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Winners chosen in International Marimekko Design Competition
Sep '11
The winners have been chosen in the international design competition in honour of Marimekko's 60th anniversary, organised jointly by Marimekko and the Aalto University School of Art and Design. The competition, which started in March, challenged students at the world's leading design schools to engage on the theme “Why not together?” The competition looked for solutions which bring people together, fit in with Marimekko's business environment and work across cultural and geographical borders, in three categories: products for living, not pretending – for good everyday life; actions, events and encounters generated by aesthetic thinking; and service – just to make things run even better.

The backdrop to the umbrella theme of the competition was Marimekko's characteristic tradition throughout the years of doing things together and faith in the notion that everything is possible by doing things together.

The winner chosen by the panel of judges of the 8,000-euro prize in the competition category for products is the social and playful “Kumputie” leisure furnishing by Minna Piironen of the Aalto University School of Art and Design. The judges found “Kumputie” a fresh and strong idea for a new product which was in a class of its own, radiating ingenuity in bringing people together. The object's scalability and the way it is suited to public and private spaces alike also earned praise.

Two entries were awarded in the category actions, events and encounters. The 8,000-euro prize went to Satu Maaranen and Matti Liimatainen of the Aalto University School of Art and Design for their pleasing concept of a Marimekko “Mobile Shop”, a retail outlet on wheels. The judges felt that the entry reflects Marimekko's inclusive and unpretentious spirit, and it puts a global brand locally amidst the people in a natural way. The judges also praised the entry's worldwide practical potential.

The other award-winning entry is a concept entitled “Marimarathon”, originated by Iwa Herdensjö and Ida Pettersson of Konstfack, Stockholm's University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. The winner of the 3,000-euro prize delighted the judges with its uniqueness and its potential to reach new target groups. The idea behind “Marimarathon” is to invite people around the world to run together dressed in Marimekko patterns. Particularly strong in terms of brand communications, the entry also pleased the judges with the way it expresses care for the wellness of self and others as well as the social responsibility that could be associated with the concept.

The winner of the 5,000-euro prize in the category service was “Live Pattern”, by Chinami Oshima, Juri Hayashi and Nitta Keiko of Tama Art University, Japan. “Live Pattern” is a solution that brings company and consumers together around the world, enabling the consumers to play with and tailor their own Marimekko-patterned clothing through an electronic portal. The judges were won over by the entry's social activation capability and its participatory nature as well as its practicability.

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