Utopia at the Heimtextil International Textile Fair
The grayness of Frankfurt was sprinkled with color for a week in January, when Messe Frankfurt gathered under its roof the whole spectrum of interior textile industry from every corner of the globe. Held yearly, Heimtextil is the biggest international textile trade fair with over 2700 exhibitors and 11 halls. Finnish design was represented by ten exhibitors; interior design companies Vallila Interior, Johanna Gullichsen and Sandudd, design studios Into C:D:C, Studio Kelkka, Studio Hilla, Piirre Collective and Belle Bird. Finnish design universities Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and Turku University of Applied Sciences attended Heimtextil with their own departments.
The Campus area in hall 4.2. assembled fifteen European universities to showcase their up-and-coming designs under the theme ”Hotel Europe”. Organized by Messe Frankfurt and BestofDesign organisation, the aim is to support partnerships and cooperation between design universities and help students and professionals alike to connect with one another. Textile design students of Metropolia UAS partook in the Campus area for the eight consecutive time as a part of their international project class. This year, twelve students had created an experimental Utopia collection, that composed of one piece from each student. The leitmotif of project Utopia was to combine synthetic materials and modern design with an organic feel and texture. Techniques and materials varied from eggshells to copper, hand weaving to lighting design. The cheerful and vivacious attitude of the students, along with interesting products, attracted visitors and new contacts with international businesses, which are worth their weight in gold when looking for interesting internships. The opportunity to explore the projects and meet students of other universities was equally inspiring, and sparked the curiosity of students interested in international exchange programs. Students also participated in a digital printing workshop, and lectures by renowned industry professionals, such as Carola Seybold from PANTONE, Lisa White from WGSN-homebuildlife and Anna Marie Commandeur of Stiljlinstituut Amsterdam shed light on the upcoming trends.
More experimental design from the younger wave of designers was exhibited in the Design Live-hall. On its lowest floor, visitors were immersed in the Heimtextil ”Experience” Theme Park, curated by Stiljlinstituut Amsterdam into an inspiring ensemble. Designs by three students from Metropolia UAS were part of the display as well. Materials, techniques, colors and textures of textile trends of 2015/16, realized by numerous designers, were presented to the visitor in a fashion that stimulated all senses, and the area echoed like an exclamation mark amidst thousands of static trade stands. A rolling, giant metallic pineapple demanded the attention of trade visitors, fudge was made on spot for hungry passers-by and a myriad of rooms created impressions of different illusions.
Utopia collection is on display at Metropolia UAS hallway gallery, 3.2. -27.3.2015 from 8am to 6pm, at Lummetie 2, Tikkurila, welcome! You may also take a look at the project on http://instagram.com/utopiassa .
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Text: Elina Heilanen & Tuiti Paju