Helinä Rautavaara Museum presented (28.3.-26.8.2012) the best of collaborative design, bringing to light what makes responsible design.
The three stories of urbanisation: Lost in Katutura, In the city or on the country? and The adventure of stubborn jackal will gave new perspectives to design by introducing Finnish designers who have been training the locals and helped them to design new products in Namibia, Senegal and India. Through the new possibilities of the manufacturing trade the locals can live in dignity.
Lost in Katutura depicted encounters between the Finnish designers and the inhabitants of a poor residential area of Windhoek, where they organised workshops dealing with identity, produced mobile videos and manufactured textile work. The group was accompanied by Professor Satu Miettinen, Doctor of Arts Inkeri Huhtamaa, textile artist Tarja Wallius and media artist Taina Kontio.
In the city or on the country? took museum visitors to Tikau, an ethical design company and Tikau Share organisation, established by Tanja Snellman. Both the company and the organisation cherish the tradition of Indian crafts and employ artisans living in rural areas, so that they do not have to move to the city to find employment. Finnish designers are involved in the product designing process. A small group of Kashmiri refugees manufacture felt carpets designed by Klaus Haapaniemi and the Dalits weave lamps designed by Ilkka Suppanen.
The adventure of stubborn jackal was based on the experiences of a well-known animator Antonia Ringbom in Senegal. She has been involved in setting up a cultural centre (Reseau d’Insertion des Artistes Artisans Chômeurs / RIAC) in the poor suburbs of Dakar. At this centre Ringbom has also been teaching film and animation to unemployed young people.
However, at the core of these exhibitions lay the Namibians, Senegalese and Indians, involved in these projects, which talk about their life in the shade of big cities.
These exhibitions were part of Helinä Rautavaara Museum thematic year of sustainable design, which includes a rich program of activities. Proudly funded by a generous grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs through their support for communications and education development.
Ilona Niinikangas, p. (09) 816 314 33. or by email