EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art

EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of the biggest museums in Finland.



The Nordic Design Today 2012 exhibition (11.7. – 16.9.2012) presents the works of five Nordic designers and design groups: furniture, lamps, glassware, technical devices, fashions and product videos. Norway Says, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Harri Koskinen, Front and Henrik Vibskov are all winners during the past five years of the world’s most prestigious design award, the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg prize. 

The exhibits exemplify the ongoing search for a new identity and direction in Nordic design. After half-a-century of international success, the heritage of Nordic design is being scrutinised and revitalised.

These prize-winning designers have freely experimented with modern technology and studied the potential of digital technology in their work. This has resulted in surprising applications that shatter the earlier modes of design thinking. A certain playfulness and avant-gardism are also an essential aspect of today’s design.

To counterbalance the influence of globalisation, designers have drawn deeply from their country’s nature and design traditions, folklore and handicrafts, combining Nordic functionalism and simple aesthetic form with new materials and methods, and suitable for a changed environment. Similarly the whole concept of design has been expanded.

The exhibition is part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 programme and has been realised with the support of the Swedish Cultural Foundation and in collaboration with the Swedish design museum, Röhsska museet.

Press photos:
Password: emmamuseum

Additional information:
Museum Director Markku Valkonen, EMMA, 050 599 6811
Museum Director Ted Hesselbom, Röhsska museet, +46 (0)31 368 3155

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize jury gave the following reasons for their choices:
2007 Norway Says, Norway 
Torbjørn Anderssen, Andreas Engesvik, Espen Voll (the group is no longer working together)
“The trio has developed a form language on the basis of rigid simplification and minimal form, and the tensions resulting from the interplay of soft, sensual and organic forms.

2008 Steinunn  Sigurðardóttir, Iceland 
“After working as head designer in several leading fashion houses, since 2000 Steinunn Sigurðardóttir has run her own internationally successful company out of Reykjavik. Her fashions embody solid experience, remarkable fashion consciousness and quality finish. Her collections are noted for their high level of tailoring and material expertise.”

2009 Harri Koskinen, Finland  
”Harri Koskinen is one of the foremost designers now occupied with the task of continuing the Nordic design tradition. His extensive, wide-ranging body of work has a unique, austere design that is consistently expressed with clear Nordic roots in its demands for good function and simplicity of form, as well as in the choice of materials.”

2010 Front , Sweden  
Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren
”Among the criteria for awarding the prize are innovativeness and recreation. These criteria played an essential role in forming the jury’s choice of prize winner for this year. Front’s designs have often evolved from collaboration with other professionals such as craftsmen and manufacturers, but also, unusually, magicians and historians.”

2011 Henrik Vibskov, Denmark 
”Henrik Vibskov has long been delivering fashion design for a demanding young target group and creating design for industrial production for an international market. With his fashion shows and free projects, Henrik Vibskov is an important avant-gardist in the fashion industry. With elements such as music, installations and performance, he creates with great artistic confidence.”

Torsten and Wanja Söderberg prize
The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg design and craft prize has been awarded since 1994. Röhsska museet in Gothernberg is responsible for awarding the prize each year to a Nordic designer or arts and crafts worker.

The prize was established in 1992 by two bodies, the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg foundations. The brothers Torsten (1894-1960) and Ragnar (1900-1974) Söderberg worked devoted their lives to Sweden’s largest iron and steel wholesalers, Söderberg & Haak: Torsten in Gothenberg and Ragnar in Stockholm.

Torsten’s wife Wanja, neé Aminoff, (1899-1982) is the other donor in the Torsten Söderberg Foundation. The couple’s close relationship to the Röhsska Museet dates back to the 1930s. Torsten Söderberg, for instance, was chairman of the museum’s board from 1950-60.

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg prize was first awarded on 4.11.1994, the centenary of Torsten Söderberg’s birth. It is still awarded on his birthday. The value of the award at present is SKR 1 000 000 (about Euro 110 000).