Design and Create Beauty——Mikko Laakkonen


Mikko Laakkonen, a Finnish furniture designer, whose designs have been on display inseveral exhibitions around Europe, the United States, China and Japan.He has been awarded anumber of international and national prizes. For example, Aura sofa, designed byMikko Laakkonen when co-operatedwith and for Inno InteriorOy in 2012, has won the Reddot: “bestof the best” award. Inno is one of the most innovative and internationally recognizedfurniture brands from Finland.Avarte Furniture has beencooperated with Inno and has the production rights for these Inno products in China from 2010.


“I believe that every project is different, and strive to find a tailoredsolution that combines both the client’s needs and my expertise in design. Myfocus is to create unique, insightful items for everyday use.”                 ——MikkoLaakkonen

1. First ofall, would you please share with us your education and workexperience?

Mikko Laakkonen: I was first graduating as a musical instrument maker. Afterthat I began to study furniture design at Kymenlaakso University of AppliedSciences, and later received my Masters degree from the University of Art andDesign in Helsinki. I first workingdesign and architecture firms for several years. But in year2004 I founded Studio Mikko Laakkonen which offers product design services,with the main focus on everyday items.

2. What makesyou design furniture instead of continuing musicalinstrumentmaking?

Mikko Laakkonen: I havealways been interested in planning and designing things. Also I have always been interested in many, manydifferent things. So as a designer I can be involved in a wide range ofproject. I can work with different companies which have different culturesbackground.


3. Did the multidisciplinary study haveany influence on your design thought?

Mikko Laakkonen: Of course. Everything what you do, see, hear, etc. affect.For example I know and I′m interested in many different materials andmanufacturing technique.


4. Could youtalk a bit about your understanding of the “music”, “architecture”, and “art”?

Mikko Laakkonen: I think that goodmusic, art, architecture and design should have rhythm and groove.


5.  Could you say a bit about theunique of the Aura sofa?

Mikko Laakkonen: Aura product family is result of a long term co-operation with company Inno. I try to create objects that look simple and obvious. Achieving that can be quite hard.Often it means that the manufacturing can be very complex. I think that in Aurawe solved that quite nicely. Also I think the naturalform that creates the space inside the Aura makes Aura quite unique feel.


6.  What is your own design philosophyduring your design process?

Mikko Laakkonen: I would liketo think that I design tools for living, tools to play with. I try my best to create objects that are beautiful and working.


7. Whether you will consider the localculture when you design the products? If so, how you could learn the culture ofthe country or city?

Mikko Laakkonen: I do not know how conscious action, this cultureconsideration is. I more think my clientwhat and how they work. But of course I learn every time I visit for example inChina.It is fascinatingto watch human behavior and find similarities anddifferences between cultures.


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