Finnish designer to speak tonight

Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Graceful curves, natural materials and structures that emerge from the surrounding landscapes are hallmarks of Scandinavian architecture and design.

Architect Juhani Pallasmaa from Helsinki, Finland, will present a slide show and lecture this week in Juneau on Scandinavian design, especially highlighting the work of famed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Pallasmaa's presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. today at the Back Room at the Silverbow. The cost is $10 or $5 for students.

Pallasmaa has served as the director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture, principal of the University of Industrial Design in Helsinki and as the director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation.

Pallasmaa also will speak in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and his Alaska visit coincides with the opening of an Alvar Aalto exhibit at the Loussac Library in Anchorage. Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was one of the first major architects of the modern movement to emerge in Scandinavia and Finland. Juneau architect Evelyn Rousso said Aalto is known for his imaginative work and use of natural materials. He also created functional sculpture. A simple, elegant vase he designed has been reproduced thousands of times around the world.

"He is part of a Scandinavian design tradition and one of the best known internationally," Rousso said.

This event is sponsored by the Alaska Design Forum, a non-profit organization of architects, artists and designers. Founded in Anchorage in 1992 as an educational group, the forum presents programs that expose the state to leading-edge design and art ideas and encourage discussion on the relevance of these ideas to life and design in Alaska.

The 2000-01 season features eight nationally and internationally recognized artists, architects, and landscape architects who will travel to Anchorage and Fairbanks. For the first time three of these lecturers also will appear in Juneau.

Danish architect Paul Ove spoke on Oct. 13. On May 23, Shawn Skabelund, an environmental artist from Arizona, will be in Juneau. Skabelund creates installation environments that address the relationship between nature and the concept of manifest destiny.

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