This year's Design Forum Finland's Young Designer of the Year Prize goes to shoe designer Julia Lundsten (born 1975) and industrial designer Janne Kyttanen (born 1974).
The recipients will share the prize sum of EUR 5000. They have trained and achieved professional merit abroad - Julia Lundsten in London and Janne Kyttanen in Barcelona and Amsterdam. Lundsten established her shoe-design company FINSK in London in 2004, and Kyttanen founded his Freedom of Creation (FOC) company in Helsinki in 2000 and is currently based in Amsterdam. Based on the designers' solid personal conceptions of design and their innovative methods of design and manufacturing, these companies are now internationally recognized in both concept-related and commercial skills.
Julia Lundsten specialized in footwear while studying fashion design at the Royal College of Art in London. Having grown up in Finland in a family environment of architecture and interior design, Julia often finds inspiration in the forms of nature, but no less in the details of buildings and furniture.
Her shoe collections have been awarded the coveted Manolo Blahnik Prize in 2002 and 2003. In those prize-winning products she used dyed wood developed at the Lappeenranta University of Technology with funding from the Tekes Agency for Technology and Innovation. Her FINSK brand is highly regarded internationally from Great Britain to Japan. Living in London, Julia works as freelance consultant for Marchpole, and her clientele includes top brands such as Topshop, Kurt Geiger and Jaeger.
Janne Kyttanen began his studies in industrial design at the Escola de Disseny in Barcelona and he graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2000. Already as a student of design, Kyttanen investigated the use of layer manufacturing technologies, for which Freedom of Design is now known.
Applications of science and technology in design have brought Janne numerous prizes and awards: Best Newcomer prize at 100% Design in 2003, the red dot design prize of 2005 and the Interior Innovation prize in 2006. In 2007 the FOC concept was chosen as a finalist in the Index Award design competition.
The Young Designer of the Year Prize jury noted in its decision that Julia Lundsten and Janne Kyttanen are among the best examples of young Finnish designers working internationally. Through their bold decision and uncompromising work they serve to deepen the wide scope of design and expand its international character. At the same time, their work expresses the best traditions of Finnish design - clarity and pure lines without ignoring a light, playful touch. The members of the jury for the Young Designer of the Year of 2007 are curator Jukka Savolainen of Design Museum and Mikko Kalhama, CEO of Design Forum Finland.