Four designs make it to the final of the Habitare Design Competition

Organised by Habitare and Aalto University, the Habitare Design Competition sought fresh ideas on how to improve the sense of community in the courtyards of residential multi-storey buildings, and how to implement these meeting places. Four designs were selected for the final stage of the competition and for presentation at Habitare. The partner of the 2018 Habitare Design Competition is Bonava Finland. The head judge of the competition, Petra Blaisse, will announce the winner at Habitare on 12 September 2018.

The theme of the competition was Puzzle, and the brief was to design a meeting place for residents. The idea was to find a solution that uses an element resembling a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. The element was to be artistically and functionally of high quality, structurally durable, and easy to replicate. The winning design is to be located in the Postipuisto area of the northern Pasila district in Helsinki, in which Bonava is developing an urban block with 300 flats.

Of the 20 entries submitted, the panel of judges in the first stage of the competition chose four designs to go through to the final. The finalist designs form an interesting whole.

“We chose both furniture- and space-oriented designs for the final. What all the designs have in common is a multiformity, which is based on a simple element”, says the Professor Pentti Kareoja from Aalto University, a member of the panel of judges in the first stage of the competition.

“All the finalist designs have a strong, original idea, which will stand the test of time and will be viable for further development. I think all the designs have the potential for realisation as an interesting courtyard jigsaw puzzle”, says development manager Heikki Ruski from Bonava Finland, the competition partner.

Habitare Design Competition finalists in 2018:

DIGIT | Atso Kurri and Ulla Pönni, XAMK – South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
Digit encourages residents to create a communal courtyard from adaptable modules, and enables the establishment of an urban garden. Gardening activates residents in the ever more digital everyday life.

NELIÖJUURI | Heikki Savirinne, University of Oulu
Neliöjuuri (‘Square root’) is based on elements that can be combined in several configurations to create sculptural and functional structures. The structures divide the courtyard into smaller zones and create spaces.

ORGANIZED CHAOS | Ariane Relander, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Organized Chaos straddles the middle ground between a spatial installation and a sculpture. Resembling a mosaic, this design is made up of repeated colourful wooden elements, providing seating and shelter for communal gatherings.

SPOTTI | Janne Pärssinen and Tony Yau, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
The idea for Spotti comes from a picnic on a rock. Made up of modular elements, this piece of furniture enables a variety of different experiences. You can sit or lie on Spotti, or use it as a playground element. The design also acts as a visual screen.

Habitare suunnittelukilpailu 2018 finalistit

Habitare Design Competition finalists from left to right: Janne Pärssinen and Tony Yau, Ariane Relander, Heikki Savirinne, Atso Kurri and Ulla Pönni.

The panel of judges in the first stage of the competition included the chair, Dean Anna Valtonen (Aalto University); the industrial designer, Professor Ville Kokkonen (Aalto University); the creative director Laura Sarvilinna (Habitare); the architect, Professor Pentti Kareoja (Aalto University); the interior architect, lecturer Martin Relander (Aalto University); the architect Salla Oikkonen (JKMM Architects); and the development manager, architect Heikki Ruski (Bonava Finland).

Petra Blaisse as the head judge

Petra Blaisse, the lead designer and founder of the Inside Outside design agency, has been invited to be the head judge of the Habitare Design Competition, now being held for the 17th time. The Dutch designer Petra Blaisse works at the intersection of architecture, interior architecture, textile design, and landscape architecture. In 1991, she founded the Inside Outside design agency, which specialises in landscape design and interior architecture. Blaisse gives lectures around the world, and her work has been featured at a number of design and architecture exhibitions. In 2000, she held a solo exhibition in New York.

Blaisse will announce the winning design on the opening day of Habitare. The winner of the Habitare design competition will receive a €5,000 prize, donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation.

More information:
Habitare, communications manager Johanna Suni, tel. +358 40 515 4216,
Bonava Finland, communications manager Joanna Linnermo-Kumpuoja, tel. +358 10 400 2778,

Images of the finalists:

Habitare Design Competition

Organised by Messukeskus and the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, the Habitare Design Competition has, over the years, put the spotlight on up-and-coming design and architecture students. Influential figures in architecture and design have been invited to be head judges for the competition. The grand prize for the competition, donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation, has been used to encourage young students to continue their studies and build successful careers. The Habitare Design Competition is now being organised for the 17th time. | #messusäätiö


Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 12 to 16 September 2018. 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 2018 is Cara McCarty, the curatorial director at the Cooper Hewitt museum. To be held concurrently with Habitare are Antiikki, HiFi, and the Habitare Pro professionals event. | @HabitareFair | | #habitare2018 |


Bonava is a leading residential developer in northern Europe that specialises in building homes and neighbourhoods. Bonava operates in Sweden, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Norway, St. Petersburg, Estonia, and Latvia, employing 2,000 professionals. In 2017, Bonava recorded a turnover of approximately 1.5 billion euros. Bonava is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.