Finnish design house Marimekko—which got its start in 1951—is synonymous with a postwar spirit: freedom, independence, and pure national pride. Its company history is wholly intertwined with its country’s history, so in honor of Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence, Marimekko turned to a new generation to explore the future of design. During Helsinki Design Week (which was held from September 7 to 17), the house hosted a Design Hackathon, inviting 51 young designers to an ideas competition to explore the use of augmented reality and virtual reality in the textile industry.
“New thinking and innovation and combining design and technology are at the core of our company,” said Päivi Paltola, Marimekko chief marketing officer. Recently, the company launched a virtual Marimekko home, which allows designers, shoppers, and all-around pattern enthusiasts to decorate a home with prints from the new spring-summer collection. “We come from one perspective,” she continued, “but when you combine new ideas you get something totally new.”