The International Friend of Habitare in 2017, the chairman and representative director of MUJI, Masaaki Kanai, has chosen what he considers to be the most interesting products and phenomena among the offerings from 420 exhibitors at the Habitare fair. Habitare is under way at Messukeskus in Helsinki and will run until Sunday, from 13 to 17 September.
THE BEST STAND
The combination of wood and light is harmonious and light, and the stand nicely conveys this mood. I like simplicity, and this stand is clear and simple.
THE MOST INTERESTING PRODUCT
The OBBY sofa designed by Kasper Nyman, Supply 6b60
I am impressed by the simple design of the sofa, as products often tend to be over-designed. Even though the sofa has a simple design, it is of high quality, and carefully made with premium materials.
Birch, Verso Design 6g8
The light birch is the symbol of a Nordic country and has a long history of use. It is important to preserve traditional materials and use them to create new products, as has been done in the Verso Design product range.
THE MOST INTERESTING PHENOMENON
Tapio Wirkkala’s K2 light fittings, Airam 6h28
The reintroduction of Tapio Wirkkala’s beautiful light fittings is the perfect example of new meets old. The light fittings by the “Master of Finnish design”, Tapio Wirkkala, which have been reintroduced into production, combine the old design and the latest LED technology. The design keeps the old while adding something new to the mix.
THE MOST INTERESTING CONCEPT
The Olokoto Concept, Pohjois-Suomen Hirsitalokeskus/Mammutti Log Houses 6a50
MUJI also makes small homes. Cottage culture is a truly Finnish thing. Olokoto is extremely well made and designed, offering a beautiful space to spend time in. The cottage sits well in Finnish nature.
THE MOST FORWARD-LOOKING PRODUCT ON THE THEME OF ‘NEXT’
I brought with me from Japan a wheelchair, which was created by a Japanese designer from Finnish wood. This wheelchair, giving everyone the same opportunities to enjoy life and travel, is made only of wood and plastic, so people can, for example, pass through airport security checks without having to get up.
The wheelchair is not part of any product range on display at Habitare.
Since 1993, the chairman and representative director of MUJI, Masaaki Kanai, has worked as an executive with Ryohin Keikaku Co. Ltd., which is owned by MUJI. The official name of the company in Japanese, “Mujirushi Ryōhin”, means “no-brand quality goods”. MUJI is known around the world for its affordable, aesthetically minimalist and beautiful everyday objects, clothes, and home appliances, all of which are user-driven, and use high-quality materials and a streamlined manufacturing process. In Japan, MUJI has branched out into housing concepts, selling prefab homes and renovating old apartment buildings.
Communications officer Johanna Suni, tel. +358 40 515 4216, firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOGRAPHS of the choices of the International Friend of Habitare are available from the Messukeskus image bank.
Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 13 to 17 September 2017. Habitare offers experiences and ideas on interior decoration, and on the functioning and look of homes and other spaces. Habitare highlights the ideas and works by a new generation of designers, and sparks discussion. The chairman and representative director of MUJI, Masaaki Kanai, is the International Friend of Habitare in 2017. To be held concurrently with Habitare are the Antiikki antique event, HighEnd Helsinki, and the Showroom and Forma events for professionals. | www.habitare.fi | @HabitareFair | www.facebook.com/habitare | #habitare2017 |