Seija Virva Hirstiö / Designer, documentarist and author.

Designer is a maker who creates something through a relationship with other people

I think it helps to be a good designer if you experience world in its diversity by yourself. I have always been a traveller, free spirit.

After finishing high school in Finland, I did hitch hiking around Europe and lived in eco-communities until I found buzzling life of big cities in the eighties. Then I lived in a rebellious squatting scene of south London and moved to New York to fall in love with a city. Run clubs, studied television production, made videos and had best job in Manhattan as a bike courier. I learnt Ventura, one of the first graphic design programs and did layouts to magazines, and posters.

In my late thirties I became a mother and encountered a need to have creative learning opportunities for children. I therefore started summer forest camps and piloted a free school. I also weaved hand colored bonchoes. I had a long period of unemployment, having a need to sort out my head and wrote a book about my trauma history. Digital era had reached media production whilst I had been a mother full time and I re-educated myself into the media skills and documentarism again and had my bachelor´s degree.

I work with video, documentaries, web design and VOB e-books. One of my first documentaries in the nineties was to document the situation of child labor in Thailand for the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland. I feel strongly about children´s situation. Recently I had a documentary collaboration in Indonesia about peace making and sharia Islam. Five years ago I started a project with trauma survivors in Finland. Together we produced books, videos, blogs and raised consciousness about complex trauma and dissociation.

I believe in clear communication, listening first and being kind and I think that attitude contributes to good collaborations.

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