A moment with Textile designer Elisa Defossez in Helsinki
Meet Elisa Defossez, a Belgian and Japanese textile designer living in Finland. Her studio's philosophy is based on the concept of "Nukumori", a Japanese term that designates a feeling of warmth and coziness, perceived through all senses.
At Lies mertens, we fell in love with her subtle use of colour, the warmth it provides and her keen eye for material and shape. Intrigued by what inspires her we asked her some questions on the subject.
With an eye constantly on the hunt, what draws your attention most or continues to inspire you?
Since I am living in Finland, Nature took a key role in my daily life.
The walks in the forest or nearby the sea continue to inspire me everyday, because it’s never the same. Colours of leaves are changing all the time, the wind is different, the sky is constantly moving… I am really fascinated by those changing states.
I feel there is beauty in the non-control, organic and living aspect of things, which for me is linked with the Nukumori notion.
Helsinki is known for its good design interwoven in almost every aspect of the city from social development and infrastructure, to iconic design classics and hospitality. What are some of your favourite spots, must visits in the city?
Finland is a young country. It built its national identity through design. You can actually feel it on many levels, allowing you to reflect also on the nature of design itself. One of my favorite spots in Helsinki are its numerous libraries. They are open to all, providing multiple services for free, like sewing machines, or 3D printers. People are gathering there and it is made so comfortable that you can spend the entire day there. Among the librairies, I highly recommend Oodi, located next to the central station, for its incredible organic architecture, and Töölö Library built in the 70’s.
I also really like to visit Fasaani, an antique shop in the center, where you can find many Finnish design classics, but not only.
As last recommendation, I would suggest passing by Seurasaari island, where there is an open-air museum of old traditional architecture.
Seeing those rustic wooden houses, I personally feel the origin of Finnish design, which is simply to make things in accordance to human needs, with what nature offers us, the whole with respect.
Our photographer Jef Claes visited her studio in Helsinki, and took a walk with her at the Tallbergin park, just in front of her studio. Elisa is wearing our Mauranne in Dolphin.