INSIDE THE BOX: DESIGN AT ITS FINNEST – ER, FINEST
When it comes to stylish, functional design, few can beat the Scandinavians. We can thank them for everything from Marimekko to Ikea. But for Finland in particular, functional design has been a way of life, or rather a way of STARTING life, for almost a century. Since the 1930s, Finnish mothers-to-be have received a free box of baby goodies courtesy of the government, which was alarmed that more pregnant women were not getting proper pre-natal care. (In order to receive the box, women are required to visit a doctor before their fourth month of pregnancy.) The box contains a list of baby essentials, from diapers to snow suits. It’s become a way of chronicling Finnish history, since the contents and clothing fabrics change from year to year – to the point where fellow parents can tell what year a baby was born just by looking at the onesie he or she is wearing.
Perhaps the most brilliant item, though, is the box itself: when emptied and fitted with the supplied mattress and sheet, it’s transformed into a Finnish baby’s first crib. Before the tradition of the box began, Finland’s infant mortality rate was alarmingly high due to the fact that many families could not afford a separate crib. Today, Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.
Check out the adorably functional story here: