Helsinki Design Week, held this year between September 6th and 16th, and the accompanying Habitare tradeshow, stands out for several reasons.
In particular, attendees are introduced to student and young designers in “The Block”—an exhibition space near the main entrance of the convention center.
Piilo three colors designer Hanna Lantto
For younger designers, there is a freedom in expression through production that can, at times, be edited out of the process in larger projects and firms. The Block showcases an optimism that can sometimes feel buried in tradeshows.
Of the exhibitors, Hanna Lantto’s work in particular stood out to both myself and Cara McCarty, curatorial director of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, who named Lantto’s Piilo stool-slash-table as one of her favorite products throughout the show.
Hanna Lantto's Piilo stool-slash-table
Piilo is exemplary in its use of light birch, geometric forms, and Finnish simplicity. Painted in bright hues, it can be used as either a stool or a side table, opening from the top to unveil a storage space.
What is so unique about Piilo is that it can be used in a variety of ways, particularly in snug spaces where every inch is premium. The bells and whistles of this product is that it doesn’t require bells and whistles.
In her description, Lantto says that while she “would like to see it used in personal and fun color combinations”—of which six are available—“most importantly as a natural part of [the] user’s surroundings.”
Read next: 2020 Design Trends: Color, Materials + Finish