2013 NOV–DEC

Ilona Rista

Ilona Rista: Pine Forest Wall, 2013. 3D modeling was used to assess the characteristics of the full-scale concert hall as well as to examine its structure and lighting.

Ilona Rista’s Pine Forest Wall is a typical example of her relief design in music hall acoustics. This particular piece is a part of a series that portrays an urban forest, where a modern Finnish scientific and technical worldview and urbanized culture reflect upon their changing relationship with the forest. The material and the theme speak of a traditional way of life whereas the execution refers to adapting to the technological development of today.

Pine Forest Wall was realized for a series of concerts realized in collaboration with the chamber music orchestra Avanti at the Finnish Design Museum in Helsinki in 2013. The wooden relief made of birch was constructed using a computer-aided woodworking technique that Rista has developed during her artistic career. This technique enables her to freely adjust and strictly repeat patterns on a wooden board.

Light plays a significant part in Rista’s wooden reliefs, because it sets the tone in a space and adds depth to a theme. Light can be used to accentuate details and it can set the pace for the whole space. Light also brings out the refined characteristics of the material and the three-dimensionality of a relief.

Another relevant aspect of the wooden relief in music hall acoustics is the sound. Whether the relief consists of two- or multilayered surfaces, it allows the sound to be distributed evenly. Rista has a long experience in researching different music hall acoustics and other acoustic spaces. In New York, she seeks to visit local concert halls for her upcoming projects.


Ilona Rista: COLLISION, 2011, CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland. Birch, LED-light, mirrors