The French designer Inga Sempé shares her world with Iittala during Helsinki Design Week

The exhibition “In line with Inga Sempé” in the Design Lab Gallery in Iittala & Arabia Design Centre in Helsinki is now open.

Iittala’s contribution to the HDW 2022 is a new exhibition “In line with Inga Sempé”. The exhibition” is inspired by French designer Inga Sempé’s Filigraani collection for Iittala which will be launched in the autumn 2022. Her designs often feature distinctive, inspirational and imaginative elements that catch the eye and make the viewer curious to look closer, to touch and to experience the items.

“I like objects to be happy and light. It’s something that I think we need as life is not always happy and light.”

Inga Sempé
Sempé has an impeccable eye for colours. Photo: Iittala

Inga Sempé (b. 1968) is a French designer, who lives and works in Paris. After opening her own studio in 2001, Sempé has become known for her work with Scandinavian, Italian and French companies. Her style is timeless and simple, yet not aiming for minimalism.

Sempé has an impeccable eye for colours and an exquisite way to use patterns and shapes. She also likes mechanics and articulated objects. 

Sempé was very excited to get to know the Iittala glass blowers, who have the skills for masterful craftsmanship.

“I was excited about the magical lines floating into glass, and how it is possible to understand how it is done. This magic still exists after I got to know how it is made a long time ago. The precision or the lines reminds me of drawings on insects or birds. Incredibly detailed and refined”, Sempé describes.

The exhibition also includes a film Päivi Niemi, Juho Länsiharju and Verneri Kontto. The film presents Sempé as a designer and we can see Sempé working in her studio in Paris, and a glimpse of her daily life in the metropole.“I find happiness from a walk in Paris, with a friend, even in the wintertime. I like visiting unknown neighborhoods as a tourist in my own home town”.

Photo: Iittala

The versatile collection for Iittala is called Filigraani

The colourful collection is inspired by the endless magic and exquisite essence of the filigree glass, a technique born in Murano, Venice, in the 16th century. It came to Finland, to the Nuutajärvi glass factory in the 1850’s. From Nuutajärvi the technique came later to the Iittala glass factory.

The three filigree art glass items in the Filigraani collection, two bowls and one platter, are unique works of art and true examples of Iittala Glass Factory’s expertise and craftsmanship in glass and glass colours. The handmade and free- blown items can only be made by the most skilled and experienced glassblowers in the factory.

Photo: Iittala

The collection’s free standing glass photo frames are perfect for displaying beloved memories with photos, postcards or art. Displayed items can be easily changed. The frames come in four sizes and are made of premium optical glass and have a coloured steel back plate.

Inga Sempé draws a line between art, craft & industry – a whole world of object’s making. Linear patterns, colours and happiness being the connection between different typologies. The In line with Inga Sempé exhibition is open to the public from Sept 2nd 2022 until Feb 5th 2023. Iittala & Arabia Design Centre, Design Lab Gallery, Hämeentie 135 a, 8th floor. Find more details here.