A stool containing secret storage and a laundry basket that rolls up are among 11 prototype products presented by young Finnish designers, for an exhibition at Helsinki design fair Habitare.
Now in its 10th year, Protoshop is a regular fixture at Habitare – Finland’s largest interior, design and furniture fair – during Helsinki Design Week.
Organised by Imu, a collective of three designers, the showcase is intended to offer a springboard for promising talent, connecting young and emerging designers with brands.
This year’s edition, which took place from 12 to 16 September, featured a range of designs intended to suit today’s small living spaces.
Here’s a look at all 11 that went on show:
Piilo by Hanna Lantto
Called Piilo, which means “Hide it” in Finnish, this multifunctional Piilo stool includes a storage space underneath its seat, making it a clever solution for small homes. It can also be used as a bedside table, a coffee table or an entrance hall seat.
The stool comes in six different colours, chosen by designer Hanna Lantto to complement the lightness of birch wood.
Interface by Anna Korte
This configurable storage system is made from ceramic tiles that can be used as hangers for containers, mirrors or towels.
The handmade tile has a protruding surface which acts as a hook that other elements can be attached on.
Designer Anna Korte, who is currently finishing her studies at Turku University of Applied Sciences, created Interface as a simple storage solution for small bathrooms.
Mood by Laura Laamanen
Industrial design student Laura Laamanen has created a wall clock that changes colour as time passes by.
Inspired by light’s abilities to affect moods and daily rhythms, she designed Mood to give off a cooler, energy-enhancing light during the day, and a warmer, more relaxing light at night.
The yellow light reminds the user to slow down in the evenings and to put away gadgets, whose blue lights confuse natural circadian rhythms.
Shibumi by Robert Ylihoikka
Robert Ylihoikka, a student at Metropolia University, noticed the lack of beautiful, well-designed laundry baskets in the market, so was inspired to create his own.
Shibumi is made of wood and textile, and can easily be rolled and adjusted to different sizes. Easily adaptable to the user’s space and needs, the laundry basket can be stored horizontally (on a shelf, for example) or stand vertically.
Wiggle by Sirena Nieminen
Wiggle is a wall-mounted coat rack with a very stable construction, consisting only of a few parts: five moveable wooden poles that are placed on two bent steel rods. It functions as a clothing rack, as well as a shelf and storage space for accessories.
The space-saving design allows users to hang coats in several layers, unlike with a single-pole traditional coat rack.
Suspect I and Suspect II by Mervalia
Designer Mervi Antila and architect Nathalia Mussi combine Finnish timelessness with Brazilian boldness in these sculptural and functional pieces.
Suspect I and II are made of thin, geometric-shaped steel and copper sheets, with forms that seemingly change depending on the perspective. Each piece can be used as a side table or mirror.
Twist by Hanna Kutvonen
With a simple twist, this mirror reveals a storage console behind it. The surface includes a variety of compartments and hooks that can be used to store items.
Hanna Kutvonen, a designer who recently graduated from Lahti Insititute of Design, created Twist as a space-saving solution for smaller homes.
Ruska by Anna Kantanen
The hand-tufted wool carpet, made from ecological Tencel wood fibre, is a designer’s homage to Finnish autumn.
Anna Kantanen’s leaf pattern stems from her admiration for nature’s transformative power in autumn. She photographed leaves, inspired by their vivid colours, and used these as a starting point for the project.
Kanto by Ville Auvinen
This simple stackable stool boasts curved legs that also function as handles for moving the object.
Helsinki-based Ville Auvinen uses human behaviour as the starting point for all of his designs. He named this piece Kanto, which means “carry” in Finnish.
Naru by Kristoffer Heikkinen
This multi-functional wall-mounted object was designed by Aalto University student Kristoffer Heikkinen as a mirror, coat rack and shelf in one.
The curving wooden pole elegantly outlines the mirror’s bottom curve, extending upwards towards a rounded shelf and ends on both sides as hooks to hang coats, bags or hats.
Matka by Tong Ren
Inspired by the designer’s latest trip to India, Matka is a double-sided wool blanket with graphic illustrations depicting elements of the country’s nature and culture.
Tong Ren, a Fashion, Clothing and Textile design student at Aalto University, hopes that the blanket reminds users of previous journeys, and encourages them to dream and plan for their next trips.