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International Marimekko Design Competition Announced

The competition’s theme, “Why not together?” is set to honor the 60th anniversary of Marimekko


Marimekko, design competition, Parsons New School

“I only want to bring people together so they can get to know each other and gain something from one another.” Armi Ratia, founder of Marimekko, 1969

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Marimekko, together with the department of design at the Aalto University School of Art and Design, challenges students at the world’s leading schools of design in an international Marimekko competition on the theme, “Why not together?” The theme of the design competition, beginning this month, draws from Marimekko’s long tradition of collaboration. At Marimekko it is believed that when you do things together, everything is possible.

In accordance with that theme, the competition will focus on solutions that bring people together, fit in with Marimekko’s business environment, and will work through different cultures and regions of the world. The competition encompasses three categories: products for living, not pretending—for good, everyday life; action, events and encounters generated by aesthetic thinking; and service—just to make things run even better. The solutions should be unique, of high quality and sustainable, as well as fit in with Marimekko’s product portfolio or set of activities. The targeted group for competition entries are people who refuse to be bored and are surrounded by an atmosphere of vitality

Marimekko and the Aalto University School of Art and Design have invited the world’s leading design schools and their students to take part in the competition, including:

  • Design Academy Eindhoven from the Netherlands
  • Konstfack University College of Arts, Craft and Design from Sweden
  • The Royal College of Art from the U.K.
  • Parsons The New School for Design from the U.S.
  • Tama Art University from Japan

“Marimekko has always believed in young, fresh talent. Young people are the builders of the future and brilliant pioneers,” says Marimekko’s Creative Director Minna Kemell-Kutvonen. “Our diamond anniversary theme, ‘Why not together’ impelled us to challenge young people around the world to join in our competition to think up solutions for everyday life from the perspective of doing things together.”

The Marimekko design competition will be in two parts. Part one begins at 4:30 p.m. GMT on March 15, 2011, when the competition will be declared open in the Sampo Hall at the Aalto University School of Art and Design and simultaneously through the Marimekko website in a video at partner schools. The deadline for part one of the design competition is May 6, 2011 at 2 p.m. GMT. The finalists in the competition will be announced on May 24, 2011 and the winners will be declared on September 14, 2011.

Learn more about the competition at Marimekko’s website

About Marimekko:
Founded in 1951, Marimekko is a leading Finnish textile and clothing design house. Marimekko aims to provide aesthetic experiences for every moment in life for people of all ages. The array of Marimekko design embraces interior decoration items ranging from furnishing fabrics to tableware as well as clothing, bags, jewellery and other accessories.