These materials were originally presented at the Docomomo National Symposium in June, 2015.
Jennifer Komar Olivarez, Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Finland’s independence in 1917 coincided with the rise of international Modernism. As a result, the country has long been associated with important modernist architect-designers like Eliel and Eero Saarinen and Alvar and Aino Aalto, who worked under the tenets of Functionalism. What Finnish designers are doing today relates closely to the work of these predecessors, though the current problems differ. This paper will explore Finland’s contemporary designers of furniture and objects in the context of Finland’s design history, touching on organic design, ecological design, and consumerism.
Theodore Prudon, Docomomo US
The perceptions that shaped corporate modernism were not just limited to its exterior architecture but involved perhaps even more so its interiors. Saving these interiors however has proven to be much more difficult not in a small part because of changes in corporate ownership or leasing cycles.
ESSENTIAL USE AND THE PRESERVATION OF A BAPTISMAL FONT
Nicole Grabow, Midwest Art Conservation Center
The baptismal font in Christ Church Lutheran was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1962 as part of the now-historic building. Modifications from the architect’s original drawings included a change in materials that led to a fundamental instability between the metal substrate and the decorative plating layers. After half a century of regular use, this plating layer began to fail and flake, exposing large pits which marred the once-pristine reflective surface of the basin. As an integral element of both the Church interior and the community’s worship, the project of preserving the font illustrates the challenge to balance original fabric with essential use.