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Protoshop 2023 prototypes and designers

Selections have been made for the prototypes to be showcased at Habitare’s Protoshop exhibition 2023. The exhibition, which reflects new design trends, opens up a view into our future world of objects. Product ideas include new interpretations of classic types of furniture, insightful small products, and solutions for home furnishing challenges.




Tex-lamps represent a new typology of lampshade design that combines cross-cultural aesthetics with sustainable functionality. Driven by experimentation and research in material, form and structure, the lightweight design of TEX-lamps derives from a multilayered weaving logic.

Studio D-ja is a Helsinki-based design collective founded by Yi-Chiao Tien and You-Chia Chen who received their MA in interior architecture and textile design from Aalto University. They have multidisciplinary expertise in product, textile, and spatial design. Exploration, intermediation and dynamism are their core values which they use to innovate ideas by crossing boundaries within different fields.



±30 is a multifunctional nesting table inspired by the 30 cm height difference between a seat, a table and a standing desk. The pieces can be used to create different solutions for the home office, and when nestled together they form a puzzle-like shelf. Due to their simple and quiet form, the tables blend well into different interiors and environments.


Shoko Bamba is studying for an MA in interior architecture at Aalto University. She is motivated by the fact that as technology develops we are able to question and rethink our material world to be more sustainable and functional. This makes it an interesting time to be a designer.




The Seesaw wall lamp draws inspiration from classic wooden block toys for children. It is a sophisticated yet playful spotlight that serves a functional purpose. The lamp can be used as a reading light and to accentuate spatial features.

Simo Lahtinen is an industrial designer graduated from Aalto University. Drawing from his background in architecture, user-centered design and his passion for the pure aesthetics of Nordic design, he strives to achieve a balance between functionality and visual appeal in all his work. His goal is to create design that is honest and meaningful, with a positive impact on both users and the environment.



Otus a massive pine bench with a strong identity and an inviting character. Its form and accentuated structural elements were born through experimentation with turning wood. The bench and its stool version are designed to withstand use.

Waltter Mahlberg designs honest objects with a function. His design process emphasizes working with his hands and he explores both form and material through hands-on making. He is interested in different ways of tooling and their possibilities.


Pitele is a coherent series of candle holders where each piece stands out as an independent individual. The starting point was to practice soldering with brass, to play with distinctive characteristics of metal and to work intuitively in combining the parts. The objects are both whimsically technical and thoughtfully random.

Eemeli Sahimaa is a designer and carpenter. His emotion-driven method of working is emphasized by reflection and questioning of established ways. Eemeli thinks that the process is more important than the end result. A light-hearted bustle often yields better results than serious planning.



Block is a series of bee hotels that have been inspired by apartment buildings and cityscapes. They provide nesting places for bees which can help increase bee population and diversity. They can be hung in the garden, either on trees or on walls both individually and in groups. The simple blocks are brick-like objects which blend well into various environments.

Hanna Särökaari is an interior architect and designer who graduated from Aalto University. Sustainability in design is important for her and she has often worked with flower themed products. Hanna has previously exhibited as part of Talentshop and her works have been featured internationally in exhibitions and publications.



Naru is a wooden lamp that is cleverly assembled with string. The lamp was inspired by Japanese architecture and appreciation for traditional craft. Visually, it is a mix of Japanese and Finnish influences. The simple, timeless lamp, which celebrates natural materials, is made of oak.

Suvi Vihersalo is currently in her third year of interior architecture and furniture design studies at The Lahti Institute of Design. She finds inspiration in her immediate surroundings – especially from everyday life and unfinished things. Materials that endure the test of time are important to Suvi. She does not want to set boundaries to her creativity and is curious to expand her skills to new areas.



Vana is a wall mirror with a frame that invites one to play. The tubular frame partly enveloping the mirror becomes a vessel for still lives such as dry flower arrangements. A static mirror becomes an object that is in continuous transformation. It is a canvas for self-expression and a creative connection to nature.

Netta Kandelin has graduated as an interior architect and furniture designer form The Lahti Institute of Design. Her design studies did not quench her thirst for practical knowledge of different materials and thus she is currently studying glass blowing at The Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design. As a designer she is interested in solving everyday problems with an emphasis on usability and sustainability.  Her aim is to create objects and experiences which are both clever and fun.



Devil’s tray is a collection of ceramic trays that reinterpret age-old symbols and shapes to create objects that fade the line between design and art as well as past and future. The trays’ textures are a result of the manufacturing process, transforming technology into an ornament. Ceramic 3D printing combined with traditional craft embodies a duality between modern technology and an archaic visual language, leaving room for interpretation on how and when the objects are made.

Lennart Engels is an artist-designer, originally from Antwerp and now based in Helsinki. An innovator by heart with a strong passion for material research and alternative manufacturing methods, Lennart looks for experimental alternative realities that question how we see and create the world around us. Currently his work is focused on ceramics, geopolymers, alternative manufacturing methods and contextual design research.



Pompom is a relaxed but elegant armchair that invites you to sit and repose. A sturdy frame supports a bean bag-like cushion like a spine supports the human body. The chair was born from the desire to create something soft and comforting to counterbalance the rush and demands of everyday life.

Eveliina Saarentaus is in her third year of interior architecture studies at Aalto University. She has previously worked as a hair stylist and has illustrated a children’s book. A child’s open-mindedness and curiosity as well as a multidisciplinary approach to design are a constant source of inspiration to her. She approaches furniture design through storytelling – a piece of furniture evokes multi-sensory associations and atmospheres.



Silhouette is an exploration into steel and its properties and capabilities. Through a clever perforation technique the steel sheet becomes rigid and has been used to create a trestle. Despite its lightweight appearance, the trestle can be used to create tables and can carry considerable weight. Silhouette is an insightful object with an honest, crisp and contemporary look resulting from the manufacturing logic.

Anton Mikkonen is a designer who explores the potential of materials and their ability to reimagine familiar object categories. His work straddles the line between functionality and contemporary sculpture. His work is process-led and he is interested in the harmony of unconventional materials. Anton’s work is understated with a subtle ingenuity in its details.