Kiela – Design from Lapland at Milan Design Week 8.–14.4.2013

Arctic design continues to conquer the world. This time in the form of Kiela –Design from Lapland –exhibition that collects together the works of eight northern design companies to the prestigious Tortona Design Week. The exhibition showcases also works of upcoming designers from the University of Lapland and traditional sámi handicrafts from Sámi Duodji association.

Tortona Design Week is a part of the world famous Milan Design Week, taking place from April 8th to 14th at one of the design capitals of the world. Tortona Design Week alone, inside this massive event, gathered over 110 000 visitors with its 200 exhibitors. Press, talent scouts and design professional from all over the world come to the city to get a feel of the future of design.

Kiela –Design from Lapland showcases in one of the most central locations of the week, in the courtyard of Opficio 31 industrial complex. Full of light, this open space is a perfect venue for exhibiting products from northern design companies that share the love for timeless design and clearly defined style.

In this collective exhibition, the foundations for design in Lapland are clearly visible. Nature and tradition combined with cutting edge technologies, the cold and the wild, sustainability and appreciation of craft welcome the visitor of Kiela. Kiela is the Finnish name for the hondo of the reindeer lasso called suopunki, which is traditionally used to catch reindeer when they are separated from the herd. In the exhibition, Kiela is a metaphor for gathering together designers from different design scenes. Kiela proudly presents:

Arkkitehtitoimisto N-A-M, Hornwork, JAUR, Kaisa Sirén, Keramiikkapaja Maari,
Littlefinland.fi, Paperivalo, Puusepänliike Pihlaja and Sámi Duodji.

Companies are accompanied by a younger generation of designers from the University of Lapland searching for fresh means of expression:

Reetta Eskola, Elina Hilden, Netta Korhonen, Jenni Marttila, Helka Mäkinen, Pirita Norvanto, Riikka Oikarainen, Heidi Ollikainen, Jukka Pirinen, Janne Sipilä, Juhani Näränen and Iines Partanen.

The exhibition Kiela – Design from Lapland is organized by the WDC 2012 Helsinki–Rovaniemi project. The northern city of Rovaniemi, Rovaniemi Regional Development Agency Ltd and University of Lapland promote the arctic perspective on design; combining arctic requirements, top research as well as education, the expertise of creative industry enterprises and northern culture.

Kiela – Design from Lapland exhibition can be found from the Tortona Design Week webpage,
and already on a few other web-based medias: 2night.it and Inner Design.

Get press material from here

Companies at Kiela

Arkkitehtitoimisto N-A-M refines dreams into beautiful, practical and lifecycle-economic entities. Architect Sipi Hintsanen brings his modern design ideals to life in his “Elli” extendable dining table. The innovative structure of the Elli table has been granted a utility model protection. The products are handmade of high quality solid wood and aluminium honeycomb plate by Teemu Karjalainen from carpentry shop Kiila.

The impressive reindeer antler chandelier by Hornwork presented at Kiela is a focal point in any space. The principal material, reindeer antler, has been utilised in the north for decades. Hornwork and owner of the business, Ari Kangasniemi, want to maintain and preserve the old traditions of working with this renewable material. Every antler is carefully selected to create these unique products.

Water Pitcher

Jaur presents top Finnish steel design. The products from the world’s northernmost steel factory in Tornio reflect the peace and tranquility of their source of inspiration – the nature of Lapland. JAUR utilises the best stainless steel grades in a way that appreciates the material: as artefacts and decorative objects. These decorative objects are also sustainable: raw material of stainless steel is recycled metal. JAUR® is a registered trademark of the producer of the range, Eero Hyrkäs Oy.

Art on Sofa

Luxurious and soft reindeer leather cushion are Art on sofa. Photographer Kaisa Sirén captures pieces of Lapland in her photographs and prints them on reindeer leather. The beautiful cushions are made of Lappis materials, dyed reindeer leather and embellished with carved reindeer antler. Each motif is beautifully crafted in a 30-piece series by Eila Puhakka. Each piece is unique and numbered.

