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Mika Tolvanen is a softy. Or at least the Finnish designer's Restore Basket is. Unlike most hard storage containers, this one's made of polymer felt from recycled PET bottles. Hence the name Restore. Mika wanted the basket to have an unobtrusive but "friendly" appearance and serve as a handy storage space for magazines, toys or other household bits and bobs. The basket holds its shape but it won't scratch tabletop surfaces—and comes in an happy array of room-compatible colors.
”We give the designers the freedom to create new designs,” says Muuto co-founder Peter Bonnén. Inspired by the Finnish word “muutos” that alludes to having a new perspective, the company aspires to update Scandinavian tradition for a new generation. By giving free reign to the brightest design talent in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, there’s the breathing room to conjure a new take on a chair, vase or a lamp, Peter says. “The road to success for modern Scandinavian design lies in a strong belief in the best designers of our time.”
Peter and co-founder Kristian Byrge, who originally trained in economics and management respectively, might not have seemed destined to helm a new-influencer design firm. But their passion for all things design and and the distinctive style they dub “New Nordic” has brought global acclaim in just a few short years. “This gives the Muuto designs great diversity and character and further links them to the Nordic heritage—a heritage Muuto is proud of and that all the designers carry with them as part of their professional luggage”, says Kristian.
”My designs are function-oriented,” says Finnish creative light Mika Tolvanen, "but that does not mean they cannot be beautiful at the same time.” Mika founded his Helsinki studio after graduating from London’s Royal College of Art and is part of a lively network of his country’s young creators called the Rehti Design Group.
For an impressive list of companies such as Muuto, Zanotta and Offect, he has designed furniture, lamps and household goods. Mika’s priority is always to look for ways that design can serve the needs of everyday life. "What really defines objects is how we use them not what they appear to be," he says. "Design should not be the one that requires attention by being special.”