Professor Takaaki Oe from Metropolia’s partner institution Kyoto University of Art and Design held a Japanese workshop for the design students from the 6th to the 8th of March. He brought with him 22 Japanese students who also took part in the workshop. The itinerary of the Japanese students also included a trip to the Marimekko factory in Herttoniemi.
The students familiarized themselves with traditional Japanese culture, looking for ways to add elements of Finnish culture to it. The main theme was tsutsumi design, which means the design of wrapping. Inspiration was drawn from the concepts of furoshiki, mizuhiki and fumikou; furoshiki is the wrapping of gifts or shopping in fabrics, mizuhiki is a courtesy in which a gift is wrapped with paper and bound with paper string, and fumikous are scented pouches sent to friends alongside a letter. The fumikou conveys the feelings of the sender to the recipient in the form of scent.
During the workshop the students developed different ways of expressing emotion and thoughts when sending a letter. By doing this, the students were trying to think of ways to revive the sending of physical letters by introducing new aspects to it. The students created models of objects that symbolise thoughts and feelings that you can fit inside a letter. Many also worked on alternative usages for the envelopes after the letter has been received.
In addition to the Japanese students, 35 Metropolia students attended the workshop. The atmosphere was excited throughout the workshop, and the students showed great enthusiasm in getting to know each other’s cultures. The classroom filled with admiring chatter when all the finished works were put on display on the last day and the students took a closer look at each other’s creations.