Design against throwawayism

I just came back from a trip to Helsinki, where I visited Katti who is one of my closest friends. We had a great and inspiring time – talking and discussing for hours and days… And I came back to Oslo without any sightseeing but with a huge list of books and projects and fresh ideas in my head. Thanks Katti for your great input!
A very “finnish thing” Katti told me about and which I want to share with you is Iittala. I have heard about them before but I didn’t know their claim Design against throwawayism which I like a lot. Of course it also smells like smart Marketing – in the end, they “just” produce high-quality and (maybe) timeless products (but indeed, very nice ones…). And it’s very easy for a qualitative “tableware” producer to claim that they’re against throwawayism since I guess this is one area where people always used and still tend to keep objects for a long time. (the tea cups from my grandmother who passes them to my mother, she then passes them to me and so on)

This is what Iittala writes about their philosophy: Have you noticed how easy it is, in our shopping-oriented world, to crowd your home with meaningless things? You find yourself with short-lived items that eventually cease to function, or go out of style. So they are thrown away, adding to the growing mountains of unusable rubbish on our planet, while you keep on shopping for new things. Was life meant to be like this? Like more and more people, Iittala doesn’t believe in throwawayism. Long ago, designer Kaj Franck’s postulated that “objects should always be appropriate, durable and functional.” Objects that can be endlessly combined in new ways, refreshing everyday life. At Iittala, we believe in lasting everyday design against throwawayism.


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