Eco Luxury cushions

Littlefinland.fi launches their scandinavian Eco Luxury cushion collection at Tortona Design Week. The colourful floor cushions made of reindeer leather are the first products of their “Exclusivity via Uniqueness” product family. Reindeer leather is a luxurious and durable material rarely used in such products, but natural for Littlefinland.fi as they are located in the Arctic region of Finland in northern Lapland.


 The incredible colours, shapes and materials of Lapland’s nature are the source of inspiration for Maari´s Koivu ceramic series. Koivu -Birch- the tough lady of the forest, is part of every Finn’s soul and the basis for this delicate and beautiful collection. The ceramic artist behind the products, Maarit Mattanen, is especially fascinated by the ruggedness and unpredictability of Raku ceramics. The outcome of firing cannot be controlled, so every piece is one-of-a-kind – just as unique as the elements of nature.

Valot luminaire

Paperivalo’s minimalist and elegant luminaires are efficient elements of interior decoration and create a harmonious atmosphere. The transparent lines on the paper and paper surfaces of different thicknesses create lively patterns that come to life as light penetrates the paper. The main colour of the collection, white, symbolises snow and the brilliant white light of Lapland. The watermark created by paper artist Sirpa Kivilompolo is a miracle hidden in a sheet of handmade paper and revealed by light to portray stories and translucent images.

Suutari writingdesk

Puusepänliike Pihlaja Ltd focuses on creating solid wood furniture for both public and private spaces. The skillfully finished pieces of the “Suutari” -collection are handcrafted from white oak. The airy and light design of the “Suutari” -table introduces the design of an old cobbler's table into the present day. The youthful, proficient carpenters of Puusepänliike Pihlaja also design and manufacture unique furniture according to customers’ specifications.

Sámi Duodji is an association promoting and nurturing Finnish Sámi Handicrafts. They value and cherish the authentic, original and living Sámi culture. The Kiela-Design from Lapland exhibition showcases products from two distinguished Sámi artisans; Ilmari Laiti and Seija Ranttila. Laiti’s products represent traditional crafts and materials from the north, like burl of birch, reindeer antler and bone. Ranttila’s Sagat brings the strong and rich colours of Sámi culture into modern day textiles.



Young designers at Kiela

Two way candle holders and extinguisher with a twist. These stainless steel products by Reetta Eskola derive their minimalism and pure forms from the Finnish nature.

Kulmio allows you to change the amount of light and its character by twisting the upper and lower parts of the cube. Elina Hildèn has been aiming for a personally created atmosphere.


The Spider Stool plays with edges, light and shadow. Triangular, spidery shapes are carved from birch plywood. Netta Korhonen found her inspiration from nature, water shaped driftwood, from claws, antlers and insect legs.


Keinu is a rocking chair designed for a modern home by Jenni Marttila. The design was inspired by tradition and bringing tradition into present in a sustainable way. It is made of birch and the seat is laminated birch veneer. Keinu keeps the body in movement while activating muscles.

Northward Yearning

Northward Yearning is a collection of four outfits, a vision that Helka Mäkinen designed dreams in  mind. Showcased here is an evening gown of bamboo terry with dip dyed details and jersey jewellery.

Hidden Star

Hidden Star –collection, designed by Pirita Norvanto, is inspired by the Finnish winter night and nature. This collection, sewn using traditional methods, combines knits with lamb and fox fur.


The necklace made of used or broken zippers value ecological thinking. Designer Riikka Oikarainen has turned zipper pullers into earrings and chains into necklaces and bracelets.

Saaga swing

Saaga is a multifunctional product which follows the user all the way from childhood to adulthood. Saaga can be modified as a cradle, a swing, a chair and a footstool. Design by Laura Ollikainen and Heidi Koskela. Textile design by Liisa Karppinen.

 The use of the finest Finnish plywood brings strength and a fascinating look to this uniquely shaped coffee table. Jukka Pirinen has created the simple yet classy look of Ek1 by using only the necessary factors in its design.

Haive is a LED table lamp designed by Janne Sipilä. It is a combination of traditional materials,wood (oak) and metal. Elegant design of the lamp gives traditional materials a new point of view. 


Mystery Posters are works of graphic design students Iines Partanen and Juhani Näränen.

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