It’s refreshing to find a product that’s suitable for different spaces and needs. Take Finnish designer Hanna Lantto’s Piilo stool, for example.
This stand-out stool is a two-for-one deal as the top can be easily removed, converting the seat into a hideaway table as well. Debuted at Habitare, Finland’s largest design expo that saw nearly 60,000 attendees this past September, Piilo is the first piece of furniture released from Lantto and was a huge success during its debut – Cara McCarty, the Cooper Hewitt’s curatorial director and International Friend of Habitare in 2018, selected it as the fair’s “Most Interesting Product” for its multiple uses and great colors like Ink Blue and Forest Green.
Lantto also creates handmade jewelry, which keeps her busy day to day. Her silver necklaces and earrings follow a similar design as that of Piilo with their bold colors, yet simple forms. In this week’s Maker Monday feature, learn what Lantto is working on next and get a glimpse at what shows she may be attending in 2019.
Early Days & Inspiration
interiors+sources: How did you get your start?
Hanna Lantto: I got my start this fall from the Photoshop 2018 exhibition, presented at Finnish design fair Habitare. My Piilo stool was chosen as part of the exhibition. And at the fair, Piilo was also chosen as the “Most Interesting Product” of Habitare. That was a big deal for me to get started.
i+s: What inspires you?
HL: Colors. I admire the bold and skillful use of colors. Another inspiring thing for me is old wooden furniture that has been made to last for decades and which is still useful and fulfilling its mission.
i+s: What is your most memorable product or collection you’ve worked on and why?
HL: The Piilo stool. It was a long and challenging project, but the result shows in many ways what I want to express with my work, such as good functionality, versatility, top quality and sustainable manufacturing, but also playfulness and fun. I think that design can be serious and fun at the same time.
Typical Workdays in the Furniture Market
i+s: Describe what a typical workday for you looks like.
HL: The best thing about this job is that there are no typical working days. But my work week often includes lots of emailing with retailers, manufacturers, journalists and customers, sketching and prototyping new products, updating my online store and marketing online. And because I’m also a jewelry maker, I always have a project going.
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i+s: Name some must-haves you need or like to have on-hand when starting a new project.
HL: Everything starts with sketching, so a variety of different kind of pens and rulers, background music and good coffee are needed. I just realized that I don’t have a completely round object at my studio. It is important that there are different forms in hand.
i+s: What challenges you most during your creative process?
HL: I think that when the work is to be finished and moved forward. Finalizing the last details takes more time than presenting the idea itself.
i+s: What is your favorite thing in your working environment?
HL: I just changed to the new studio that I like a lot. It is still under construction, but if I need to name one thing it's big windows and lightness. At least in some seasons, when you do not need artificial light so much.
i+s: Who has helped you realize your dreams?
HL: I have many close friends and family members who encourage me to realize my dreams. I'm lucky to get so much support.
The Future of Interior Design
i+s: What do you think is next for the interior design industry?
HL: We are currently experiencing a major shift in consumer behavior. In my opinion, in the future the interior design industry should focus even more on sustainable habits and invest more in the quality of the products.
i+s: What advice would you give to students studying the design field?
HL: I’m still studying, so maybe I need advice myself. But in the middle of work, entrepreneurship and studying, I could say: Do not follow the given paths, do yours.
i+s: What’s next for you?
HL: I'm currently working with two new prototypes and new materials. For example, I'm working on a new product for the Piilo product family. And I’m also planning next year and exhibiting at the London Design Fair next fall.
i+s: Where can people find your goods?
HL: My website at www.hannalantto.fi and also Instagram, @hanna.lantto.
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