Photography & Story: Sara Urbanski
Wooden chairs Ele & text: Jenni Inciarte Villaverde

Our Time

This story is called Meidän aikamme
(Our Time).

︎︎︎   Time as a concept is very present throughout the designing process. We look towards the future and try to predict, in what kind of time our designs will be situated. We also ask ourselves how time will treat the objects we have designed and what will happen to them as time passes. Furthermore, we try to shape future time using the knowledge we have acquired in the past – in a time that has already passed.

Design is about making thought visible. To do that, we need knowledge, skills and narratives. The central role of academic study and our desire to improve and to create a better future is typical of our time. But art, creativity and aesthetics are a method of studying the world, too – very often much closer to academic research than we are used to thinking. We leave behind built environments, spaces, objects, works of art, paint brush strokes, music, dance, theatre, literature, narratives and actions. We also leave behind thoughts, experiences and memories – a culture embedded in our time. It is our legacy.

A chair is an object to sit on. It always has a user – a person who experiences sitting on that particular chair. Furthermore, a chair is always surrounded by space – it holds a dialog with architecture, with other artefacts and different style periods. And it is embedded in the context of the surrounding society.

A chair narrates its own story. It tells about the period of time for which it was designed and about how we sit, why we sit and how we should sit. It also speaks of how we work or spend our free time. Our material choices reflect our values and goals, and the design we have created mirrors the skills and know-how we possess. A chair also reflects the history of our nation.

With this story I want to express my support and gratitude to all researchers, artists, teachers and sponsors. Artists of different fields and people in the academic world around the globe cherish our legacy. I hope this will continue even in the future. 

Art is science. Science is art.

©Sara Urbanski 2023