CCS alumna Elizabeth Salonen named Industrial Designer of the Year by the Finnish Association of Designers

CCS alumna Elizabeth Salonen was named Industrial Designer of the Year by the Finnish Association of Designers â?? Ornamo in Finland. In honoring Salonen, Ornamo stated that her work â??displays remarkable high standard aesthetic ability and exemplary courage for a young female entrepreneur in a traditionally masculine sector. Her products are designed with a skill that extends to the very finest points of detail, drawing inspiration from an appreciation of the immediate surroundings and ecological materials.â? Salonen produces work in a variety of media that combines the handmade and the mass produced, the traditional and modern, the local and global. In 2005 she founded Mottoform design studio and has worked on projects for prominent Finnish and international brands. Salonenâ??s work spans product, furniture lighting, textile and graphic design. Salonenâ??s work includes the design of Suunto Lumi â?? the first women-specific outdoor sports watch which received both a Red Dot Design Award (â??08), and an iF Design Award (â??09). Among other projects with Suunto, Salonen has collaborated on the design of the M-Series heart rate monitoring fitness watches (â??10), and the heart rate Comfort Belt. In 2009, Keraplast (a leading innovator of keratin protein technology) launched Salonen's first pendant light designs into production, Annabell and Libi, at Habitare furniture design show. The lights were also exhibited at the Straightforward New Finnish Design Event in New York, 2010. More recently, Salonen designed the pendant lights, Lisabell, Kiruna, Luoto and Kopernikus for Keraplast for Habitare 2010 and 2011. Currently, Salonen is designing textiles for Vallila Interior, a well-known Finnish company specializing in home décor textiles. For 2011, her first collection of prints â?? Sophia, Briittaa Liisa and Margaret â?? was based on a romantic theme. The 2012 collection is inspired by her local surroundings and includes Punavuori, Viiskulma, Huvilakatu and Julieta. Prior to her work in Finland, Salonen was employed at Ford Motor Company where she worked as an advanced color and material designer on concept vehicles, brand strategy and consumer trends. Her accomplishments at Ford helped create brand visibility with bold use of color, innovative materials, and simple typography as applied to the interior of the SYNUS vehicle exhibited at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. Growing up with a Finnish father and a designer mother, Salonen was surrounded by Finnish culture and design classics. Nordic influences in her work can be seen with iconic forms, bold color, graphics, and a desire to push the limits with materials and manufacturing processes. For Salonen, inspiration comes from the everyday things in life â?? a new ingredient, an artifact, people and their stories. She enjoys designing products for everyday use. â??When Iâ??m in a different culture, I see things through a different lens. Everyday rituals can be surprisingly new. I like to recreate that feeling in my designs â?? to give the product a personality, a surprise, or a new perspective,â? she said. As for the future, Salonen said the sustainable, environmental aspect of design needs to be addressed in order to preserve the ecological future of this planet.