Design Inspiration: Marimekko

Design Inspiration: Marimekko

October 10, 2016

Image Credit: Rupa Chaturvedi

Image Credit: Rupa Chaturvedi

Every time I hear the word Marimekko, a delightful medley of vivid, visual impressions made of bold colors and patterns comes to mind.

60 years ago, Marimekko started its journey of whimsical, joyful designs in textiles and dresses to now home decor and furnishing.  It is particularly noted for its brightly colored printed fabrics and simple but bold patterns inspired by nature and human life.

To me, Marimekko is a lovable addition to your everyday life and home - one that brings cheer and expression along with it!

Image Credit: Rupa Chaturvedi

Image Credit: Rupa Chaturvedi

Marimekko's philosophy is focused on helping people express their own unique personality. It has clothed both mavericks and independent thinkers in myriad ways.

Jacqueline Kennedy made them famous in the United States by wearing Marimekko dresses throughout the 1960 presidential campaigns. Later on the 1990s, Marimekko achieved publicity in the hit TV series "Sex and the City". The fictional main character of the series, writer Carrie Bradshaw, wore a Marimekko bikini on season 2 and later on, a Marimekko dress. In season 5 the series also introduced tablecloths with Marimekko prints.

Inspiration

I am deeply inspired by Armi Ratia, Marimekko's fearless founder who followed her dreams against all odds to create this unique and distinct brand that impacted the fashion world in the 1960s and continues to do so till today.

She once said in a magazine interview that she was "against success—it is a sick word. Too many side effects". She also said that she did not like "hats, corsets. There is almost no more bra or even pants—no elegant woman will wear stockings, perhaps even no shoes. The world changes quickly, and this is expression of the new society."

And how true is that! There is a deep relationship between design, objects and culture. Its not just about cool or beautiful stuff; design is an expression of our values, our meanings and our society.

Image Credit: Rupa Chaturvedi

Image Credit: Rupa Chaturvedi

What truly resonates with and inspires me  the most is that Marimekko is home of thousands of stories. Of designers defying the experts and the trends, creating their own voice and statements and establishing a new language of expression embedded in everyday human life.

THINKING ABOUT PEOPLE FIRST:

With its harmonious proportions and intriguing union of ceramic body and wooden handle - the Oiva teapot is decidedly a thing of beauty. 

Image credit: Design Inspiration

Image credit: Design Inspiration

Image credit: Amazon.com

Image credit: Amazon.com

Designers have always made their designs inside out - thinking about what inspires them and what they believe the design should be. Marimekko was no different, in the past designers first made patterns on print fabrics and then determined their suitability for products.

Today Marimekko's designers and design philosophy takes cues from people's doings, their circumstances alongside the task of producing print patterns. The designer of the Oiva teapot - Sami Ruotsalainen realized that tea drinkers come in different sorts - some like it green, while others prefer white or black. Sami decided to keep Oiva small and smart, leaving room for other teapots.

What I love about Oiva (besides the fact that it was created using a user centered design approach) is that it embodies the brand's philosophy so well and that it does have a story! It exudes a sense of generosity, of strength, of simplicity - Oiva simply lives - it does not try to impress you. 

Image credit: Marimekko

Image credit: Marimekko

The thing about creativity is that it is a tricky thing to possess, cultivate and sustain. Creativity creates conflict, more so creativity needs conflict to thrive. 

We need dark to see light, grey to grasp color, work to notice playfulness, emptiness to appreciate life... These conflicts raise questions, offer answers, let us see and hear, feed creativity and set the mind free.

Experience and Intuition can be deemed to be at conflict all the time. But combining these two is what truly created magic for the creative mind. You may have been struck by a bolt of inspiration or a spark of imagination and started to form the idea. But where does it belong in the human lifecycle? How can it be used? What place or situation? Who can use and and adore this item?

Still wondering why objects tell stories? 

Image Credit: Rupa Chaturvedi

Image Credit: Rupa Chaturvedi

Add a splash of eclectic style to your home or wardrobe with Marimekko. Or just visit a store around you for a splash of color and inspiration!

This post contains a few excerpts from the book - Marimekko In Patterns

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.