ODE TO Y INVITES YOU TO THE TABLE @ Helsinki, Vantaa, Porvoo and Tampere

On its 35th anniversary, Y-Säätiö Foundation commissioned us to create a public artwork involving its residents. The work, which has been in progress since 2020, will be celebrated in June 2024! 

Y-Säätiö is the largest nationwide non-profit landlord in Finland and an international expert in fighting homelessness. Y-Säätiö promotes social justice by offering affordable rental apartments. 

Ode to Y consists of five mosaic-covered tables – there are two of each of them – as well as an interactive mobile application. The physical tables were donated to two Y-Homes (Taipaletalo and Rukkila housing community) and three M2-Homes. The tables contain a total of approximately 17,400 mosaic pieces. The figure corresponds to the number of Y-Säätiö rental apartments in 2020, when we started planning the work. 

Anyone can download the free mobile app that is part of the work. It allows you to dig deeper into the mosaic: during 2023 we set up a mobile studio in the properties included in the project, and invited residents to add content to the mosaic tiles. By clicking the digital mosaic tiles of the Art Table, you’ll find art made by the residents. To the Table Instrument we recorded sounds produced by the residents. The mosaic of the Game Table archives residents’ memories from playing games around a table. The Common Table gathers residents’ insights and learnings about coexistence in an apartment building. The Ode to Y table, on the other hand, contains the history of the Y Foundation as told by its employees. The organization’s journey from an idea born at the kitchen table to a globally significant homelessness activist greatly inspired us. 

When Juha Kaakinen first contacted us, he emphasized the values ​​of the foundation, especially community spirit. So many communal and meaningful moments are experienced right around the table! Our work invites people to the table, but also creates connections through the stories, pictures, memories and poems hidden in the digital mosaic.

You can see the physical tables in the yards of Taipaletalo (Porvoo), Rukkilan asumisyhteisö (Helsinki), Lyyrapyrstö 2 (Tampere) and Puunhaltijankuja (Vantaa). 

The project was funded by Y-Foundation. It was co-production of Y-Foundation and Firma Oy / Studio Kalleinen. The work was made possible due to AVEK’s Mediarata support for Firma Oy.