Nordic Student Design Competition Accessories & Overall Winner 2023: Silja Setälä

Accessories & Overall Winner: Silja Setälä

Nordic Student Design Competition Accessories & Overall Winner 2023: Silja Setälä

Silja is a 22-year-old textile design student from Finland, at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. She possesses a strong passion for sustainability within her design work, consistently seeking and exploring new sustainable materials and solutions. Her preferred design approach involves beginning with hand-painted or handcrafted sketches, which she then enhances and refines using digital methods. Within her designs, she emphasizes the importance of simple and minimalistic beauty, captivating textures, and harmonious combinations of colors.



Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:

My design On the go was mostly inspired by the growing trend of modular clothes and accessories. I really love modular design and I think it is very topical in today’s world. I was also inspired by a busy on the go-lifestyle for which I wanted to make something simple, and functional, but still beautiful. I’m inspired by nature as well and wanted to add a deep calming green colour to the design.


What do you think makes leather a great material to design with?

Leather is a very versatile material and it’s also very durable and long lasting. You know that you’re making some that will last and get better with age. I also like how many techniques there are for working with leather. For example, in this project I had the opportunity to try laser cutting and engraving leather which was very interesting.

What has been your experience in working with leather for this competition?

Before this competition, I had not really worked with leather before. It was very interesting to get to know leather more as a material and explore what you could do with it. Overall, I did really like working with leather since it is so versatile and durable.


How do you think winning this competition will impact your career as a designer?

Hopefully winning this competition will open some new doors for me and allow me to work on interesting projects in the future as well.



Click here to view all the shortlisted entries from this year’s Nordic Competition.

Click here to learn more about leather and sustainability.