In celebration of Helsinki, Finland being named World Design Capital 2012, Marimekko is also launching Marimekko Village—both physically and digitally. “In 1962 Armi Ratia, the founder of Marimekko, defined Marimekko as ‘a cultural phenomenon guiding the quality of living’”. Years later, Marimekko is still that vision, but it has also stepped into the digital age. Ratia may have had her own idea of a Marimekko village in the ‘60s, but now in 2012, things have changed a bit.
From the Marimekko Village website:
“The Marimekko Village of 2012 brings together people through numerous events and activities in Marimekko spaces in Finland and abroad. We will create interesting encounters, encourage people to make things together and get inspired by colours and patterns in our everyday life. All happenings will converge in this digital space, a virtual village where people can learn about and follow the Marimekko Village throughout the year.”
Of course, Marimekko Village isn’t all digital; there are lots of events happening around Helsinki worth checking out. Other events in the Marimekko Village in spring 2012 include:
- Designer Erja Hirvi’s Bökars Revival photo exhibition in the Marimekko Marikiska store in Helsinki
- Off to the Woods! exhibition in Helsinki
- Marimekko’s legendary summer fashion show spiced up with new elements in Helsinki
- Open house events and talks as well as factory tours at the Marimekko-house in Helsinki
For those who can’t quite jetset off to Finland, you can still celebrate. Marimekko has brought back their vintage 1952 ‘Helsinki-Helsingfors’ print as made famous by the late designer Per-Olof Nyström. The print features stylized views of Helsinki landmarks, from the Sederholm House to the Helsinki Cathedral, Kauppahalli to Ravintola NJK on Valkosaari Island, and Uspenski Cathedral to the Helsinki Library and beyond. Fromtea-towels to shoulderbags, from serving trays to coffeemugs, and of course fabric in both blue and green, the re-release of this print invites you to join in the festivities from the comfort of your own home—wherever that may be.
Of course, bringing back the vintage print wasn’t as easy as you might think. The original design had been lost in time, its memory preserved only in a photograph and a fabric sample. A Marimekko intern was actually able to recreate the print based on the two:
“The idea of restoring the Helsinki-Helsingfors print for the Helsinki 2012 World Design Capital year came from the Marimekko designer Mika Piirainen. He had seen the print in an old photograph, but the original print ﬁlm had been lost in the mists of history. After considerable detective work, Mika managed to ﬁnd a sample of the original fabric.
Textile designer Heini Ruuskanen worked for Marimekko as an intern while studying at the Aalto University School of Art and Design. A highlight of Heini’s internship was restoring the ﬁlm for the Helsinki-Helsingfors print. “We had a small sample of the fabric, but no complete repeat. So I recreated the repeat based on the sample and a photograph of the fabric. Per-Olof Nyström’s daughter, Stina Ericsson, made sure the restored print remained faithful to her father’s classic design.”
So, now you can celebrate the historic city of Helsinki with this historic print, available online at AlwaysMod.