As modern interpretation of the Finnish tradition, Iittala prideful presents the Sarjaton collection and clinks the glasses for a completely new thinking approach of tableware. The soft contours and the thrilling decors of this exciting collection allow facets-rich combinations for a contemporaneous eating-culture.
Iittala brought six young Finnish designers out of fashion, product, graphic and digital design together to create a collection which wouldn't only respect handicraft arts and eating rituals, bit also current values. Inspired by the Finnish way of life and a more conscious lifestyle, Sarjaton is the result of an innovative and common design process.
Translated Sarjaton means "without series" – the different single pieces work together in combination with other collections, but also as single elements. They enable creative combinations according to individual demands, suit the most different events without problems and therewith redefine liberty of flexibility.
Kay Frank revolutioned the table culture of his time since ever and embossed therewith the Iittala style of purist, often also geometric forms. With Sarjaton the Finnish company goes a step forward: Sarjaton is a complete and still reduced selection of 26 single pieces, where design plays a deciding role as well as the touch by the usage of materials. The single Sarjaton elements consist of glass, ceramic, ash wood and textiles, which can freely be combined with other products. Natural, damped tones such as peark grey, white, ancient rose, clay brown and rust red form the base for the tactile surfaces with patterns and reliefs on glossy as well as semi-matt glazing.
The soft design og Sarjaton is expressed the best by the refined forms of the plate, which ideally embody what the series is about: flowing forms, beauty and functionality.
Finnish tradition modernly interpreted
The roots of Finnish design lie in the history, the traditions and hostile lifestyle of the country and gain more and more attention: the objects have simple forms, but they are surely produced by craftsmen artists with wide ideas. This is how also Sarjaton reflects the core of the Finnish folk tradition and has also been inspired by cultural tradition, among others.
The pattern Metsä (forest) is homage to the forest, which doesn't only cover the half of the Finnish country, but also offers protection and food to humans since ever. Colourful, traditional-Finnish stitching offers the inspiration for the Tikki (stitch) design and the Finnish art of braiding, whether hair, baskets o carpets was exemplarily for Letti (braided plaits) structure.
Sarjaton's soft forms and natural colours embody the tradition which found its way into contemporaneous times and offer the possibility of developing own future oriented traditions.
The six designers behind Sarjaton
Sarjaton is the result of the cooperation of a team of independent Finnish designers that carry the same vision. With their different skills they have interpreted Finnish tradition on a modern way: Harri Koskinen designed the soft, round contures of the new ceramic dishes as well as of the wooden tray. Aleksi Kuokka made the form of the universal drinking glass. The Studio Samuji created the Tikki design which is anchored in traditional colourful stitching and the designers of Musuta drawed the Metsä and Letti patterns by hand and are also responsible for the natural colours spectrum of Sarjaton.
Harri Koskinen - Form
Harri Koskinen's unmistakable style is clearly mirrored in the forms of Sarjaton's ceramic elements and the wooden tray: the forms of Sarjaton are, as typical for Koskinen's designs, clear, timeless and relaxed, "Many designers often forget that dishes have been made to eat and drink. Our ideas behind the Sarjaton plates were to place food naturally in the middle of the plate. Another eye-catcher was in the creation of the soft touch quality and a controlled integral curve."
"The material value doesn't offer the value to an object anymore. It is much more important for it to delight, to be gladly used and possessed – only for oneself or also if one spends time with other people."
Harri Koskinen's (1970) pieces of furniture and different design objects are rich from international attention. With his designs he already won numerous design awards. The Finnish designer wants to find solutions that are innovative for both, the customer and the manufacturer.
Besides Iittala, also Artel, Danese Milano, Finlandia Vodka, Issey Miyake, Montina, Muji, Panasonic, Venini and Woodnotes count to his partners. Since the beginning of 2012 Harri Koskinen also works as Design Director for Iittala.
Aleksi Kuokka – Drinking glass
The fine form of the Sarjaton drinking glass shows rustic tradition in a modern realization. By its graceful weightlessness, the glass is suitable for everyday usage as well as also for celebration purposes.
During the design, Aleksi Kuokka concentrated back on the core of glass design: functionality here meets returning forms, that appeal to the user by the simplicity of the forms.
"Traditional Finnish design has the capability of moving the thoughts and intentions of the artist, besides its purist and reduced forms. During the creation of the Sarjaton Glasses I wanted to use a free line and to go back to a rather artistic working approach. Computer-based designs are balanced and pure, but they haven't the soul of a free-drawed form."
Aleksi Kuokka is one of the driving forces of the new generation of Finnish designers. His design work comes out of communication perspectives. Among others, Kuokka works as partner with Avian! Design Studio. Besides Iittala, he already cooperated with Finlayson, Nokia, Ramirent, SIS Deli, Tapiovaara and Woodnotes. For Iittala he designed the Ote Glass.
Musuta – Pattern & Colour
The designer couple behind Musuta was highly involved in the development of the Sarjaton design concept. Musuta furthermore created the Sarjaton colours as well as the Metsä and Letti patterns, which are tightly anchored in the Finnish lifestyle: The forest (Metsä) has always offered food and quietness to the Finnish. Braided plaits (Letti) ornament Finnish women at work as well as on celebrations. Furthermore Musuta designed the branding with the hand-drawn fish.This one goes back to the Finnish phrase "there is no sense in fishing across the sea.
The designers searched for a simple approach for the design of their pattern: "our aim was to create a matt surface, or a relief, which would instantly appeal to the touch." Jopsi Ramu therefore cut the ceramic forms and the steel for the glasses by hand. The unmistakable influence of handicraft art in an industrial product makes these patterns very modern. They have knowingly been created by hand, in order to achieve an unusual and imperfect impress. "We wanted to leave space for errors, since nobody is perfect, only this makes something interesting and exciting.
Also, it wasn't our aim to offer a terminated solution with Sarjaton, but we wanted to encourage the discovery of something suitable for everyone and for their personal demands. Sarjaton invites to combine the favorite objects lovingly – whether in stylishly modern places or traditional furnishings."
Musuta is an internationally renowned studio for creative concepts and design, consisting of Jopsu Ramu (1-82) and Timo Ramu (1979). The team works at motion design, film, art design as well as branding and creative concepts for brands and publicity agencies in and around Helsinki, Tokyo and all over the world. The works by Musuta are presented in numerous expositions and festivals around the world, such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, at One_Dot_Zero in London and New York as well as at the A Design Film Festival in Singapore and Berlin. The studio has been awarded wich the Golden Lion for Design in Cannes, the D&AD Award in London and the European Design Awards.
Samuji – Pattern
The inspiration for the Tikki (stitch) pattern comes from all stitched fabrics, such as dishcloths. The pattern is traditional – however with a modern and Finnish colour.
"The specialty at Sarjaton is that it wonderfully suits ancient and traditional dishes. A series mustn't really look like a unity. By its longevity, timeless and sustainable design, the single pieces do greatly suit in the whole image. The thought behind Sarjaton goes further along than trends and beauty idols and makes it therewith simply timeless."
Samuji is a studio for sustainable design, based in the historic town Vallila in Helsinki. It has been founded by the Finnish designer Samu-Jussi Koski in the year 2009, who has also been Creative Director for Marimekko.
Samuji works in different design areas and also produces fashion series with the same name. The design studio is strongly focused on sustainability and has therefore already attracted a whole lot of international attention. Besides Iittala also Artek counts to the design partners of Samuji. Both designers Samu-Jussi Koski and Hennamari Asunta were involved in the Sarjaton concepts as well as in the design processes.