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Photo of stairs looking down to a lobby. The atmosphere is serene and white. Two blurry people approaching the stairs.
JKMM, Amos Rex, Helsinki 2018. photo: Mika Huisman / Decopic

On 3 February, Alvar Aalto’s birthday, the Finnish flag will fly for architecture and design!

Celebrated for the tenth time in Finland, the Architecture Day now invites design to join the party. A joint proposal by operators from both industries has been made to declare the birthday of our most renowned architect and designer, academician Alvar Aalto, a national flag-flying day for architecture and design.

Architecture and design are of fundamental importance to the building of our welfare state and Finland’s national image. The Finnish values of democracy, education, peace and nature are reflected in our architecture and design. A dedicated flag-flying day is now being sought for these art forms, which impact the daily lives of every Finn. 

Eleven architecture and design organisations seek the declaration of 3 February as the day of Alvar Aalto and Finnish architecture and design, a national flag-flying day. The proposal will be submitted to the Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo on 3 February 2021.

Throughout our independence, our architecture and design have painted a picture of an innovative country that invests in high quality. Even before gaining its independence, Finland participated in the Paris Exposition in 1900 with its own pavilion designed by the architect trio Gesellius–Lindgren–Saarinen, and the pavilions in Paris in 1937 and New York in 1939, designed by Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) aroused particular interest.

Finnish design also achieved international fame in the 1930s. Multiple Finnish designers were successful at the Milan Triennial, among them Aino Aalto (1894–1949), who in 1933 won a gold medal for her Böljeblick glassware set. At the next triennial she received the Grand Prix for the design of the exhibition stand, and his husband Alvar for his free-form vase. The success of Finnish designers continued in the 1950s, which was its the golden age of Finnish design.

During Finland’s reconstruction after the Second World War, buildings and utility items played an important role in raising the self-esteem of the citizens of the battered nation. Half a million houses were built in Finland, most self-built, and they became a symbol of reconstruction along with new factories, power stations and infrastructure. The Finnish identity has always included a strong connection with nature, which has always been evident in the works of Finnish architects and designers.

We invite all friends of Finnish architecture and design to fly the Finnish flag on 3 February. You can also participate virtually during the festival week by adding the “Arkkitehtuurin ja muotoilun liputus” frame to your Facebook profile picture.

Online events celebrating Architecture and Design Day 2021

Architecture and Design Day is celebrated with events that combine architecture and design. The events open to all are held in the virtual space.

A photo challenge will run throughout the architecture and design festival week to celebrate our everyday environment and the architectural and design features that brighten up our lives. Share your pictures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtags #ArkDesignJuhla and #CelebrateArchDesign.
Find out more about the challenge through this link.

The A&DO Learning Centre for Architecture and Design invites you to a mini-webinar on 3 February (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) titled “Architecture and Design Learning”. The webinar is held in English. In this webinar, the current prospects of architecture and design learning will be explored through talks and case studies. The keynote speakers are Fiona MacDonald and Matthew Springett who will tell about what’s happening in the pedagogics of the London Design Museum. They will also present their award-winning MATT+FIONA project. Read more about the A&DO webinar and sign up through this link

The Diverse Design – 30 Years of Passionate Collecting exhibition currently in the Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä, presents perhaps the world’s finest private collection of Aalto designs. On a video tour, chief curator Katariina Pakoma and curator Mari Murtoniemi will showcase their personal favourites from the diverse and unique collection of the collector Pertti Männistö. The tour is freely available on 3 February and onwards. The presentation is in Finnish, but English subtitles will be added as soon as possible. Read more about the exhibition through this link and find the video tour (currently in the Finnish language) through this link.

Celebrated since 2012, Finnish Architecture Day is organised by the Alvar Aalto Foundation, Archinfo Finland and the Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA). We have now invited the Finnish Association of Landscape Architects (MARK), the Association of Finnish Architects’ Offices, Building Information Foundation RTS, Ornamo Art and Design Finland, the Finnish Design Museum, the Finnish Association of Interior Architects SIO and the Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA) to join us.