Reform for All Humans and Species


May 2024

Photo by:

Mikael Niemi

Less than a century ago, Finland was a young nation facing significant economic challenges. Scarcity was pervasive, necessitating tough decisions. Finland chose to invest in its future by focusing on its most precious resource: its children.

The baby box, initially designed to provide young families with essential items like clothing, offered even more. With a basic mattress at the bottom, it became the very first bed for many infants, including myself, ensuring that young families didn't need to purchase a separate baby cot.

Today, the baby box has become a cornerstone of Finnish households. It not only symbolizes societal care but also reflects the value placed on design in Finnish culture and what it signifies for our nation.

Design, in all its diverse forms, has served as a powerful tool, advocate, and catalyst for a more prosperous society. It's about discovering solutions within constraints.

The fourth Finimalism Journal explores questions of social sustainability: how can we utilize empathy to create a more equitable world that uplifts the lives of people from all walks of life? The hopeful message of good design is that in this equitable world, not only humans but also other species will thrive.

Consider these insightful thoughts shared by the luminaries interviewed for this journal:

"We’ve become accustomed to thinking that if fashion is accessible to everyone it’s no longer fashion – so can we ever even reach true equality?" Henna Lempinen

"I want to show that even from small seeds, meaningful and larger-than-life things can develop." Pekka Littow

“Whenever we breathe, we share something with the forest – and in this same process, we become part of the whole sanatorium.” Josefina Nelimarkka

"Design work can learn a lot from nighttime ideas. Like with music, it’s good to be open to something new and not see your taste as stagnant." Irene Kostas

We hope you enjoy reading our fourth journal, REFORM! For more inspiration, take a look at our previous issues: RETHINK, RECODE, and REDUCE.

This text is based on the statement presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale Pavilion Days by the Finimalism project.

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