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The International Alvar Aalto Design Seminar will take place this weekend, August 27–28, 2016, in Jyväskylä. For the eighth time the seminar will provide a discussion forum and meeting place for design professionals from around the world. This year’s theme MAXIMAL I MINIMAL is a call for quality design.

The Alvar Aalto Design Seminar will feature talks on quality and responsibility in design work from twelve of today’s leading names in design and manufacturing. Taking the podium will be: young London designer Max Lamb; 2016 Milano Design Award winner Hans Lensvelt; Japanese lighting guru Kaoru Mende – lecturing in Finland for the first time; and Johanna Vuorio, CEO of Nikari, known for its skill and expertise with wood. Also on the roster are Jonas Bohlin, Richard Hutten, Jouko Järvisalo, Cecilie Manz, Päivi Meuronen, Aimo Katajamäki, Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen.

The event will culminate in a joint exhibition by students from Finnish arts and crafts institutes and top designers at the Museum of Central Finland. During the spring and summer, the speakers and groups of students have worked on a design assignment to produce pieces of vertical furniture for storing books. The fascinating results of this collaboration challenge and revolutionize our conventional ways of thinking about bookshelves.

The theme, choice of speakers and exhibitions are the work of the event’s chairman, interior architect and designer Simo Heikkilä.

“I am expecting a great deal from the seminar programme. Simo Heikkilä’s theme will challenge the audience and speakers alike to address an important topic. It will be interesting to hear how the speakers interpret the theme of maximal and minimal in their presentations, and to see the bookshelves the theme has generated in the joint project between institutes the lecturers,” says Markku Hedman, Director of the Alvar Aalto Academy.

“This time the programme includes an exceptional number of supplementary events free of charge. On the Saturday of the seminar, there is an excursion to Säynätsalo and the Guerrilla Lighting event. This is our way of also recognizing local friends of design,” Hedman says.

The design seminar was held for the first time in 1995. Originating with an idea of Alvar Aalto’s, the seminar now plays an important role as an instigator of timely, critical international discussion about design.

The seminar is produced by the Alvar Aalto Foundation. The City of Jyväskylä is its main collaboration partner.

The International Alvar Aalto Design Seminar website:

Media enquiries and interview requests:
communications manager Annukka Pakarinen
Alvar Aalto Foundation
Tel. +358 50 3810143


For more information:
producer Nina Heikkonen
Alvar Aalto Foundation
Tel. +358 44 5001257