Habitare is developing with Laura Sarvilinna

The biggest event during the Helsinki Design Week has been Habitare. This furniture and design fair has hosted several areas. The creative director of Habitare (consumer and trade fair) and Habitare Pro (trade fair), Laura Sarvilinna, told us about this exhibition and the Finnish design. Habitare's professional event Habitare Pro is a high-quality event for design, spatial design and lighting professionals. Habitare Pro explored the relationship of architecture, lighting and interior design with Finland cultural heritage and origins, in the present and the future.

LauraSarvilinna, creative director of Habitare Pro

How is the 2018 edition of the fair set up?
We start to develop the next fair one and a half year in advance. The first thing that we decide is the theme, international brands and then also the exhibition architecture. Those are the main things from where we start and also the floor plans and areas where there will be the exhibitions we’ll produce or what kind of special areas we will have.

Theme: which are the roots of design that you intend to recover and bring out?
One of the most important I think is authenticity and origin, identity, how we define those values in design, what is the origin of design and how the companies communicate their origin or their identity through design. Then we have a hyperculture, which means that in our homes, we mix things very much; we might mix things from our past, from our childhood or maybe from trips or from our friends.

Habitare Pro 2018

What is the current role of Finnish design in the international furniture scenario?
It’s a hard question. If we look at the brands who are leading the market, there are no Finnish brands in current markets leading, but if we think of course our role in designing furniture, it is still important, but we have more smaller companies, which are just raising in international awareness and so on rather than being there already. We used to be stronger in late 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s even, but now we are getting there again but it’s much more difficult nowadays, because there is so much more competition; and then we are also the country which develops things maybe from a different prospective and trying to use wood very much still in furniture business or the local production.

What are Habitare’s expectations for the furniture market and which are the growth strategies?
Our expectations are that we try to create this platform, this fair, so that companies would go both to Finnish market and also to international market with a clear brand communication and with a clear message, with a clear focus; that is our aim. We hope, and we have seen already, that small companies from Finland, very niche companies which are focusing on local production, handwork and so on, they have had good business opportunities.