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The Alvar Aalto Design Seminar, which has established itself as an important arena for discussion, brought nearly three hundred design enthusiasts to Jyväskylä during its two days. The highly topical theme, the New Wave, prompted some very different and diverse lectures. Nevertheless, all the speakers’ talks emphasized the increased significance of design in people’s lives and the need for a change in the field of design.

Aalto sem. 13 logo pieni“The theme chosen by Harri Koskinen was a timely one. Designers’ ways of giving shape to our lives and worldviews are changing, and society will have a lot to get specifically from the future makers of design. The significance of the triennial Alvar Aalto Design Seminars works in two directions. They bring expertise and new ideas to Finland, while also sending Finnish expertise back out into the world with our foreign participants,” says Director of the Alvar Aalto Academy Esa Laaksonen.

Appearing at this year’s Design Seminar were the Dutch designer Ineke Hans, renowned Muji designer Sam Hecht, the CEO of Established & Sons Maurizio Mussati and American designer Stephen Burks. Representing top Finnish design at the seminar were Artek Design Director Ville Kokkonen and, starting his opening presentation with a song, Marko Ahtisaari. Alongside the designers and business leaders, on her first visit to Finland and bringing her own viewpoint on the theme, was the esteemed International Herald Tribune design critic, Alice Rawsthorn.

“The lecturers had really taken the topic to heart, although I had not originally expected speakers to develop theories on the theme, since they in themselves actually represent the new wave. Alice Rawsthorn, in particular, made constant references to the new wave in design, and presented several important ways and means in which design will affect all of our lives in the future,” says the chair of the Alvar Aalto Design Seminar Harri Koskinen.

The international Design Seminar, held every three years, was set up as a discussion forum to keep alive the spirit of the functional and ecological design principle represented by Alvar Aalto. The first seminar, Design for Architecture, was held in 1995. The event is arranged by the Alvar Aalto Museum and Academy.

Further information and requests for password for pictures:
Communications Annukka Pakarinen
+358 50 3810143

Pictures of the speakers’ projects and of the Design Seminar:

Seminar press releases: