Finnish Design at MPD Design 09

Finnish Design at MPD Design 09

Mark Chamberlain
May 19, 2009

As design month here in New York builds momentum, I stopped into the Meatpacking District for MPD Design 09, hoping to find something colorful to write about. Designers from Finland were featured this year in a series of outdoor booths, and it piqued my interest...

I thought immediately that compared to last week's post on Kip's Bay, my people would like this. I attend these things (art fairs, design fairs, film fests) not looking for things to hate but things to love, and focus on that. If the Kip's Bay designers were largely top-down, voices of authority loathe to color outside the lines, then the Finnish designers on view here seemed to be exactly the opposite.

The title of this survey was "Playful," and it truly was. Colors, shapes and forms were full of whimsy and tickled the inner child. They also continued in the arc of designers I grew up with — Saarinen, Marimekko and Iittala. Beanbag chairs, crooked tables and colorful walls made me want to bust out my crayons and play. My grandparents would have been proud.

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