Finnish interiors brand FEATHR have created a wallpaper to mark the arrival of President Trump and President Putin to Helsinki for the 16th July Helsinki summit – and to show what they could learn from Finland to help fix the world.
Rolls of the “Finland Toile” wallpaper are being delivered to both Presidents as gifts prior to the start of the summit.
Mixing traditional Toile de Jouy styling with playful modern Nordic illustrations, the Finland Toile wallpaper features 10 things that have helped make Finland one of the most progressive and happiest countries in the world, according to UN’s 2018 World Happiness Report.
The scenes within the wallpaper include two women kissing outside of the Saarinen-designed Helsinki railway station, representing tolerance; a breast-feeding working mother, showing how Finland is the best place to be a mother; and a naked sauna, that bedrock of the candor and lack of artifice that defines Finnish culture.
The Finland Toile wallpaper also includes scenes illustrating the unique spirit that has driven the creation of Finnish society, ranging from “sisu” — an untranslatable word akin to grit or determination — to “kalsarikännit”, literally translated as “the feeling when you are going to get drunk home alone in your underwear with no intention of going out.”
As well as being delivered to the Presidents, Finland Toile is available to buy at www.feathr.com/shop.
Colourways include Green is Good, Don’t See Red, It’s Not Black & White, and Trade War Blues. The Finland Toile wallpaper range is priced at £129/€149/$169 per 10m roll, although it’s available free to Presidents all over the world.
Tom Puukko, Co-Founder of FEATHR, said
“Finland is the most wonderful place to live: and that’s no accident. It’s come about through hard work to create a society that lives by rules of tolerance, fairness, community, decency and respecting others and the environment. Finns are known for being humble, but we think if the world lived a bit more like Finland then the world would be a better place. Whatever you think of the policies of Presidents Trump and Putin, they hold power in the world: so we hope they can take something from Finland that encourages them to wield that power for good.”
The full list of the 10 things featured in the Finland Toile wallpaper:
Take a naked sauna
With 3.3 million saunas for a population of 5.3 million*, taking a sauna is a Finnish national obsession. It’s about more than just warming up on hold days. Sauna’s are always naked and sometimes communal: they represent the stripping away of hierarchy, artifice, and gimmicks for showing what is really true. Underneath, we’re all just the same.
There’s an old Finnish saying: “let every flower bloom.” And they do: across a range of different surveys — including the 2016 Social Progress Index and the Legatum Prosperity Index — the Finns often lead the pack for being socially progressive and tolerant. Which in turn according the to the 2018 World Happiness Report, makes for happiest country on earth.
Finland’s nature is one of extremes: in both weather and also in numbers. It has more trees than any other country in Europe, mind-boggling 179,584 islands and even more lakes: 188,000 in total. The result is a society formed by and respectful of nature. Not only is Finland the most eco-friendly country in the world, ranking number one in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, but it has ambitions to go even further: by 2025 its capital, Helsinki, wants to make the car obsolete.
Finns love books. Not only has Finland been ranked the most literate nation by the 2016 World’s Most Literate Nations study, but Finns are also amongst the world’s most enthusiastic users of public libraries, with the 5.5m population borrowing over 68m books per year. “Finland is a country of readers,” declared the country’s UK ambassador Päivi Luostarinen recently: and she’s backed up by the stats.
Encourage a free press
In the annual ranking by Reporters without Borders, Finland frequently gains top spot as having the freest press in the world. All it takes, according to Ilkka Nousiainen, Chairperson of the Finnish branch of Reporters without Borders, is to let, “journalists…write freely without interference from media owners or the government.” And with excellent WiFi ubiquitous in public spaces, there’s never an excuse not to be up to date on current affairs.
Finland constantly ranks in the top 5 countries to be a woman, and often tops the list when it comes to motherhood*. With maternity leave lasting up to 3 years, shared parental leave with dads, excellent healthcare, respect within the workplace for working parents and that famous baby box: it all adds up to giving the next generation the best possible start by empowering their parents to live rounded and fulfilling lives.
Make daddy time
Finland also tops the tables when it comes to shared parenting. In fact, a recent OECD report found that Finland is the only country in the world where fathers spend more time with school-aged children than mother. And daddy doesn’t have to be mean a man: Finland also supports rainbow families with the same benefits as traditional families. Well balanced families mean a well balanced society.
‘Sisu’, that indefinable Finnish spirit, is essentially untranslatable but best described through a range of English words including stoicism, determination, tenacity and hardiness. Finns view ‘sisu’ as being an integral part of Finnish culture: the ability to face what’s in front of you and deal with it with courage, bravery, grit and decency.
Live the Finnish dream
“If you want the American dream”, wrote the Huffington Post in 2013, “move to Finland.” Finland is famed for the results it achieves in its education system: which is does not by chasing results, but by prioritizing equal education opportunities for all. “Regardless of a person’s gender, background, or social welfare status,” said Krista Kiuru, then Finland’s minister of education and science, “everyone should have an equal chance to make the most of their skills.” The result is a country that makes the top 5 for social mobility, according to the OECD.
With so much effort going in to create a progressive society (and with Finland being ranked top for physical activity in Europe*), it’d be easy to assume that Finns are go-go-go the whole time. Not quite. The Finns are smart enough to know that sometimes the best thing you can do is stay in and do nothing. Hence why the Finnish vocabulary includes the word “kalsarikännit”, or “the feeling when you are going to get drunk home alone in your underwear with no intention of going out.” Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is stay in, switch off Twitter and disconnect from the world.
Design collective FEATHR is on a mission to fill the world with more art and less decoration. FEATHR roam the world collaborating with contemporary artists to create original wallpaper and fabrics. Founded in 2015 by husband and wife team, Anne & Tom Puukko, along with Creative Director, Oliver Green, FEATHR is based in the Finnish artists’ community of Fiskars.
Artists collaborating with FEATHR include abstract artist Reeta Ek, street artist Marcos Navarro, tattooist Liam Sparkes, modernist graphic artist Peter Judson and Berlin graffiti duo 44flavours, and renowned American abstract artist Kiki Slaughter. FEATHR has been awarded Surface of the Year 2017 at the World Interiors News Awards.
*Save the Children’s World’s Mothers report, 2014
Source: 24-7 Press Release/FEATHR.com