One of first memories from my childhood are from home where in every window hang curtains with Marimekko prints. We were wearing red striped long pyjamas, made out of soft cotton fabric. My bed sheets had the large poppy prints of “Unikko”. We run in forests bare feet all summer long. We swam in lakes with lukewarm water. Life was happy and safe, full of love and play.
Our stools and table were made by Artek and designed by world-famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Sitting on them, we were cutting, colouring and pasting to create princess crowns for our play.
An article about a Finnish family and design at home: Design at home article from Ministry of Foreign Affairs webpage This is Finland
We drank our evening milks from Iittala glasses and used Hackman cutlery to eat out mashed potatoes and meat balls. Instead of ketchup we had lingonberry jam.
During springtime the tulips were put into an Aalto vase, a design classic that you can find from every Finnish household in several variants.
Marimekko, Artek and Iittala are great examples of Finnish design that at the same time of being simple and crafted, are also accessible and understandable for all people. All Finnish homes have furniture, textiles and dishes from these brands. The Finnish design is everyday design, meaning it it practical and usable in life. These principles have guided us in Gotta Joga too. Making yoga beautiful and practical, experience it like a peaceful walk in a Northern forest.
Unikko (Poppy in English), the iconic Marimekko print, turned 50 years in 2014. It’s story started in 1964, as Marimekko founder Armi Ratia expressed never wanting to make a floral print. According to her “Flowers should only bloom in the nature.” Refusing to obey, designer Maija Isola made a series of floral prints, one of them being Unikko. Impressed by the designs, Armi changes her mind and Unikko story begins. Recently, there have Unikko prints not only in Marimekko products, but Converse sneakers, Finnair aeroplanes or Banana Republic clothing.
Read more about Marimekko history from it’s founder Armi Ratia 1949 until today’s leaders Mika Ihamuotila and Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko.
Why Marimekko now?
The recent month with terrorist attacks in Europe, have shaken our everyday lives. Europe is no longer the safe haven like during my childhood. The attacks made me look for peaceful memories and activities. Thinking of Marimekko coloured childhood in the North, yoga classes with calm chants and our own Gotta Joga experience to give a moment of peaceful escape from our everyday hectic, was an inspiration for this blog post.