Bird and the City

Handpicked influencers from Seoul, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Washington D.C. and Minneapolis were the source of inspiration for designer Oiva Toikka, who gave the soul of the city to each new City Bird. 

During four decades Oiva Toikka has created over 500 beloved handcrafted glass bird species for Iittala. Toikka received atmospheric imagery of the cities from our international collaborators. Through the birds he interpreted how the cities appear to him. The outcome is a collection of fascinating birds with strong and uniquely urban character.

The collection of 200 numbered birds is crafted in the Iittala glass factory by highly skilled art glass teams, who work closely with the beloved Birds by Toikka collection. The first bird to be created from each range will be given to the person who provided the inspiration from the selected cities. The birds are available only in selected retail spaces and will be launched gradually from October 2016. 

Kyoto, Japan

The poetic Kyoto bird is brown in colour. The elegantly minimalistic Japanese bird recalls the wooden statues, roofs and the temples that mark the ancient city. The inspiration for the Kyoto bird came from Ryuko Kida, Elle Deco Branding Director.

´People have lived in Kyoto with nature from season to season for a thousand years. But at the same time, they love new things. Because they place importance on history and tradition, they can create avant-garde things. I think the fun of the contrast is Kyoto-likeness.’

Hong Kong

The blue Hong Kong bird is wading in the shores and wetlands of the Asian metropolis. This very feminine bird has a sharp and intensive look in her eyes, one that suits the vibrant and breath-takingly energetic city. Influencer Ivana Wong showed her view of the city to Toikka. 

‘This city is vibrant; full of energy, the soul is fed on wildest dreams; it carries scars, and it's wounded now, yet it's still bravely presenting itself with pride and hopes.’ - Ivana Wong

Seoul, Korea

Seoul is a city divided in two parts, like the bird of the city. The city is both traditional and modern, and the bird’s modern traditional reflects the glass skyscrapers as they meet the city’s traditional red, as if the bird was wearing a historical cloak. Julie Kim, Founder of Dansk, shared her inspiration of Seoul with us.

‘Driving through Seoul is always exciting. I can enjoy beautifully aged architecture from Chosun dynasty standing right next to modern skyscrapers. We can find the heritage spirit along with contemporary.’ - Julie Kim

Washington, D.C.

The dark blue, wealthy Washington bird is wrapped in a lustrous pattern reflecting Capitol Hill. Toikka received the inspiration for the bird from Derrik West, Owner of Pop! Boutique.

‘Washington, D.C. inspires me for many reasons. As the capital of the United States, this city represents the battles, movements, and accomplishments of what a democratic society can accomplish. On every corner you can see a monument, building, park, or memorial dedicated to the great men and women who helped shape our country.’ - Derrik West

Minneapolis, USA

The Minneapolis bird has a green stripe on the back of the twisted and windy decoration of of its body, just as the Mississippi River cuts through this city, known for its very Nordic weather conditions. Megan Milkowski from Our World Shops gave Toikka her insight into the city.

‘In Minneapolis I’ve found that I can go on an adventure and go back home every day. There are always new places and events to explore, but cozy communities to return to. There are iconic spots like the Spoonbridge and Cherry to bring visiting friends and family to, but also quiet nooks like Lake Calhoun at sunset to bring your thoughts to.’ - Megan Milkowski

City birds in Japan

City birds in China and Hong Kong

City birds in Korea

City birds in Taiwan

Taipei Eslite Xinyi 110 台北市信義區松高路11號2樓

2/Floor, No. 11 SongGao Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City 110, Taiwan

Shinkong Mitsukoshi Taichung 407 台中市西屯區台灣大道三段301號8樓

8/Floor, No. 301 Zhonggang Road, Sec. 2, Taichung City 407

Shinkong Mitsukoshi Xinyi A8 110 台北市信義區松高路12號6樓

6/Floor, No. 12 Sungkao Road, Taipei City 110

Miramar New Square 104 台北市中山區北安路780號1樓

1/Floor, No. 780 Beian Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 104

City birds in the USA