Habitare’s Protoshop celebrates its 10th anniversary

Habitare’s Protoshop celebrates its 10th anniversary

Protoshop, Habitare’s exhibition of prototypes, will have its 10th anniversary in 2018. The celebration of the year starts in December, when Protoshop products will be featured at the TRE Christmas Market in Seoul, from 2 to 24 December. Over the years, Protoshop has pioneered and highlighted young, new design.

Habitare’s Protoshop offers designers an opportunity to test the appeal of their product ideas, and to seek manufacturers for their products. In addition to Habitare’s consumer and professional visitors, the event features hundreds of Finnish and foreign media representatives and a number of manufacturers. Over ten years, 107 prototypes, ranging from furniture to small objects, have been presented at Protoshop.

Protoshop is curated and produced for Habitare by the designer group Imu Design, which includes the designers Elina Aalto, Krista Kosonen and Saara Renvall. The trio has been responsible for Protoshop since the beginning.

Timeless, bold and practical design

Each year, more than one hundred product idea proposals are submitted to Protoshop. Drawing on their years of experience, Aalto, Kosonen and Renvall select designs for the exhibition that demonstrate good product potential and that offer users something genuinely new.

“The product ideas submitted to Protoshop have always been of high quality, and well thought out technically and in terms of production. The product ideas delightfully display a lot of boldness and a willingness to experiment, coupled with Finnish practicality and minimalism”, says Saara Renvall.

According to Renvall and Aalto, the Protoshop product proposals currently include fewer items of furniture, while there has been a considerable increase in the share of textiles in recent years.

“Looking back on products selected for the exhibition over the years, it is striking how timeless and fun many of the products still are”, says Elina Aalto.


13% of prototypes in production

Of the prototypes featured at Habitare’s Protoshop, 14 products have made it into production after the exhibition. The first prototypes to go into production, from the 2010 exhibition, were Laura Tuorila’s No 512 light fitting (Saas Instruments) and Elina Koskelainen’s Kruunu biowaste container (Biolan). From the latest Protoshop in 2017, a product that made it into production was Liinu Kivioja, Kamomilla Sarajärvi and Hanna Särökaari’s Oksa door ornament (Gran design).

Other products that are or were in production are: Jesse Pietilä: Posture (Selki asema), Jacob Schenk: Tick table leg (Linie 58); Maija Puoskari: Kala (Lennol Oy); Kirsti Enkovaara: Lace Macy (Innojok Oy); Annika Heikkinen: Akusti (Innofusor Oy); Tuukka Tujula and Maija Puoskari: Pino (New Works); Laura Väre: Triangle (Nordic Hysteria); Aoi Yoshizawa: Moufu (currently Aino, Lapuan Kankurit); Minjia Wang: A Baby Vase (Flora and Laura); Anni Pitkäjärvi: Lempi (Hakola Oy); Anni Pitkäjärvi: Pinna (OK Design); and Hanna Särökaari: Kerä (Gran design).

Celebrations start in Korea

Protoshop’s 10th anniversary celebrations start at the TRE Christmas Market in Seoul in South Korea in December. Items available for sale at the Christmas market will include Aoi Yoshizawa’s Moufu (currently Aino), Anni Pitkäjärvi’s Lempi, and Liinu Kivioja, Kamomilla Sarajärvi and Hanna Särökaari’s Oksa. To be held in conjunction with the Christmas market, Habitare Design Talks will concentrate on Finnish design. In a panel discussion, the Protoshop producers and curators, Elina Aalto and Saara Renvall, will discuss the importance of Protoshop to Finnish designers and design.


More information:

Habitare, communications manager Johanna Suni, tel. +358 40 515 4216, johanna.suni@messukeskus.com
Protoshop: Elina Aalto, tel. +358 505118888, and Saara Renvall, tel. +358 505857399
Protoshop products and designers:


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 the Antiikki antique event, HighEnd Helsinki, and the Habitare Pro professionals event. | www.habitare.fi | @HabitareFair | www.facebook.com/habitare | #habitare2018 |

The TRE Christmas Market in Seoul is one of the largest sales events of Finnish design to be held outside Finland this year. TRE will present Finnish Christmas traditions, design and way of life in Korea, with a total of 100 companies participating. The Christmas market will be organised in cooperation with Finpro and Hana Bank, with Habitare as the event partner. TRE is a concept store of Finnish design and fashion in Helsinki and online.


Photos: Riikka Kantinkoski (Lempi shelf) and Aino Huhtaniemi (Oksa door decoration)