Exhibition ‘Matter’, results of the Design Exploration and Experimentation course

Posted on June 2017

The exhibition ‘Matter’ presents results of the Design Exploration and Experimentation course. Students were asked to approach the meaning of the concept of matter. The first part of the course was an inspirational week in the Museum Estate of Hevossilta and in Nuutajärvi glass village, where a group of 10 students collaborated with professional glassblowers. This experimental workshop challenged the students to invent and test their own tools while experiencing hot glass work.

Students kept a working diary as a personal documentation method and as a way to introduce their thinking and working process to other students and teachers. In the final works, the theme matter appears as the actual physical concept of matter and also on the psychological level of ¨what matters¨. Projects from the students are in a broad range of creative disciplines everything from ceramics, interactive sculpture to food design.

Explorative tools for experimenting with Matter

In the beginning of the Design Exploration and Experimentation course students and teachers traveled to Forssa and Nuutajärvi to explore the course’s theme matter and to experiment with glass working with explorative tools such as a spoon, dentist tools, polypores (mushroom), spruce needles, branches, bricks, logs, sand and so on. This two days of experimenting with all kinds of materials as tools brought inspiration, new experiences and very interesting results that neither students, teachers or the professional glass blowers had seen before.

What is now captured inside of the presented glass objects are the experiences that students shared in exposing themselves in the way of working with no clear understanding of the outcomes or the actions that the tools might perform when introduced to hot glass. This way of working set the ground for the personal paths that each student took during this course.

Explorative tools

Spoon, Beater, Dentist tools, Polypores (mushroom), Pine and spruce needles, Branches, Bricks, Logs, Sand, Ash, Rocks

Works by

  • Arne Aaraas
  • Lena Clasing
  • Henry Daly
  • Trolle Haar
  • Fabian Haarbeck
  • Saija Halko
  • Maiju Eliisa Koskela
  • Mervi Kurvinen
  • Hala Menassa
  • Matilda Palmu


  • Maarit Mäkelä
  • Priska Falin

Glass blowers

  • Alma Jantunen
  • Janne Rahunen
  • Matti Vilppula
  • Manuel Diemer

Tutors in the Glass Workshop

  • Maarit Mäkelä
  • Priska Falin
  • Anna Van der Lei

Arne Aaraas, Sketching with clay

Fired and non-fired thrown objects made from clay

Working with the throwing wheel as a way of sketching, I wanted to explore clay as a material and traditional methods of crafting. Through an intuitive and hands-on creative process, each individual piece is unique and contributes to an evolving aesthetic identity. The result of this form exploration is a collection of clay pieces that can inspire future product development.

Lena Clasing, Taste Finland

Chocolate, Blueberries, Lingonberries, Sea Buckthorn Jam, Juniper Berries, Spruce Needles, Dill, Oat Flakes, Rye Crisp, Gingerbread, Food design

Experimenting with ingredients from different cultures, combining all senses and making other people happy with my creations matters to me. And what could make people happier than a sweet bite of chocolate? Taste Finland is a variation of chocolates inspired by typical ingredients of Finnish food culture. It is the combination of different flavors, textures, and consistencies providing the ultimate Finnish experience in three bites.

Henry Daly, Organic Agency

Aluminium, Oak, Alder, Ash, Birch, Bisque fired clay

A series of castings and corresponding tools exploring the will of the material and the maker. Molten aluminum is poured into solid wood molds repeatedly. Results to both tool and substrate are exhibited as the outcome.

Trolle Rudebeck Haar, Uncontrollable pattern

Ceramics, marble effect

For me, Matter is about being able to control or not control your fate. The thoughts on the theme controlling or noncontrolling are the basic element for the process and creations of the project. I explored the field of ceramics and experimented marble effect technique. It always creates unique patterns that are difficult to control. I began a series of experiments, to find out how I can control the patterns. In my experimentation, I created and found different tools to make it controllable.

Fabian Haarbeck, Pino


The journey of this course took me to the world of ceramics. Fascinated by the material I developed a strong interest in exploring the different stages of creating a product in ceramics. Inspired by the stackable tableware set TC100 from Nick Roericht created in 1959 at Hfg Ulm I designed tableware that is stackable vertically and horizontally. The important part of the design process was how the material, with its boundaries, would affect the shape of the cup.

Saija Halko, Tools for Sauna Rituals

Finnish earthenware, porcelain, branches, linen. Techniques: wheel throwing, casting, embroidery

Tools for Sauna Rituals consists of different tactile tools for enhancing the sauna experience. These tools are inspired by Finnish folklore and sauna ritual called Kevättalven puhdistussauna (Early spring purification sauna), where the new spring is received and the weight of the past winter is released. The tools are designed to purify body and soul and to arouse different senses. In this work, material choices have a significant role and natural materials will bring you closer to the holistic sauna experience.

Maiju Eliisa Koskela, Portrait of a scrutinizing mind


A story of a mind that loves to overthink and a woman who seeks comfort on a potter’s wheel.

Mervi Kurvinen, Capturing Moments

Wax, photography

Working spontaneously without planning, I found a dialogue between the tool and the material. As a result of the dialogue, I became aware of the present moment which is the one that truly exists. Future and the past are only told stories. I captured the moment and treasured it as an object. That is how I tell stories and…remember what matters.

Hala Menassa, Free the body

Interactive installation with plaster model, acrylic paint and sponges

What Matters to me is feeling good in my own body. The figurine is a representation of a real woman, imperfect in the best of ways, which strives to promote a positive body image for women. In a world where women are constantly subject to physical criticism, I ask: What is the favorite part of your own body? The aim is for each and every person to challenge him/herself and embrace their body by highlighting their favorite part. Think positive, and the rest will follow.

Matilda Palmu, Come and paint with me

Collaborative, spontaneous painting, acrylic paints, aquarelle paper

My favorite matter and what matters to me the most is human interaction and feelings. I created a pleasant setting and invited people to paint with me. The collaborative painting became the visual narrative of our encounter. We painted about feelings, how we felt at the moment and however we felt like painting. Every painting is unique. It was interesting to see how different the paintings became when the only variable in the setting was the person sitting next to me.