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EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo

Patricia Urquiola to receive the first Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Award

Media release.
Published: 18-Oct-2016 08:52 am
Publisher: EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo



The centennial celebration of Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk is nearing its end. The celebratory year started on 2 June 2015 when Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) would have had his 100th birthday. The centennial celebrations come to an end on Tuesday 18 October 2016 at the EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art on the 100th birthday of ceramics artist Rut Bryk (1916-1999).

The Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation has decided to award a triennial international design prize to commemorate the artist couple. The foundation has requested designers Harri Koskinen and Ilkka Suppanen to name the recipient of the first award.

The choice of Koskinen and Suppanen is Spanish Patricia Urquiola, who works mainly in Italy.

Patricia Urquiola is undoubtedly one of the most noteworthy designers at the moment, with a clientele including almost every significant design company. She is the artistic director of the Italian design house Cassina. Urquiola's production line includes furniture, objects and fabrics. Dezeen magazine has described her style as "warm and masculine". In addition, Urquiola has designed numerous exhibition and fair stands, shop interiors and hotel concepts.

The Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk award is a salute to high-level expertise that pushes forward a new kind of design thinking, to material know-how, and to understanding design traditions. The award is a miniature sculpture designed by Tapio Wirkkala, made from original so-called rhythmic plywood donated to the foundation.

The award will be presented on Rut's birthday celebration on 18 October, when Urquiola will also give a short presentation on her work.  

Additional information:


Petra Wirkkala-Vaarne, Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation Assistant
office@wirkkalabryk.fi, +358 (0)40 826 1906

Esa Laaksonen, Architect, Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation chairman

Henna Paunu, Chief Curator of Collections, EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art
henna.paunu@emma.museum, +358 (0)43 824 6354



Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk were an artist-designer couple working on many sides of design and visual arts. They related to new technology with an open mind, and aimed constantly to widen the field of design through innovation. Wirkkala and Bryk were also convinced to help the progress of design education. The Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation aims to hold on to this optimistic spirit and to further the evolution of the design field together with universities and other institutions offering design education. 

EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of Finland’s central art museums. Located in Tapiola, Espoo, EMMA’s collection and exhibition programme profiles Finnish and international modernism, contemporary art as well as design. EMMA’s exhibition spaces – the largest in Finland – are situated in the architecturally impressive WeeGee building designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori. The modern architecture adds to the experience-focused presentation of the changing exhibitions and permanent collections of EMMA, the Saastamoinen Foundation and Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation.

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