Visit a Finnish home and look for objects of Iittala, Arabia and Marimekko. I’ll eat my Marimekko napkins in case you don’t find anything. Finnish design is made for every day life; we eat from Arabia plates, drink our coffee from Moomin mugs, create atmosphere with Kivi candleholders and bring some colour to the table with Marimekko napkins.
New Iittala & Arabia Design Centre was opened in November 2016 in Arabia district. It is divided in three spaces: Design Museum, Design Lab and Arabia Art Department. Design Museum is a great place for foreigners to learn more about the local design tradition and for locals to spot familiar items such as your grandma’s favorite mug from 1950’s or the better glasses that are in use in your parent’s place in special occasions. In the middle of the museum there is a timeline of glasses and cups from late 1800’s till today, as Iittala was founded in 1881 and Arabia already in 1874. Design Lap concentrates in contemporary design and interesting events, like 24h Dream Lab organized this weekend where you can have a nap together, analyze your dreams and watch movies all night long. The third space is the Arabia Art Department where several artists have their studio and where the tradition of doing ceramics is kept alive.
The visit wouldn’t be perfect without a possibility to purchase some of these simple, beautiful, practical and time lasting objects. The new flag store of Iittala and Arabia is located in the ground floor. The old outlet was redesigned by Futudesign into a cosy and inspiring space where you can sit down, enjoy a cup of coffee and with some caffeine in your brain decided which mugs and plates to buy.
Heljä Liukko-Sundström has had her atelier in Arabia for several decades.