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Future ecological materials on display at the Eco Art exhibition

17.1.2018 at 14:51
Eco-art exhibition at Helsinki Airport 1
The new From Nature to Future exhibition recently opened at Helsinki Airport features unique experimental works of art made of natural materials by the students of design at Aalto University.

The unique Eco Art exhibition illustrates what future ecological materials could be. Works from 22 students are on display. The materials used include dog hair, coffee grounds, pulp in different forms, wood, potato and biowaste.

One of the interesting material experiments is a work of art by Sini West made of chicken feathers and nano pulp.

Eco-art exhibition at Helsinki Airport 2

“I experimented with materials that would go to waste and would not be utilised. When I thought about the animal industry, chicken feathers came to my mind. The message behind my work is that chicken feathers will be a potential biomaterial in the future,” West says.

Feathers are a by-product of slaughtering chickens. When designing the work, West looked into the mechanical properties of feathers and experimented with different ways of using nano pulp. In her own words, the outcome is a beautiful artefact that underlines the wasted value of feathers.

The works of art were created during a course at Aalto University that combined design and chemistry. The aim was to make creative use of different types of biomaterials. Pirjo Kääriäinen and Anna van der Ley, the teachers of the course, point out that, in the future, we must learn how to utilise residue materials. The focus of the course is on the global dimension, i.e. how plastic, for example, could be replaced so that it would no longer end up in the oceans. Another typically Finnish focus area is the sustainable use of wood and forests.

The aim is to offer experiences and highlight Finnish know-how

The exhibition opened on 11 January. In his opening speech, Ville Haapasaari, Director of Helsinki Airport, pointed out that, in addition to fluent services, Helsinki Airport should also have something that distinguishes it from its competitors.

“We want to offer experiences to our customers and highlight Finnish know-how. We hope that this will help our Asian passengers in particular recall their visit to Finland. We already have many art exhibitions at the airport and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback,” Haapasaari says.

According to Haapasaari, what is especially beautiful with the From Nature to Future exhibition is that there is a good story behind it and that it underlines environmental consciousness and development opportunities.

“The idea behind this exhibition is one of the best we have ever had. I’m confident that passengers waiting for their luggage will like it,” Haapasaari says.

In his speech, Ilkka Niemelä, Rector of Aalto University, thanked Finavia for the unique opportunity to present the university’s multisector operations to a broad international audience. The display marks the beginning of long-term cooperation between Finavia and Aalto University that will also introduce other changing exhibitions at the airport in the future.

Eco-art exhibition at Helsinki Airport 3

The From Nature to Future exhibition is on display at the baggage claim hall 2B for about one year.

Read more about Finavia's partnership programme and art concept