On occasion of its 60th anniversary, Finnish textile and design brand, Marimekko, collaborated with the department of Design at Aalto University School of Art and Design from Finland in a contest for students with the theme ‘Why not together?’. The motto of the brand is to believe in the fact that when you do things together, everything is possible. “I only want to bring people together so they can get to know each other and gain something from one another”, Armi Ratia, the founder of Marimekko, already said in 1969.

The competition includes the three categories ‘products for living, not pretending – for good everyday life’; ‘action, events and encounters generated by aesthetic thinking’; and ‘service – just to make things run even better’. The brand and the University School of Art and Design already have a kind of tradition for collaborations. For this one, they also invited international schools and their students to take part in the competition. Among them are Design Academy Eindhoven from the Netherlands, Konstfack University College of Arts, Craft and Design from Sweden, the Royal College of Art from the UK, Parsons The New School for Design from the USA and Tama Art University from Japan. The jury will also be very international with Minna Kemell-Kutovonen, Creative Director of Marimekko, Design Professor Tadashi Takahashi, and Philosopher Pekka Himanen.

“Marimekko has always believed in young, fresh talent. Young people are the builders of the future and brilliant pioneers,” says Marimekko’s Creative Director Minna Kemell-Kutvonen. “Our diamond anniversary theme ‘Why not together’ impelled us to challenge young people around the world to join in our competition to think up solutions for everyday life from the perspective of doing things together. This competition that in an exceptional way brings together the best design schools in the world will also enable us to recruit talents of tomorrow for our strong team.”

The design competition will be divided into two parts. The first one starts on March 15 and ends on May 6. The winners will be announced on September 14, 2011.