Johan Olin & Aamu Song

COMPANY: REDDRESS in London Design Festival 2011. Photo: Kate Elliot

COMPANY: Sound of Sea, Auckland, New Zealand. (c) COMPANY

COMPANY: Sound of Sea, Auckland, New Zealand. (c) COMPANY

For Aamu Song and Johan Olin design means celebrating brilliant traditional skills and genuine materials. They are a prolific duo working as visual artists, designers and producers.

Since 2000 Song and Olin have run their own design practice COMPANY, designing and producing clothes, accessories, utility articles and furniture. COMPANY’s newest project is an exhibition space and shop called Salakauppa (Secret Shop) where they sell products from their own lines Top Secrets of Finland, Made in Belgium and made in Korea.

Top Secrets of Finland started when Song and Olin wanted to find out about the “secret” Finnish manufacturers, the lesser known companies that still make traditional products for everyday use. COMPANY made new playful and modern updated designs inspired by the traditional products of these manufacturers. As a result of this collaboration, a new line of products using traditional materials such as wood and felt was born.

Song’s and Olin’s designs have a recognizable signature style that humorously stretches the borders of usability, being often simultaneously versatile and very particular in purpose. A good example of this are COMPANY’s “dance shoes”, traditional red Finnish felt shoes that instead of just one pair come in twos, one for adults and one for children. Attached on top of the adult’s shoes are similar, smaller shoes, which makes them ideal for children to dance on adults’ feet.