Design Deed of the Year 2018 awarded to Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth

In connection with the Habitare Fair today, the Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth received the Design Deed of the Year award. The criteria for the award are originality, responsibility and design as part of everyday life.

The Design Deed of the Year is awarded annually to a Finnish enterprise where design plays a significant role. This year, the prize was awarded to Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth, which for many years has been providing basic education in architecture, as well as thematic courses on designing lodges, miniatures, models, visual arts, animation and 3D computer design.

Arkki’s pedagogical motto is Play – Create – Succeed. Courses emphasise learning by playing, and pupils are encouraged to conduct bold experiments without fear of failure. The inspiring and encouraging atmosphere develops courage, which enables new innovations.

The courses strive to develop creativity, awaken interest towards built environment amongst children and youth, and to give young people tools to impact their future surroundings and decision-making about these. Arkki also offers individual workshops to daycare centres and schools, more comprehensive workshop entities, wellness days for companies, and birthday workshops with various themes for private persons.

Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth was awarded the Design from Finland mark by the Association for Finnish Work in 2016, and now the School has received the distinguished Design Deed of the Year award. The jury appreciates Arkki’s educational approach and influence, as well as its exemplary character, based on the fact that design can also be immaterial.

“We see the design and architectural education and influence provided by the Arkki association as an ideal. Children get to acquaint themselves with design and architecture at a young age and are able to understand matter, as well as demand better design from companies later as consumers. Arkki’s pupils are found in various professions, from lawyers to adventure experience coordinators. With this persåecive, we are also impressively bring forth architecture as part of the design,” jury member Annaleena Hämäläinen says, in providing the basis for the jury’s decision.

Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth was established in 1993 by three architects, Tuuli Tiitola-Meskanen, Miina Vuorinen and Pihla Meskanen. Head teacher at the school Niina Hummelin has had a pivotal role in developing its operations for over 16 years. Over the years, hundreds of architects have participated in children’s architectural education.

Arkki provides basic education in architecture, which observes the comprehensive syllabus. The curriculum is based on the guidelines compiled by the Board of Education, as well as on legislation affecting arts edcation at primary schools. Arkki has an organisational permit for arts-based primary instruction granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In the capital city (Helsinki) region, 700 children and youth attend primary instruction in art at Arkki on a weekly basis. Approximately 8,000 children participate annually in the thematic courses and workshops.

“The Design Deed of the Year prize is a splendid token of appreciation for our entire team, which has long been involved in creativity-based education. It’s the icing on the cake to receive it just as Arkki’s 25th anniversary begins,” exclaims Pihla Meskanen, Head of Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth.

The Design Deed of the Year prize has been awarded seven times. In previous years, this recognition has been received by Beibamboo Oy (2012), which designs and produces bamboo-fibre baby clothing; VM-Carpet (2013), which produces high-quality, inventive rugs; Droplet Hitech Design Oy (2014), which makes wooden “Lastu” protective holders for mobile devices;  Useful Stuff Oy (2015), which manufactures “Drop” outdoor pools; and Hakola Huonekalu Oy (2016), which makes furniture and interior design products; and FRENN Company Oy (2017), which produces men’s wear.

The jury consists of Industrial Counsellor Kari Kallonen, Hakola Huonekalu Oy’s Creative Director Annaleena Hämäläinen, Ornamo’s Board Chairperson Kristian Keinänen and Association for Finnish Work Managing Director Tero Lausala.

Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth, FACT SHEET:

  • established in 1993
  • employs five persons full-time in Finland, along with 40 architects on a part-time basis
  • offers primary instruction in the art of architecture on a weekly basis to 700 children in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa
  • offers design and architectural workshops and courses in Finland to over 8,000 children annually
  • generates materials for comprehensive school teachers
  • a global pioneer in the architectural education of children
  • operates in 14 cities in five countries via Arkki International Oy
  • will open new outlets in the years to come in 10 Southeast Asian countries

Additional information:

Johanna Lahti, Brand Manager, Design from Finland, Association for Finnish Work,, +358 (0)40 5916143
Pihla Meskanen, Head of Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth,, tel. +358 (0)50 5174602

The Association for Finnish Work is a specialist organisation promoting the appreciation for and success in Finnish work. The federation manages marks and online services serving Finnish work. Established in 1912, the federation has more than 3,900 corporate or community members.

The Design from Finland mark speaks on behalf of unique Finnish design origins, emphasising the significance of immaterial Finnish work from the perspective of Finnish success and employment. Over 470 marks have been issued.