In conversation with Carina and Sami


Marimekko's new home collection was built on the creative collaboration between Carina Seth Andersson and Sami Ruotsalainen.
Carina Seth Andersson and Sami Ruotsalainen – Marimekko home collection 2017

Carina Seth Andersson and Sami Ruotsalainen

HOW DID THE DESIGN PROCESS BEHIND THE NEW COLLECTION GET STARTED?

Carina: I think it started when I presented some sketches for my new Hortensie design. I especially liked how the flowerhead and stems could be bundled into a loose, expressive pattern. Sami and I started to play around with this idea on Oiva tableware - and we soon came up with something that felt exciting. I then let Sami decide how to arrange the new pattern on his original tableware design.

Sami: When Carina showed us some of her new print designs, she had these paper cut- outs with her. She folded one of the cutouts over the edge of a plate. It was the stem of a hydrangea flower, and we thought the idea was brilliant. Our design team and I then got to work. When Carina saw our proposal, she said: I don't want to change anything.

WHAT DROVE YOU CREATIVELY WHEN YOU WORKED ON THE COLLECTION?

C: When Marimekko asked me to design an organic pattern for the new collection, I knew it would be a challenge. But this time around an organic design made sense. It was a good way to follow up my previous collection for Marimekko. The inspiration behind the Hortensie and Spaljé patterns was the climbing hydrangea at my summerhouse. 

S: Carina's designs inspired me from the start. Her new print combine multilayered minimalism with an organic mood. The designs are modern and present an interesting contrast to our other tableware patterns. I also like the way pattern and form complement each other. Each print tells a story – and it's important to match that story with the right form. For me, Hortensie is about creating space and air, while Basket suggests the rhythmic interplay of dark surfaces. Spaljé is the perfect bridge between the two patterns.


EVERY DAY IS WORTHY OF GOOD DESIGN. HOW DO YOU THINK THE NEW COLLECTION HONOURS THIS THOUGHT? 

C: I think everyday objects should always communicate a sense of character. Sometimes the effect can be subtle and discreet – other times more conspicuous and direct. These objects should also be durable and long-lasting. What I find exciting is how the new collection can be combined with other objects – in so many positive ways.

S: When I'm designing objects for everyday use, I keep in mind the home environment. It can be a space filled with beloved objects or a home that's being decorated for the first time. In that sense, everyday objects always have an essential role in any home. We enjoy using them. We take care of them. Sometimes we even give them a place of honour in our homes. My work is also about solving everyday problems and designing objects that are in harmony with their surroundings. I want my creations to be purposeful and beautiful at the same time.