Global design and local Finnish design and production meet at The Sami Knife II exhibition at Design Forum Finland. 22 designers have searched for a new form for the traditional Sami Knife. In addition to top designers from the Nordic countries, the participants include designers among the most interesting ones in the world at the moment.
"Updating" the Sami Knife has been an ambitious task on which all the invited designers wanted to express their views. The exhibition was on display at the Sami Museum Siida in Inari during the summer 2009 and it will tour later abroad.
The Sami Knife is a basic tool which has a development of 300 years behind it. The skill of crafting a traditional Sami knife is about to disappear. The Sami Knife project wants to raise discussion on how various locally developed objects are disappearing because of global production and the resulting price competition. The phenomenon is universal, and we can find examples of this trend in every culture.
The designers who fight against the disappearance of material culture through the project "The Sami Knife" are: Gjis Bakker, Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, Louise Campbell, Björn Dahlström, Naoto Fukasawa, Konstantin Grcic, Pentti Hakala, Alfredo Haberli, James Irvine, Motomi Kawakami, Toshiyuki Kita, Harri Koskinen, Nathalie Lahdenmaki, Petteri Laiti, Stefan Lindfors, Cecilie Manz, Jasper Morrison, Samuli Naamanka, Timo Salli, Finn Sködt, Shigeru Uchida and Anna von Schewen.
The exhibition shows sketches and drawings by these designers, as well as the prototypes of the knives they have designed. The best knife makers of Finland have participated in the production of the prototypes. Knives have also been crafted at the University of Art and Design Helsinki and the Sami Educational Institute in Inari.
The designers were invited to the exhibition by a working group that consists of Professor Simo Heikkila, Artist Professor Hannu Kahönen, Lector Ilmari Laiti and Interior Architect Sami Wirkkala. The Sami Knife II exhibition has received financial support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the National Council for Design.