Social, political and environmental values in Finnish design, 1960–1980
‘Disrespectful thoughts about design’
thoughts about design’ explores a generation of design students and
professionals in Finland in the 1960s and 1970s as they became aware of
the two contradictory faces of design: one that is complicit in
overproduction, overconsumption and social inequality, and the other
capable of examining, addressing and perhaps even solving these issues.
This awareness prompted an ambition to develop design education and
design practices shaped by environmental concerns, feelings of social
responsibility and politically leftist motivations.
on extensive archival research, this dissertation fills a gap in the
history of Finnish design, while providing a geographically, politically
and culturally specific account of the wave of social and environmental
responsibility that swept over the global design field during the 1960s
and 1970s. It argues that, at present time, there is an equally urgent
need to see design as a profession able to reconsider and realign its
goals and values.
Savola is a design historian and curator. She received her M.A. from
the Royal College of Art in London, and her D.A. from Aalto University.
She is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at Aalto, at the
Department of Design, exploring the values and practices of design as a
discursive tool for envisioning technological futures. Her curatorial
work includes the Finnish pavilion at the XXII Triennale di Milano in
2019 and the ‘Design for Every Body’ exhibition at the Helsinki Design
Museum in 2022.