Finnish designer Ilkka Suppanen proves every cloud has a silver lining
It’s been a frenetic few months for Ilkka Suppanen. Last November, the Finnish designer scooped the world’s richest design award: the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize. Now, he celebrates a homecoming as the prize exhibition travels from Gothenburg to his base in Helsinki, where it has taken up residence at the Designmuseo.
Suppanen established his eponymous studio in 1995, and has designed furniture, lighting and products for the likes of Artek, Marimekko, Iittala, Cappellini and Zanotta. The prize exhibition includes various examples of his diverse output, as well as prototypes.
The show’s centrepiece is the designer’s ‘Wood Cloud’ site-specific ceiling installation, comprising around 1,000 thin slivers of wood cascading down above the exhibits. ‘The restrained and harmonious nature of the exhibition reflects Ilkka Suppanen’s thinking concerning the environment and social responsibility,’ says Designmuseo and exhibition curator Katarina Siltavuori.
The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize was first launched in 1994, and is awarded annually to an active Nordic designer or craftsman. It is administered by the Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg, and past winners have included design group Front. With SEK1,000,000 (£82,000) now in the bank, it seems the sky’s the limit for Suppanen.