• Snapshot from the first Alice in Wonderland workshop, Helsinki Design Week 2013.

    An Alice in Wonderland inspired table setting workshop aimed at children and parents will take over the Finnish Institute during our Wonder(fin)land event. Held over two consecutive weekends in September, the event aims to introduce children to Finnish design through creative learning.

    Originally organised at the Helsinki Design Week, the workshop is the joint project of colour and material designer and trend specialist Eeva Raitio and interior and production designer Tiina Paavilainen.

    ”The table setting workshop was originally mine and Eeva Raitio’s idea. We wanted to make everyday life more fun”, Paavilainen tells of the origin of the workshop.

    “Finns should be more playful: a table setting will most often consist of the same plates and glasses, but we wanted to make something different.”

    Paavilainen’s background in interior design and set design has led her to work on different projects and with various spaces, such as building a sushi bar inside a train carriage. “I’m curious and I want to learn something new every year,” Paavilainen describes herself. Curiosity is also encouraged in the workshops. The aim is to create a shared space where fun and colourful table settings can be created and children can spend time with their parents, as meals are the time when everyone is gathered around the same table. The children will also learn about food and how to set the table.

    ”This combines food – meaning both what you eat and how you eat it – with how different dishes and cooking utensils are used”, Paavilainen explains.

    The children are given free hands as they get to decide if they are setting the table for a dinner party, lunch, or breakfast, and whether the meal will have a certain theme. According to Paavilainen, this could be either a colour, a certain dish, or a specific ingredient. Paavilainen has herself organised a dinner party where all the food and drink was red.

    ”We were eating red peppers and tomatoes!”

    The products for the workshops will be provided by such Finnish design houses as Iittala, Marimekko, and Fiskars, while the Alice in Wonderland-theme is proof that everything is possible and allowed.

    ”We want to question what is right and what is wrong. A cup can be used as a cup or as a cooking pot”, Paavilainen reminds us.

    Having studied in London, Paavilainen has worked as a set designer for film and television productions, as well as an interior designer of offices and exhibitions. Unusual spaces and the constantly shifting city landscape work as the inspiration for her work. “I love the three-dimensional space, whether it be seen through the lens of a camera or with the naked eye.“
    The Wonder(fin)land workshops will be held at the Finnish Institute 19 - 20 September and 26 - 27 September 10am to 5pm. The event is for children and adults of all ages and is free of charge.

Thursday, 20th August 2015