Pattern Lab20 x Lapuan Kankurit
Pattern Lab is a year-long study project at Aalto University of Art, Design and Architecture. The project gives students a possibility to experience what it is like to work as a professional freelance designer in the textile industry. During the training, students create their own designs in co-operation with a design company, such as Lapuan Kankurit.
Lapuan Kankurit started co-operating with Pattern Lab in 2012, which resulted in a large number of beautiful designs from today’s top designers including Reeta Ek. “Working together with students on a long-term project such as this requires open-mindedness, commitment and, above all, consistency,” says member of the Lapuan Kankurit design team Elina Helenius. “Students are seldom held back by old habits or fixed mindsets, which is refreshing,” Jaana Hjelt from Lapuan Kankurit adds. “This kind of co-operation is beneficial for both parties. To us, it is a possibility to get fresh ideas and work with upcoming talents. The students, on the other hand, learn how to create commercial designs in a genuine business environment.”
Maarit Salolainen, professor of Textile Design at the Aalto University, has been supervising Pattern Lab since 2003. She sees the study project as an important steppingstone for young designers. “To our students, this real-life training opportunity with Lapuan Kankurit is an eye-opening experience. It is extremely important that students get to see the production and design process from the client’s point of view as well,” Salolainen says. Both Hjelt and Salolainen emphasize that the best designs and innovations are born out of creativity and co-operation. “At Lapuan Kankurit, we believe that working together and learning from each other is the right way to the best result,” Hjelt says. Maarit Salolainen agrees: “During the project, our students learn that success comes from listening to the client, from open communication, and working together as a team.” To Lapuan Kankurit, the Pattern Lab co-operation is of an even greater significance. “We believe that design is more than just a beautiful product. We aim to design and manufacture sustainable, longlasting, and versatile products for multifunctional purposes,” says Hjelt. “It is our responsibility to make sure that both the weaving skills and design work in the industry are preserved for future generations.”
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