Iittala presents PLAY, the first collection designed under the direction of Iittala’s newly appointed Creative Director, Janni Vepsäläinen. Set to launch in March 2024, Iittala PLAY is designed to seamlessly interact with modern lifestyles and homes, bringing playfulness and joy to the everyday. The design thinking on the collection represents a shift in the way design integrates with our everyday lives.

The new Iittala PLAY collection embodies a commitment to creativity and a profound understanding of contemporary lifestyles, resulting in a collection that is lively, versatile, and meticulously crafted. The range includes glass objects, ceramic tableware, textiles, and introduces candles to Iittala’s diverse portfolio.

The creative idea of the collection represents a change in the way design integrates into our everyday lives: while being carefully designed and representing the century-long design expertise of Iittala, the collection does not take itself too seriously or put itself on a pedestal, but invites to play, experiment, and express the user’s creativity.

Janni Vepsäläinen, Creative Director at Iittala, emphasizes the multifunctional and communal nature of the PLAY collection: ”The PLAY home accents and objects are multifunctional items made to be shared and loved.”

Don’t forget to play

Inspired by Alvar Aalto’s famous quote, ”Don’t forget to play,” the collection encapsulates Iittala’s playful and colourful attitude, reinforcing Iittala’s founding identity of being an experimental and forward-thinking brand.

The PLAY collection is a testament to Iittala’s dedication to creating objects that transcend mere functionality, becoming cherished elements that effortlessly blend into diverse homes. The objects in the collection are not only easy to mix and match but also serve as versatile gifts for friends and family, finding natural places in various home settings. These items are designed to be always on display, bringing both functionality and aesthetic delight.

A multifunctional collection adapting to the rhythm of modern life

The landscape of dining is changing: we tend to sit on sofas or beds instead of tables, eating food out of a bowl with one hand, while we chat with a friend, read or watch TV. The PLAY collection features different ceramic bowls and a plate with edges, catering to evolving dining habits and adapting to the rhythm of modern life.

The large ceramic bowl is ideal for ramen soups or used as a serving bowl, while the mid-sized bowl is perfect for breakfast yoghurt or fruit, and the cute mini bowl is like it was designed to serve one perfect-sized scoop of ice cream. The ceramic plates serve all occasions, from an impromptu pasta party to a Sunday dinner shared with friends. Or, completely taken out of the kitchen, the items function as displays for jewellery or for storing small items such as keys and air pods. The PLAY mug is carefully shaped to fit the hands holding it. It is generously sized and ideal for a latte, hot chocolate or a large cup of tea.

The ceramic tableware, crafted from high-quality vitro porcelain, features hand-painted colour details on the rims of the plates and the handles of the mugs. The ceramic items are designed by designer Aleksi Kuokka.

Iittala extends the PLAY collection also to textiles, with tablecloths, tea towels, blankets and cushion covers. The tablecloths set the mood for lively table settings, and the strong linen material improves and softens with use. The kitchen towels add a pop of colour to the kitchen, or the table setting and make perfect gifts when paired for example with home-baked bread. Bold home décor takes center stage with the PLAY blankets and cushion covers featuring bold colour combinations, instantly infusing homes with a lively atmosphere.

The collection’s candles, available in round and oval shapes and made from high-quality and safe soy wax, not only create a joyful ambiance but also provide a reusable ceramic cup for various functions after the candle burns out.

The PLAY glass vases and glass bowls, designed by Finnish designer Anne Hirvonen and handmade and mouth-blown in the Iittala Glass Factory in Finland, introduce happy pastel colours like light lilac, salmon pink, and light green. The organic, gingerbread-shaped rims of the glass objects add playfulness and reflect light beautifully. The vase is the natural place for the weekly bouquet, while the glass bowls are versatile enough to hold makeup, pens, charger chords or other loose items that need a perfect display spot.

Sun-kissed colours

”The use of colours is deeply embedded into my creative thinking”, says Vepsäläinen. “The colour palette in this collection was inspired by a trip to the South of France.”

The PLAY collection showcases a fresh and delightful colour palette, ranging from bright yellow to pastel tones of green, peachy pink and lilac. Vepsäläinen describes how a visit to the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence, which was designed by Henri Matisse at the turn of the 1950s, made a strong impression while working on the collection:

”Every detailed and thoughtful element of the chapel, from the beautiful painted windows to the priest’s vestments and the chapel’s black and white wall paintings and the shapes that appear in them, brought me strong parallels with the colours and organic forms found in Iittala’s design and inspired me with the creative vision that guides this collection”, Vepsäläinen explains.

The colours of PLAY also in Iittala’s classics

Complementing the PLAY collection, Iittala introduces the Aalto vase (140 mm), designed by Alvar Aalto in 1936, in the same light lilac glass colour found in the PLAY glass objects. The Aalto vase is mouth blown with a wooden mould at the Iittala Glass Factory in Finland. Wooden moulds give the glass objects a special uniqueness and appearance, because the mould changes a little each time the mould is used. The wooden moulds are made by the Iittala Glass Factory’s skilled carpenters.

Also, three new had crafted glass birds, designed by Oiva Toikka, take flight in the exquisite colours of PLAY. Leppäinen (190×165 mm) features a body in light lilac with a head and tail in clear glass. The Ibis bird (205×165 mm) is peachy pink all over with a round white head and long, gold-brown beak for contrast. The happy Owlet (75×105 mm) adds even more joy in its new light lilac colour.

The Iittala PLAY collection is an invitation to embrace the playful spirit inherent in materials, forms, and colours. As the way we live evolves, Iittala continues to lead the way, enriching lives through thoughtful and vibrant design.

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