Skip to content

International Friend of Habitare in 2022:
Joseph Grima

Joseph Grima, an architect, curator, researcher and editor based between Milan and Eindhoven, will be the International Friend of Habitare in 2022. The International Friend explores Habitare and the field of Finnish design through global eyes, selects the most interesting content available at the event, and enters into dialogue with Habitare.

Joseph Grima is a British architect, who has a versatile career and background in exhibition curating, research and writing. He has worked with many design and architecture biennals around the world. Currently Grima works in both Milan and Eindhoven, as he is the creative director at Design Academy Eindhoven, and the chief curator of design at Triennale di Milano. He has previously also been the editor-in-chief of Domus design magazine.


“I am very happy to be the International Friend of Habitare, a network that connects and inspires an international community of designers and guests. I’ve had the good fortune of visiting Finland several times over the years. It is a very beautiful country, that I think one sees strongly reflected in its design history.” Joseph Grima


7 questions to Joseph Joseph Grima: We must rethink the way we are constructing the world around us

The choices of the International Friend of Habitare 2022 – the most interesting
products and phenomena

STAND: Avotakka (6b50)

“I am an architect by training, and I appreciate the way in which the stand has been set up. The stand simultaneously resembles both a small building and a spectacular landscape. Imagination has been used in designing the stand. I highly appreciate the simple and restrained materials that have been used in the structures. The stand has a warm atmosphere, and that is what architecture is really all about, after all: creating pleasant places where people can meet and be together.”

PRODUCT: Woodio Toilet (6e60)

“This is an absolutely ingenious product the like of which I have never seen before! Woodio makes toilet seats out of a wood-plastic composite. The product is fascinating in terms of materials, design philosophy and aesthetics. Most toilets tend to look the same, so it is refreshing to be introduced to an entirely new approach.”

MATERIAL: Pine (Vaarni 6a50, Tapio Anttila x Lucia 6h50)

“Pine as a material is prominent at several stands at Habitare. A number of designers at the event, in fact, say that pine has made a comeback after a break. For someone from southern Europe, pine is like a Scandinavian cliché, so it was interesting to notice the new coming of pine.”

CONCEPT: Tokyo Saikai/Nuppu (6b18)

“The Nuppu tableware collection is designed especially for children, which I think is a great thing in itself: designers too often overlook the needs of children. Children have their own world, which designers often try to tap into by introducing colourful plastic products. The Nuppu approach is the polar opposite of this, with its tableware of high-quality design and manufacture. The concept as a whole is well thought out and beautiful.”


“I would like to highlight Habitare as a phenomenon and, at the same time, offer an outsider’s perspective on the event. I received a warm and humble welcome to the fair by the organisers. I think it is especially great that it is not only trade professionals, but also everyone interested in interior decoration and design who is welcome to Habitare. This is, in my opinion, Habitare’s greatest strength: many international events lack the atmosphere that Habitare has. International design events are often huge, which means visitors have absolutely no way of exploring the whole offering. Habitare is accessible and approachable, making it easy to get to know the people behind the products and designs. We need more events like Habitare around the world!”

NEXT: Mifuko (6m5)

“This is a fine company that does socially responsible and important work by building a bridge between the northern and southern worlds – without compromising on the quality of materials or design. Mifuko employs 1,700 women in Kenya. The company operations emphasise simple ideas and their ingenious implementation, which is something from which many international companies could learn.”

Bio – Joseph Grima

Joseph Grima is an architect, curator, researcher and journalist who divides his time between Milan and Eindhoven. He is the creative director of the Design Academy Eindhoven and the curator for design, fashion and craft at the Milan Triennial. He is also the founder and partner of Space Caviar, an architecture and research practice operating at the intersection of design, technology, critical theory, and urban planning. The agency produces architecture, publications, exhibitions and films, which have been presented, for example, at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the Vitra Design Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Barbican.

Grima previously worked as the editor-in-chief of the architecture and design magazine, Domus, and the director of Storefront for Art and Architecture, an independent gallery in New York. In 2014, he was appointed the co-curator of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, which is the largest exhibition of contemporary architecture in the history of North America. In 2012, he was the co-director of the first Istanbul Design Biennial. He was also the artistic director of Matera’s European Capital of Culture 2019 project.

Grima has taught and lectured widely at universities in Europe, Asia and America, including the Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow, under the tutelage of Rem Koolhaas. He has served on the juries of numerous international events, including the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture, which was directed by Kazuyo Sejima.

See previous Habitare's International Friends here!