Fennia Prize

Honorary mention
Fibreglass in Bloom
The Flakes chair was created in the spring of 2004 for the Aarhus Art Museum, ARoS, in Denmark. It was designed by the renowned Danish design company shldesign (a part of shl architects) and the Finnish manufacturer, Arvo Piiroinen Oy, was responsible for the product development work.
This stackable chair of translucent fibreglass has a light feel to it. The fragility of the material, however, is only a positive illusion, for the chair is made of durable materials for long-term use. The seat is of fibreglass and the frame is of steel tubing. Ecological considerations have been taken into account: the fibreglass and metal parts can be recycled at the end of the chair’s use-life. An innovation is the addition of a decorative motif. The manufacturing technology makes it possible to embed fabric, logos, flowers and other features into the seat. The surface has the appearance of textile, providing new opportunities for interior decorators. The chair is easy to care for in use, while being expressive in an individual manner, or even playful or distinguished. Three fresh Marimekko patterns were chosen for production, Joonas (Maija Isola, 1960), Tuuli (Maija Isola, 1972) and Mojave (Erja Hirvi, 2002). A larger selection of fabrics is available on order.
The jury commented positively on perceptive product development making use of Marimekko’s textile and pattern expertise and its status as an internationally noted brand. In addition to its technical innovations, the Flakes chair was praised by the jury for its bold marketing concept. Solid Finnish skills in making furniture and a strong textile brand were combined with a Danish language of form. The result is a boldly different Scandinavian product concept offering new opportunities for interior design, international collaboration and marketing.
The Flakes chair belongs to the range of products made by the Arvi Piiroinen Oy (founded 1949), a multi-branch company known for its high-quality surface treatment of metal and the manufacturing of metal components. Its clientele include the electronics and furniture industries. Piiroinen is also a leading manufacturer of furniture for public facilities.
•Innovation in construction and marketing / individual product identity / perceptive use of a strong Finnish brand