The Marimekko Designathon competition

Marimekko, Slush and Junction look for bold patterns in the centenary of Finland's independence – the international Marimekko Designathon invites creators to challenge the traditional conventions of the textile industry with help of VR and AR technologies.

Marimekko's theme during the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence is bold patterns and doing things together open-mindedly. In collaboration with Slush, Europe's leading event for technology and start-ups, and Junction, the largest hackathon in Europe, we encourage participation in and create opportunities for innovation: we invite 50 younger generation creators to take part in the Marimekko Designathon competition that aims to challenge the traditional conventions of the textile and clothing industry. 

The international hackathon event combines design and technology in order to come up with new innovative solutions with the help of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. The Marimekko Designathon will be held at Marimekko's headquarters in Helsinki over a weekend from 15 to 17 September, in conjunction with the Helsinki Design Week.

On Sunday 17 September, a jury composed of international experts and the organizers of the competition will select the top 3–5 ideas from approximately 10 entries. The winners will have the opportunity to present their ideas to an audience of investors and startups at Slush 2017, 30 November – 1 December. 


The members of the jury include: 

Caterina Fake, American entrepreneur, angel investor and board member, also known for being the co-founder of Flickr and Hunch, and Chairman of Etsy.com

Linda Liukas, Finnish author of the Hello Ruby children's picture book, programmer and TED resident

Cecilie Manz, one of the leading Danish furniture and product designers of her generation

Arni Aromaa, Finnish designer, and creative director and CEO at Pentagon Design Oy

Kari Korkman, Helsinki Design Week founder and director, and president of the World Design Weeks network

Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, Marimekko's president and CEO, and chairman of the jury

The sign-up for the Marimekko Designathon begins in the beginning of August.

Hyvä Myrsky pattern, designed by Maija Louekari

A pattern to symbolise the collaboration

Maija Louekari, one of Marimekko's most prominent younger generation print designers, has created a pattern entitled Hyvä myrsky (good storm) to symbolise the Marimekko Designathon competition. The pattern was inspired by brainstorms where bold ideas and people meet and new beginnings are born. In the pattern, multi-interpretative storm clouds and lightning strikes form a good storm that freshens the surrounding world and so enables something new to emerge.


"We will build a successful future for Finland by doing things together and crossing boundaries open-mindedly. With the Marimekko Designathon competition, we want to invite younger generation creators to challenge the traditional conventions of our industry and develop fresh and unprecedented ideas. The project brings together trailblazing Finnish design and technology in a new way, and we can't wait to see what innovative solutions, new beginnings, might come out of the collaboration," says Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, President and CEO of Marimekko.


"Unique design and user experience are the cornerstones of the success of many thriving start-ups. Collaboration with Marimekko will open the door for the Slush start-up community to a completely new area of expertise, which in the long term will hopefully have a significant positive impact on the design know-how of local start-ups," notes Slush CEO Marianne Vikkula.


"At Junction, we are excited about breaking down barriers between design and technology through our collaboration with the timeless design house Marimekko. The experimental culture of a hackathon such as Junction presents companies with a new and different way to start developing their own business. To the younger generation of creators, the collaboration between Junction and Marimekko is an encouraging example - it will inspire future top professionals to develop their skills broadly and challenge established industries with new innovations and ideas," says Ville Leppälä, Head of Junction.