Shortlisted 2021 Protoshop designs demonstrate insightful new solutions


Selections have been made for the prototypes to be showcased at the Protoshop exhibition, produced by Finland’s leading interior decoration and design event, Habitare, and Imu Design. This year, the showcase will feature both shortlisted works from 2020 and the new 2021 selection, which together constitute the 13th Protoshop exhibition. The exhibition serves as a platform for young designers to meet manufacturers and users of their products. Habitare will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki from 15 to 19 September 2021.

Protoshop is an exhibition co-curated by Habitare and Imu Design. Its mission is to discover great product ideas, to present them to companies and the public, and to help good ideas find manufacturers. This year’s Protoshop will feature ten new prototypes, all of which demonstrate an insightful way of finding new solutions for today’s homes and public spaces, and the ability to turn an idea into a product that will stand the test of time.

The curators of the Protoshop exhibition are the designers Elina Aalto, Krista Kosonen and Saara Renvall. The jury also includes Laura Sarvilinna, Habitare’s programme director. The 2021 Protoshop call for entries attracted 248 proposals, from among which the curators sought ideas that would combine a new vision with strong product potential.

“This year’s designs are all about insights related to material, structure or use. The designs are boldly original, and they often include thinking and themes that go beyond the surface. However, most of all, they are objects that, through their looks, delight and inspire you, and make you feel that this object could have a use in your own life as well”, says Elina Aalto of Imu Design.

The designs selected for Protoshop in 2021


 Comfort of Colour is a series of Jacquard-woven wool blankets inspired by the colours, patterns and light of Florence, Italy.


A collection of sculptural glass work bent from borosilicate tubes. The normally straight laboratory glass is formed into organic shapes through an intuitive process that mirrors our shifting moral perceptions. 

KAARI, Netta Kandelin

Kaari is a plant support that can be placed in either a pot or a garden. Its simple design gives centre stage to the plant itself, and together they can grow into a harmonious but playful whole.

FOLD CHAIR, Imola Balogh

An armchair in which the structure and function are carefully harmonised, with each element working both structurally and functionally.

LEPPÄNEN, Riku Toivonen

Leppänen is a collection of small tables made from rotten birch, which normally is not accepted as a raw material by furniture companies.

 KEHTO, Susanna & Tobias Feuerbacher

Bowls made of birch bark and birch veneer can be used for serving sweets or storing small items.

SADDLE, Yingjie Liang

A minimalist and playful rocking stool.

PIHA, Tong Ren

A pattern inspired by a garden rich in flowers, fruits and birds. The surface texture was influenced by basket-weaving techniques.

NOJA, Juho Pasila

Noja is a simple and modern coat rack made from wooden dowel bars. The horizontal bars are detachable, and the width of the coat rack can be adjusted, making it logistically versatile.


A series of ceramic vases. The round, friendly shapes are built combining wheel-thrown half spheres and cylinders.

Images of the designers can be found in the Messukeskus media bank from 9 June. Images of the products selected for Protoshop can be found in the Messukeskus material bank in the second week of August.

More information:

Habitare: Messukeskus, communications manager Taira Sjöblom-Tallus, tel. +358 50 385 5482,

Imu Design:, Saara Renvall, tel. +358 50 585 7399,, Elina Aalto, tel. +358 50 511 8888


Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 15 to 19 September 2021. Habitare offers experiences and ideas on interior decoration, and on the functioning and look of homes and other spaces. Habitare highlights the ideas and works by a new generation of designers, and sparks discussion. The International Friend of Habitare in 2021 will be Joseph Grima. | | @HabitareFair | | #habitare2021

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Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre, creates growth through encounters. We are the largest event organiser in Finland producing or hosting 50 exhibitions and one thousand meetings and congresses with 1,1 million visitors annually. We provide a perfect venue with 7 adaptable halls, 40 conference spaces, the 4,400-seater Amfi Hall auditorium, 21 restaurants, a fully renewed event hotel, and all event services, including live, virtual and hybrid events. | Messukeskus – A century in the centre of events | | #messukeskus 

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