Unto Uolevi and the creative process

A soft toy called Unto Uolevi was acquired for the collections of Helsinki University Museum Flame from the discipline of craft teacher training at the Faculty of Educational Sciences. This soft toy has its origins in a drawing by a daycare-aged child. The toy was created in 2012 on a course on the basics of craft science given by Professor Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen and University Lecturer Henna Lahti. Some of the students participated in a project where the process of craft design was investigated through the creation of stuffed toys. The different stages of Unto Uolevi were recorded in the museum collections: the drawing, a prototype, a trial run and the final version.

A standing, striped light-beige and white soft toy with ears at the top and a black cap on the head.
Completed Unto Uolevi toy. Photo: Helsinki University Museum Flame/Maria Tukia.

Continue reading “Unto Uolevi and the creative process”

A chair inspired by an ancient Roman symbol of power

In the University of Helsinki Main Building, students hurry to class through a lobby dominated by imposing columns and elegant U-shaped chairs. Made of black saddle leather and wrought iron, these neoclassical chairs are modelled on the curule seat used by the ancient Romans to denote political or military power. The chairs can be found in the Main Building extension at Fabianinkatu 33, colloquially called the ‘new side’, which was designed by architect J. S. Sirén and completed in 1937.

A photo of a U-shaped chair with a black leather seat and a wrought-iron frame.
These neoclassical chairs, representing the high-end furniture of the time, featured motifs from ancient Egypt, including decorative lotus-shaped knobs, a round rosette and lion’s paw feet. Photo: Mikael Lindén / Helsinki University Museum Flame.

Continue reading “A chair inspired by an ancient Roman symbol of power”

The Domus chair conquered the world

The object of the month in November is a Finnish design classic: a chair which is a familiar object to many Finns from a variety of spaces. The story of the Domus chair began during the housing shortage that followed the Second World War, although it is possible that the idea for the chair occurred to its designer, Ilmari Tapiovaara, as early as the 1930s. In any case, the bent plywood chair, originally designed for a student housing complex in Helsinki, gradually became a mass-produced international bestseller. The Helsinki University Museum has received items of Domus furniture designed by Tapiovaara as donations from the University of Helsinki’s Student Union.

A wooden chair with a curved backrest and short armrests.
An original chair from the Domus Academica building complex, now included in the collections of the Helsinki University Museum. Photo: Helsinki University Museum / Maria Tukia.

Continue reading “The Domus chair conquered the world”