Of all the museums I went to while in Helsinki, the Design Museum was by far my favorite.
It is a small museum but it packed quite a punch. In fact it was so great I went back for a second visit with my sister when she arrived to Helsinki.
The featured designer was Eero Aarino who is famous for his ball chair. As I walked through the museum both times I was captivated by Aarino’s simple but interesting designs. As I learned his designs are considered artifacts because he takes materials and forces them into man made designs.
Designs he is most famous for were from the 1960’s but he has since designed many more pieces. Some of his most famous designs besides the ball chair are, the bubble chair (see above), poni, puppy and the tomato chair.
One section of the exhibit described how some of the designs are created. It was fascinating to watch the process in the factory from start to finish, how something that was once just an idea comes to life. Aarnio worked mostly with plastic and fiberglass to create his works, and many of his designs are still used today. They are so popular in fact that you can find cheaper knock off versions of his work. Nothing can compare though to the real deal.
After fully touring the exhibit, my sister Nancy and I made our way to the bottom floor where there was another exhibit and the children’s room. Now I could have spent hours having fun in the children’s room. There were several poni, puppy, and lizard pieces to sit on. There were blocks to play with and pictures to color. It was an elementary school teacher’s dream!
The permanent collection in the museum was fun to browse as well. They had a terrific children’s interactive brochure that of course I picked up. I am thinking it will be the perfect example for a future project.
I am so happy I had the chance to spend lots of time in my favorite museum in Helsinki.