New Finnish Design SCENARIOS—A Story about what Happened in the Future is held in the Meatpacking District on May 12-17, 2011 during the 24th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. SCENARIOS offers an inspirational look at the designers, design studios, manufacturers, and products that are shaping the landscape of modern Finnish design, while simultaneously exposing the country's functional and beautiful products to a wider audience. SCENARIOS is the fifth event in the successful multi-year New Finnish Design project launched in 2007 to promote contemporary Finnish design in North America.

SCENARIOS includes an exhibition, a student workshop, a cafeteria serving Nordic delicacies by FIKA espresso bar, a pop-up store selling Finnish design items, a lounge area that features lectures and other cultural programming, and export training for participants organized in Helsinki, Finland already in March.

The multilayered SCENARIOS event highlights a wide array of the latest items and concepts by a selected group of Finnish design companies, individual designers and design studios. In addition to the furniture, lighting fixtures, and other interior design objects presented in the show; illustrated stories of the early years of the participating companies allow visitors to familiarize themselves with the ideas, inspirations, and processes traditionally found at the heart of Finnish design. The presentations are extended to also cover the future visions through texts, as well as through ideas and sketches born during the event.

All the participating design companies share a strong respect for good professional design, are designer driven, and have impressive material knowledge. They each have their own specialty with Innojok developing bright light therapy lamps; Saas Instruments creating lighting solutions based on LED technology and fiber optics; Vallila Interior innovating with interior decoration textiles; Vivero manufacturing original stripped-down furniture; and with Woodnotes producing functional textiles made of paper yarn. They all have interesting stories to tell and impressive plans for the future to share.

The exhibition section includes the latest products from the following designers and design studios: Mari Isopahkala, Harri Koskinen for Genelec, Hannu Kähönen and Annele Valkama for Creadesign, Samuli Naamanka for Plastex and Piiroinen, Pentagon Design, Heikki Ruoho for Showroom Finland, Ilkka Suppanen for Tikau, and Tunto Design. The product selection focuses on the current trends in contemporary Finnish design: sustainability, ethical thinking, mobility, technological and material innovations, innovative use of existing materials and techniques, multisensory reception, and a strong DIY culture combined with an appreciation for handicrafts and personalization.

The SCENARIOS student workshop allows students from New York and Helsinki the opportunity to work with internationally known Finnish companies and designers in the fields of furniture and product design. During the SCENARIOS event, students from both countries work in the event space allowing visitors a first-hand look into the creative process. The aim of the workshop is to map out future scenarios in the fields of design represented in the event. The students offer their solutions based on case studies on how for instance the manufacturers participating in the event should further develop their product lines, services, and business models. The students’ designs are being evaluated by a panel of design experts at the conclusion of the workshop. The SCENARIOS workshop is organized in collaboration with Aalto University School of Art and Design.

New Finnish Design SCENARIOS—A Story about what Happened in the Future is produced by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and the Consulate General of Finland in New York, with the support of Design Forum Finland. Visual identity is by Ahonen & Lamberg. SCENARIOS is an official satellite event of the international World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project.

The event is organized in collaboration with the Meatpacking District Improvement Association in conjunction with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and New York Design Week. SCENARIOS is supported by Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, National Council for Design, Visit Finland, and Graphic Concrete, with additional support for video production from the Alfred Kordelin Foundation.

Sari Anttonen, Curator of the event

Aalto University, School of Art and Design
Ahonen & Lamberg
FIKA espresso Bar
Meatpacking District Improvement Association
Graphic Concrete
Scandic Imports
Visit Finland
World Design Capital Helsinki 2012

Aalto University is a new multidisciplinary university, where science and art meet technology and business. The University is located in Espoo and Helsinki in Finland. The Aalto University School of Art and Design has been a leader in art and design education for over 138 years. It is an international postgraduate university institution with students from over 50 countries. It offers doctorate, master and bachelor degrees in a wide range of disciplines - fine art, design, new media, art education, visual culture, motion picture and production design. School of Art and Design is a pioneer in research and in developing interdisciplinary study programs.

The university has approximately 1,900 students in various degree programs. It also provides open university teaching and additional professional training. An international spirit and the English language are part of the everyday life at Aalto University. Almost 19 percent of the students come from abroad, making Aalto Finland's most international university.