is Studio Maiju Uski, founded in 2015 by Helsinki-based designer Maiju Uski, creating furniture, products and spatial design
Words by Emily Martin
Helsinki-based designer Maiju Uski founded her company in 2015 after completing her masters degree in furniture design at Aalto University. Business has been busy ever since, with exhibitions including the Stockholm Furniture Fair and the London Design Festival, as well as a portfolio of products, as designed and co-designed by Uski.
Palat - This serving trolley and tableware range is designed to help with large-scale cooking, with the trolley providing extra working surface in the kitchen and assistance in serving. ‘The tableware’s materials – porcelain, wood, soapstone and cast iron – are chosen to serve a certain function, just as each dish’s ingredient is meaningful. The collection is designed to serve a variety of culinary and social occasions,’ says Uski.
‘I work in the fields of furniture, product and spatial design,’ she explains. ‘Simplicity steers my work… I strive for discovering intersections of various design practices and developing their dialogue. My design process evolves around utilising and merging different materials in everyday products and furnishings in order to create beautiful, usable and sustainable designs.’
Kolmikko - The salad bowl set comprises a large porcelain bowl for salad, smaller porcelain bowl for side dishes, a small glass jug for salad dressing and wooden utensils. The bowls have handles for ease of carrying or serving, with the design inspired by the act of sharing. Designed as a stackable set of ‘long-lasting household items’ it forms the studio’s first product made by craftsmen in Finland.
Although Uski herself trained as a furniture designer, her studio explores cross-discipline design, as can be seen in one of its latest products, the KOLMIKKO salad bowl in porcelain. ‘I enjoy working in different fields of design and with different starting points for projects,’ she says of work designed by both Uski and collaborators. ‘The variety of projects and freedom between them is inspiring; from every project I learn something new.’
As well as setting up a space to include workshop facilities for the expanding business, the studio is also working on finding new applications for a woodfibre material innovation. ‘The goal is to design furniture from this woodfibre-based material and find new product areas where, and how, the material can be utilised,’ says Uski.
Flora - This pendant luminaire features three identical modules, bent from sheet steel to create a complex, sculptural fixture. ‘The inspiration started from folding paper into interesting shapes and testing how to combine that with the sturdiness of metal,’ explains Uski. Available in different sizes, Flora also creates a dramatic feature when hung in multiples.