Take a stand!

Text Moira Douranou & Juho Hiilivirta
Photo Matias Partanen

You both are interested in designing an ice sculpture for Lappset company. I hope that you could co-operate.”, Antti Stöckell replied to both of us. “What else could we do than co-operate – fight?” And that’s how it all started.

Lappset company was arranging an Arctic Inspirations Seminar in the end of January. To celebrate their event they wanted to have an ice sculpture in front of the Lappia House presenting arctic art and design to their international guests. They suggested that the designers should get inspiration from their new Finno‘16 product so the result would fit and support the seminar. The sculpture would be out of ice blocks and the students from Lapland Vocational College could help with the realization. That was all the information we got.


Students from the Lapland Vocational College built the ice sculpture with the guidance of their lecturer Aimo Jolanki.

Being interested in working on a real project we met and start brainstorming the ideas, experimenting and getting to know each other’s skills and interests. As an interior designer and a graphic designer we wanted to combine our skills to make our idea realistic, experimenting at the same time with the structure, lights and typo­graphy. Being forced to work in a timeline, we worked both individually and together, exchanging our thoughts and sharing our work equally.

Lappia House, designed by Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, is located in the city centre of Rovaniemi. Following Lappset design, the new collection of FINNO‘16 product is based on a square. We wanted to keep our design simple as well. Giving different proposals, together with Lappset company we chose the most suitable one for the occasion. Afterwards, we guided the students from Lapland Vocational College to follow our planning.

Facing temperatures of almost -30 degrees made it difficult for both us and the students to work with ice.

Weather difficulties were all upon us – Lapland is not for everyone! Facing temperatures of almost -30 degrees made it difficult for both us and the students to work with ice.

Experiments with colorful layers on floor that we didn’t use, led lights that didn’t work and measurements that didn’t appeal were on the program. But with willingness and a smile, everything was done in the end.

How to get involved in projects like this? Most of the emails we get from the University are in finnish, but do not hesitate! Use Google Translator and do not miss the opportunities to meet Finnish people and work on projects under real circumstances. You have nothing to lose but gain great experiences and develop even greater friendships!






Moira Douranou

Graduated from Technological Education Institute (T.E.I) of Athens with a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture. Having been an exchange student in University of Lapland in 2010, she is now back enrolled in the new Arctic Art & Design master program. Her interest focuses on how arctic conditions can be the leading point for design innovations improving living in the North.

Juho Hiilivirta

Graduated from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture with a Bachelor’s degree of Arts in 2011. Moving to Helsinki for studies helped him see his hometown Rovaniemi from a distance and understand Lapland better. He is now studying at University of Lapland, in the Faculty of Art and Design.


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