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Finnish fair's EcoDesign exhibition themed 'multifunction'
Feb 16, 2011

The third international EcoDesign exhibition will present ecological multifunctional furniture from 80 internationally recognized designers at the Habitare fair at the Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre from September 14 to 18.
Designer Konstantin Grcic is the guest of honour along with other top international designers and new Finnish design talents.

Designers have a free hand in designing and implementing an ecological product under the theme ‘multifunction’. The starting point for the designs will be environmental friendliness, material choice, manufacturing process, packaging and logistics; durable; maintainable; and recyclable.
“Function has always been the essential motivation for design. However, the interpretation of what function means has significantly broadened. The function of an object refers not only to its practical use but contains considerations that affect many aspects of a product's life,” says Grcic.

“Besides its practical function, good design has to evoke emotional senses. The identity of a product, the way it looks, feels, the memories it stores – all this is just as important as comfort, stackability and so on. On another level, there are functions that are less apparent to the end user. An object has to be producible, which is a function in itself, just like the fact that it can be stored, packaged and dispatched. Even the latter phases of a product's life cycle are to be considered: can it be repaired in case it fails, how will it be disposed of or recycled?”

“My concept of 'multifunction' doesn't aim at a literal interpretation only – objects that combine multiple practical functions. Multifunctional refers to the many different layers of functions within a product life cycle, and they are all relevant in identifying the ecological profile.”
The exhibition’s assistant curator will be Timo Salli, a designer and Professor at the Aalto University School of Art and Design. At the exhibition opening on September 14, one designer/designer group will be awarded a €5,000 prize donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation.

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