This issue of Projector speaks with a distinct Finnish accent. With the rare exception of those publications which stem from the local editorial portfolio, the number of projects are dedicated to our good northern neighbors. It is surprising that in recent years such a powerful phenomenon as Finnish design has not received the deserved coverage in our area. Of course, we all know Alvar Aalto, whose name has already for half a century represented Finland in the world, and at times it’s a much broader information field than architecture and design. The name of Aalto often represents the entire Finnish culture of the second half of the twentieth century, and don’t be surprised that this issue has no publication about the life and work of the «father of the Northern modernism», as the Maitre is often called. Firstly, who knew that this year the stars would be aligned so that we’d publish an issue with such emphasis on Finnish design — the editorial plan is pretty chaotic and can suddenly go towards a completely unexpected direction. Estimating Aalto in the global context, Projector paid tribute to his work a year ago in the issue 2 (3), 2008. It is clear that Aalto’s works can occupy several magazines from cover to cover each, but we wanted to avoid repetitions. And to be honest, the editors hope that our readers are familiar with the legacy of Aalto well enough, while the names of other heroes of Finnish design, unfortunately, sound strange in our area. That’s who we’re going to speak about.
From the first page to the last one I’m extremely grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Finnish General Consulate in Saint-Petersburg for assistance in preparing the issue. They were very kind and introduced us to Finnish designers in the field environment of Helsinki. In the fullness of my heart I decided to assemble the most part of the issue of the works by our colleagues from Finland. I would also like to thank personally Ms Jutta Hinkkanen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland, who made our trip abundant and interesting! I also thank the Media Relations conuncil Mr. Matti Nieminen and Culture assistant Ms Katja Nieminen, who helped us with the organizational issues.
The Finnish designers told us: «Finland is a small country. We are only 5 million. The society almost doesn’t have vertical hierarchy. The Finnish model is very horizontal. This can be proven, for example, with he possibility to call the Minister on a mobile, if required. We all know each other …» And this collective communication field is well felt in contact with all kinds of people there. It is hardly possible in our vertical latitudes. But it would be nice at least for fellow designers from the same city to know each other and be in a collective information field, rather than sit in their dens with no will to go outside.
Projector № 2(7) 2009
The latest Projector has a distinct Finnish accent. Even the cover reads: Varo kuuma, which means «Be careful, it's hot!» The hot summer Finnish issue has dedicated more than half of its publications to the project of the designers from Finland - our good neighbors.
That would be a predictable step to start with Alvar Aalto, the forefather of all Finnish design. But, first, we wrote about him a year ago in the issue 2 (3) in 2008, and secondly, his works are well-known in our latitudes. That’s why we suddenly with Eero Aarnio and more predictably continue with Harri Koskinen — both masters of Finnish design have been interviewed by Projector.
The author’s project of Olga and Alexander Florensky isn’t subject to any geographical or thematic trends in the editorial policy and is, as usual, still here. This time we will focus on the Mobile bestiary.
The «Lettering» opens with the article on Graphic Archaeology — the project of Mitya Kharshak, implemented with the help of students of Saint-Petersburg University of Polygraphy.
The relationship between Projector and letters through the story about an amazing Kunststück — ciphermachine based on Rubik’s Cube.
Project №4 «Subject» is surprisingly abundant this issue. The editorial board have spotted four objects, simply impossible not to be discussed. Among them is the chair Organic by Eero Saarinen, created in collaboration with Charles Eames; a freaky engagement wire, designed by Ilkka Suppanen; a recession-resistant project of a thermos that can be constructed with your own hands, and the futuristic Medusa by Mikko Paakkanen.
The №5, «Environment», shows two projects: Kirnu, «a giant pot», which will represent Finland at the World Expo in Shanghai; and the apartment — a witty artistic project by the trio of young ladies-designers from Saint-Petersburg.
Next, in the project «Interactive» there’s our critically-minded expert in site building Michael Shulenin examines the site of Helsinki University of Art and Design. I must say that despite the biased analysis, the site as a whole has managed to pass the test given by our strict member of the editorial board.
The photography project this time also features a Finnish master — Ole Kolemaynen. Unfortunately, the editors weren’t efficient at twisting Mr. Kolemaynenu’s hands and his press service, and we did get a portrait of the main working tool of the photographer — his camera. That’s a drag, but we’ve been able to publish two photos more!
In the project №8 «School» Sergei Helmyanov talks about his experience of cooperation with Nokia during the training project with the students of «Mukha». This is also a Finnish subject in some way, I guess.
Mikhail Karasik continues to delight us with his stories about the studies of books of the 1920-30s. Read his article Jump in this issue.
Next, our permanent columnist Dmitry Nikiforov looks through «The most beautiful book in Finland, 2008» (this is an award), entitled Sketchbook, with great pleasure.