Design today is original and uncompromising – look out for these four emerging designers

Habitare’s Talentshop will present the four most interesting designers whom Finland and the world should be watching at the moment: Ville Aakula, Ekin Kayis, Mari Koppanen and Zuzana Zmatekova. What these featured designers have in common is originality in their ideas and an uncompromising attitude to quality. Each of the designers will get their own stand at Habitare, to be shown at Messukeskus in Helsinki from 9 to 13 September 2020.

Now being held for the sixth time, Habitare’s Talentshop annually presents the most exciting, up-and-coming designers to follow right now.

“Talentshop highlights designers who are in the early stages of their career, but who have already established their own designer identity and shown proof of their skills. Each of the featured designers will have their own stand in Habitare’s area of new design, The Block. The designers for the 2020 Talentshop were selected from among 36 entrants. What all the selected designers have in common is originality in their ideas, combined with an uncompromising attitude to quality and refined implementation”, say Krista Kosonen, Elina Aalto and Saara Renvall, of Imu Design, who are responsible for producing and curating Talentshop.

The designers to be featured at the Habitare’s 2020 Talentshop are:


Ville Aakula

Ville Aakula is a cabinetmaker and designer whose work is driven by necessity and practicality. A product should fulfil a function while having aesthetic appeal. Soft and simple lines highlight the intrinsic character of wood. Ville’s designs are characterised by beautiful details and high-quality materials. Designing and manufacturing new products is sometimes like shedding a skin; it is about trying out new things and looking for fresh perspectives. The finished product is, at its best, timeless, beautiful, durable and practical. @villeaakula


Ekin Kayis

Ekin Kayis is a contemporary product designer based in Helsinki, who graduated from Product and Spatial Design MA at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Ekin follows a hands-on and experimental design process with an innovative, research-oriented and intuitive  approach. He is passionate about exploring qualities and potential of the materials and new  production techniques, and has a strong emphasis on materiality, tactile qualities, textures and  colour, which are highlighted on his projects. His works have been exhibited internationally in  Milan, Brussels, London, Paris, Helsinki and his hometown Istanbul in the past few years. @ekinkayis


Mari Koppanen

Mari Koppanen is a designer who likes to work with wood, ceramics, textiles and biomaterials. In addition to form and user experience, Mari is interested in exploring cultural and social issues in her designs. Mari received her Bachelor’s degree in furniture design from the Malmstens Linköping University in Stockholm, and her Master’s degree in design from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. She also has a degree in fashion design (clothing artisan). In recent years, Mari has concentrated on researching fungus-based biomaterials and their use in art and design as substitutes for animal leather. Mari is currently working as a part-time teacher at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, while further developing her research on fungal materials. @mari.koppanen


Zuzana Zmatekova

Zuzana is a textile designer who pursues innovation and interdisciplinary ultimately attempting to reach beyond the boundaries of the conventional reception of textile design. Her work is inspired by aesthetic tendencies influenced by new media, virtual reality and technology. Various internships abroad and working experience as a freelance print designer has contributed to improving her competences in designing for fashion and interior textiles. To further deepen her knowledge in woven textiles, Zuzana decided to pursue studies at Aalto School of Art, Design, and Architecture, where she currently attends the second year of Master studies, focusing on surface design creation while employing different media and jacquard weaving.


Images of Talentshop designers’ works and products are available in Habitare image bank.

More information:

Habitare: communications manager Eva Kiviranta,, tel. +358 40 775 6609


Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 9 to 13 September 2020. 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 International Friend of Habitare in 2020 is Joseph Grima. In 2020, the 50-year-old Habitare celebrates the history of Finnish design and living. | | @HabitareFair | | #habitare2020 #habitare50