Weekly Mix: Iina Kettunen

Designer and Field Day founder Iina Kettunen listens to music in carefully selected moments, like when she’s designing. She plays her favourite songs at full blast.

Designer and Field Day founder Iina Kettunen listens to music in carefully selected moments, like when she’s designing. She plays her favourite songs at full blast.

How are you?

Good! It’s been busy. We popped up a Christmas Shop at Field Day that attracted a lovely buzz and turned out great considering it was the first in its kind for us. The shop involved my closest entrepreneur friends: fellow students Saana and Olli, my sister’s clothing brand Month of Sundays, visual artist Maija Fredrika and graphic artist Tomi Leppänen and his co-collection with PUF Design Market from Turku. Tomi has also created the Field Day visual appearance. I’ve wanted to do a project with my friends for a long time, since many of us do work in the same field.

Field Day makes camera straps of leather, among other items. Why do you use leather?

I studied textile design in Turku, but prints and weaving were not my cup of tea. I realized that I’m very three-dimensional, and it was hard for me to work two-dimensionally only. Weaving was also not a very attractive alternative to a twenty-year-old, although now I do feel like weaving rugs. I went to do my exchange studies in Hungary, and they let me choose my subjects really freely. I plunged into designing leather accessories. I’ve heard that my grandmother was a bit like me: interested in shoes and bags. I like the idea of inherited interest.

Kamera ja nahkainen kamerahihna
© Unto Rautio
Field Dayn tuotteita
© Unto Rautio

What is the most interesting item you’ve ever made of leather?

While studying in Budapest, I made a small purse called Cube. It was the first leather item designed and made by myself. I was obsessed with illusions at the time, so the purse is flat but looks like a cube. It made me feel like: “Yes, I can use this material to do whatever I want”. I made a series of bags, and many of my closest people, including my mum and my spouse’s mum, have one. I designed and made the first camera strap for my spouse, photographer Unto Rautio. Then I got excited about the product and designed a complete collection of straps later.

What kind of a year was 2017 for Field Day?

Rather eventful. Actually, we’ve planned a photography project with Unto to summarize the year. Personally, the year was a bit sad for me, but workwise, I got a new work space and an urge to develop the brand. I started my company organically and thought to grow into the business along the way. Last year I felt the need to move up a gear. In addition to the new space, I designed a new chair called Uoma together with Anna Pirkola and Joel Sipilä. It made me realize that I want to design products outside Field Day, too. I’ve previously co-designed the Note rack for Hakola, for example. Year 2017 gave me determination. I know a bit more clearly now what I want to do.

Nojatuoli ja pöytä
Iina Kettunen designed the Uoma chair in collaboration with Anna Pirkola and Joel Sipilä. © Unto Rautio

So, what is your wish for the year to come?

Lots of work, for sure! I want to make Field Day function so that I will have more time to design. I love to make items myself, but I want the production to run better. In order to invest in international net sales, I must be sure to supply enough products. There are a few collaboration endeavors in sight to which I’m really looking forward. It would be lovely to have more free time, yet I really enjoy my work. It would be nice to take a trip, but we’re quite “ex tempore” type of people with Unto and tend to overbook work. It would be good to take it easier for a while. We’ve talked about Morocco, and perhaps we’ll be able to go there soon.

What is the best New Year’s resolution you ever made?

I can’t remember! I don’t think I’ve made that many.

Who do you admire?

I’ve kept my eye on what designer Pasi Kärkkäinen has done for Samuji, for example, and I admire his work enormously. His works involve fine minimalism; he has the skill to create fabulous forms, and he uses small details to create really beautiful things. In addition, Kärkkäinen transpires kindliness. It is a lovely characteristic in this field that feels hard at times.

Which skill of your grandparents do you envy?

My grandmother was terribly productive. A mother of nine who worked three jobs at the same time. I envy her activity, kindness and ability to raise such a brood of kids so well. I also admire her directness. I guess she had to be straightforward in her situation.

What are your morning routines before starting work?

I open the laptop nearly straight away after waking up. At home, I’m quite strict about noise. I cannot have the radio or TV on while working. I’m not a morning person, really. During my teen years, I just grunted to my family, not even saying good morning, but I’ve improved a lot as I’ve grown older. My family already knows that they must look out for me in the mornings.

Field Dayn liikkeen näyteikkuna
Field Day’s studio and store are located on Kinaporinkatu, Helsinki. © Unto Rautio
Field Dayn työhuone
© Unto Rautio

Do you listen to music while you work?

At the studio, we listen to radio in the background with Unto, but concentration has never been my strong side. It’s lovely to work with someone I know and be able to say that hey, let’s switch off the radio. I’m only able to listen to music while designing. That’s when I like to hear my favourites on Spotify instead of the radio. While doing the design, it’s important for me to set the mood, and music makes that easy. I may also browse pictures with a certain mood that I want to achieve. My music selection varies according to how I feel, but I usually choose something upbeat and happy. It’s a bit of an inside joke between me and Unto; if he listens to melancholy tunes, I’ll ask him to switch to something more upbeat.

What does music mean to you?

My father has always listened to a lot music, and he tends to tip me on my listening. Unto is usually the one who puts on the music. I’m very sensitive, and dealing with noises is challenging to me. I walk with my dog in, for example, the Seurasaari island, and enjoy the sounds of the sea. But when I choose a song for myself, I’ll play it out loud. Music creates a ton of memories. I used to snowboard a lot, and when I hear a certain song, I quickly connect to those times. I recently got the same feeling from some candies at Roobertin Herkku. They bring up so many memories – buying my favourite kind when going to the swimming pool, for example. I listen to music in a superficial way, but sometimes I react strongly to what I hear. The other night alone at the studio, I heard somber music on the radio, and it reminded me of my losses earlier this year. I immediately needed to switch to something more cheerful.

What kind of a playlist have you put together for us?

I chose many of the songs based on my memories. For example, Ready 2 Wear and Sonnet relate to my snowboarding years. I also included songs that I simply think are good. I must have discovered Magenta Skycode during the Flow festival of 2011. The sun was shining bright when they played, and I though the weather was perfect for the moment. My father suggested Jack Savoretti, and I Need a Dollar is the theme song of one of my favourite TV series: How to Make it in America.