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Meet the Up and Coming Finnish Illustrator Behind the Sight Unseen Suitcase Print

Earlier this year, when we began to think about who might design the pattern that would adorn the interior of the Arlo Skye x Sight Unseen suitcase, we first established a few parameters: We wanted the suitcase to be more sophisticated than playful, but to still embody the warm, colorful, graphic sensibility that we tend to favor. We needed the print to repeat, but we wanted the pattern to have the illusion of being more random. And we hoped that we might be able to shine a light on a lesser-known, up-and-coming talent.
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A Studio Aiming to Bring More Curves and Coziness to Finnish Design

In the U.S., we look at the rich, enduring design history of Scandinavian countries like Finland and feel nothing but blind envy. But those who have grown up amidst it often have a more nuanced view, like Anni Pitkäjärvi and Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä of the emerging Helsinki outfit Studio Finna: "The Finnish design world is very much masculine," they say. "The key aspect is functionality. The design language is edgy and square. The colors used are black, white, and grey." They're trying to take a different tack.
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A Finnish Textile Designer Who Tossed Out All the Rules of Textile Design

Reeta Ek is one of those fine artists who studied design for practicality's sake, as a way to ensure she'd actually be able to get a job upon graduation. Yet when it came time for her to start her thesis, she gave herself one last taste of freedom, opting to throw out all of textile design's typical rules and restraints and just create whatever pleased her.
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We also noticed this amazing steel sculpture in the yard of one of the artisans on the main street; we later learned it was the work of Howard Smith, an American-born artist who moved to Fiskars in 1998 with his wife, the ceramicist Erna Altonen (more on this sweet couple later!)

In Finland

If you’re a longtime reader of this site, you know that we are, above all, sunshine-seeking people who happen to be inextricably linked to New York and its fickle seasons. Normally we leap at the chance to hightail it off the East Coast anytime between November and April, in search of beaches, pools, palm trees, and vitamin D. But somehow, while Monica and the rest of the design world headed to Miami at the beginning of December, I found myself saying yes to a week in Finland, home of 30-degree temperatures and 3PM sunsets. When I arrived, no fewer than three people delighted in telling me that the previous month in Finland had seen only 15 hours of sunshine.
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New Finnish Designs in Aalto’s House, on Nowness.com

Sighted today on Nowness, a post celebrating the opening of Helsinki Design Week — and the year of design events taking place in the Nordic capital in 2012 — with a photo essay featuring contemporary furniture and lighting by eight established and up-and-coming Finnish designers, shot inside Alvar Aalto's house. Located in the Munkkiniemi neighborhood of Helsinki, the meticulously preserved home provides the perfect backdrop for work created by a generation of designers who, living in such a tiny country, must all inevitably feel the influence of Aalto's outsized legacy — visually speaking, the project also reminded us of our favorite installation at the 2010 Milan Furniture Fair, when contemporary furniture was inserted into the hallowed rooms of Piero Portaluppi's Villa Necchi Campiglio. The Nowness story was beautifully shot by the young French photographer Estelle Hanania, and we've excerpted half of those images here.
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