable dog lamp by Simo Serpola works on both the floor and tabletop. So cute!

Left: Chair by Iina Ojala / Right: Clock by Tytti Vuorikari

One of my favorite parts of Habitare was the Nollasarja booth. Two universities partnered with Koskisen (a Finnish wood company) on a project that had design students design a product out of wood that could potentially be a series production.

Loved this indoor dog house by Saara Utti, meant for the corner of your room!

Left: Wall Tiles by Suvi Lailavuo / Right: Room divider by Katja Ahonen

Hanging Planter by Jenna Varonen

Swinging Chair by Emilia Hönö

There was a special exhibition this year in the Ahead! design area and it was all about “responsibility.” Designed by Hollmén, Reuter and Sandman, the Puun tarina (“The story of a tree”) brought in actual trees to make the area look like a Finnish forest. It was pretty impressive in person.

Design Milk’s trip to Helsinki Design Week was provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.