COMPANY is a design duo, Aamu Song & Johan Olin, based in Helsinki. They work as artists, designers, and producers, running their own shop Salakauppa in Helsinki. All products in Salakauppa are designed by COMPANY, inspired by various manufacturing traditions. They are currently living, working and running a Secret Shop in Helsinki. Their process begins with visiting factories and craftsmen, seeing what they are capable of producing and then designing products that correlate with the skills of the manufacturers. COMPANY products aim to celebrate brilliant traditional skills and genuine materials. Typically, “industrial design” starts with the design (conceiving of a product to fill a need), then adds the “industrial” (mass production). But Aamu Song and Johan Olin have it the other way ’round: They visit factories and craftsmen in Germany, South Korea and Finland, see what they’re capable of producing, then design products that correlate with the skill set of the manufacturers. Rather than letting these traditional factories die out, victim to global outsourcing, they propose to take charge of the skills already out there and see if they can actually foster new kinds of contemporary products. Rather than first designing some cool thing, and then getting someone to do it, Song and Olin start with the person who is going to manufacture it, and through conversations with those people, they evolve their ideas. Under the name Company, Song and Olin then sell the goods at their “Secret Shops,” pop-up affairs that have graced Milan, Berlin, Oslo, and Helsinki. Seen up top are the “Dance Shoes, For the Father and the Daughter,” designed for a Finnish felt factory. Company has been nominated for an Attention grant for the Worldchanging Network’s Philanthropy campaign. To have more information or get in touch with the designers just visit the link below.