a chat with iittala’s new inventive director, janni vepsäläinen

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janni vepsäläinen unpacks ‘the brand new period of play’ at iittala

 

Famend Finnish design model Iittala steps into its daring period by appointing a brand new Inventive Director, Janni Vepsäläinen, bringing a wealth of expertise from her background in luxurious style. Janni is able to redefine the model’s strategy to the world of design, all whereas reinforcing its creative and artisanal glassmaking heritage established since 1881. ‘My style expertise has helped me convey clear assortment considering into Iittala’s design processes,‘ she tells designboom throughout our journey to Stockholm Design Week. As a part of Iittala’s ongoing evolution, the model additionally introduces a brand new retail expertise emblem this month, accompanied by a typeface known as Aino. This title pays homage to one of many pioneering girls in Finnish design, Aino Aalto, and Iittala’s longest-running collection, the Aino Aalto glassware assortment (recognized initially as Bölgeblick, 1932).


Iittala PLAY assortment | pictures courtesy Grand Relations (until said in any other case)

 

 

reimagining ARTISTIC COLLABORATIONS AND COLLECTIONS

 

Moving into this new position, Janni Vepsäläinen understood simply how strongly Iittala is emblematized by its Glass Manufacturing unit, its artisans, and its long-standing custom of inviting artists to play with the model and channel their inventive eye by glass. In a pioneering transfer, the brand new Inventive Director reveals a collaboration with Damsel Elysium, an experimental sound and visible artist based mostly in London. Damsel has created, collectively with Janni Vepsäläinen and Iittala’s grasp glass blowers in Finland, a collection of sculptural mouth-blown and handcrafted glass devices and objects impressed by Iittala’s playful imaginative and prescient and a century-long custom of artisanal glassmaking. The merchandise had been unveiled throughout Stockholm Design Week 2024 in a spellbinding efficiency by Damsel, set in opposition to an industrial backdrop, glowing in the dead of night with fiery hues. 

 

Complementing the collaboration is Iittala PLAY, the primary assortment designed underneath Janni’s inventive route, which launches in shops in March 2024. This undertaking reimagines how we work together with design in our every day lives by presenting a line of colourful, versatile, and playful objects — starting from glass objects to ceramic tableware, textiles, and candles (a brand new addition to Iittala’s portfolio). Lastly, a renewed retail expertise is predicted to launch, aligning with Iittala’s long-standing imaginative and prescient. Learn on as we delve into this daring and promising relaunch with Janni Vepsäläinen. 

'we are reimagining glass' — a talk with iittala's new creative director, janni vepsäläinen
Iittala x Damsel Elysium assortment

 

 

interview with janni vepsäläinen

 

designboom (DB): What inspired you to tackle the position at Iittala, and the way does your background in luxurious style contribute to the model’s relaunch?

 

Janni Vepsäläinen (JV): I do certainly have a background in style. In knitwear design, to be particular. Trend gave me a great inventive playground for a few years, and I cherished it. What initially made me fall in love with knitwear design was that, by knitting, I used to be capable of craft my very own cloth and to combine yarns and supplies freely. The identical sense of hand-crafted materials manipulation is current in mouth-blown glass. After I was approached in regards to the Iittala place, I noticed an incredible alternative to work with a model that has such a ravishing heritage and historical past. I may see limitless alternatives to convey the Iittala story alive and to the trendy period. My style expertise has helped me convey a transparent assortment considering into Iittala’s design processes. I feel and create with velocity. I make fast selections and observe my instinct. I at all times consider a muse or a sure individual once I design. I take into consideration their residence, how they spend their time, and what sort of rituals they’ve of their every day life.

'we are reimagining glass' — a talk with iittala's new creative director, janni vepsäläinen
the model’s new Inventive Director, Janni Vepsäläinen

 

 

DB: Might you share the inventive course of behind the brand new model id, together with the redesigned emblem?

 

JV: Throughout the first months of my time at Iittala, I frolicked researching the historical past of the model. I learn every part I may discover in regards to the designers behind our most iconic items and understood that in Iittala’s coronary heart, there’s this avant-garde design ethos that has at all times been pushing the boundaries and difficult the established order. Round this vitality, I began to construct an expression, our daring new id. The brand new model shade yellow is the colour of molten glass, simply ready to be formed. Yellow, in most cultures, has constructive attributes corresponding to pleasure and creativity. What may very well be a extra appropriate shade for an expressive and experimental model like Iittala! The brand new emblem can be impressed by Iittala’s lengthy historical past and a sure emblem from the nineteenth century. The flared serif fashion within the letters additionally signifies the thought of melted glass. I need the emblem to specific the craft and heritage within the coronary heart of Iittala. It was designed by Helsinki based mostly graphic designer Aleksi Tammi.

'we are reimagining glass' — a talk with iittala's new creative director, janni vepsäläinen
reimagining glass craftsmanship at Iittala

 

 

DB: Speak to us about your collaboration with Damsel Elysium. How did it unfold? 

 

JV: The undertaking with Damsel Elysium has been an absolute dream. We discovered a typical inventive voice in a short time, and we shared inspiration and concepts with one another by limitless video calls and direct messages. We continued ideation and making prototypes throughout Damsel’s visits to the Iittala glass manufacturing facility. The distinctive artwork items, the glass devices created within the collaboration, are showpieces of the PLAY assortment. The large story behind this collaboration is to strengthen the collaborative philosophy within the core of Iittala. With this undertaking, I needed to problem the boundaries of mouth-blown glass and create cultural conversations. I preferred that Damsel and I got here from such totally different backgrounds and got here collectively to create one thing distinctive utilizing the normal craft strategies. We’re reimagining glass!

 



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