The sensory voyage to inner islands

Saari Island.

Leipäsaari is a compound Finnish word of leipä and saari, which means bread and island respectively – the main metaphorical subjects of the project.

It is an attempt to investigate drawing and making food as imaginative, multi-sensory storytelling methods for self-expression and sharing with others. It has conducted as a series of participatory workshops aiming to help people raise self-awareness through sharing their stories from the inner world.

Step 1: Discovering your island
Step 2: Shaping your edible island
Step 3: Eating & sharing your stories with others

Workshop process

Participants create an imaginative self-portrait in a form of island as a thematic metaphor of isolation and connectivity. Each mental landscape is in turn transformed into a recipe of bread. Bread, as edible self, thus enables people to materialize their inner selves through making it. In the end, people enjoy the multi-sensory experience through sharing others’ stories by look, taste smell, and touch.

Since the tasty journey was open to the public for the first time during 2016 Helsinki Design Week, the excursion constituted 6 small-scale workshops and 2 large-scale exhibitions. The former resulted in 63 bread islands and the latter involved +200 participants targetting the random public with a focus on positive time spent for the self.

Size and hydration experiment for the meticulously calculated recipe fomular.
Local ingredients used for different looks and tastes depending on the environment and food culture of the region.
A DIY version of Leipäsaari for higher efficiency of the process.
The atlas of 63 islands in order of size.
The atlas of 63 bread islands in the same order.
Saari Island.

“There used to be homes but the sea level has risen so all the inhabitants had to go up. So traces of homes remained. When moving up, people brought as many trees as they could with them up there. And the people have been so much outdoors so they smell exotic.”

“This is a tiny island. It’s actually floating because it’s quite soft. It’s green on the island and there are some fish on the island jumping. And there are some blueberry bush which looks big compared to the island. And there is a tiny sauna for fish so they come inside to take sauna and smoke themselves, they become smoked fish. Automatic smoked fish island. I put smoked fish and blueberry in the bread as well.”

Ihana Island.
Me Island, the smallest island of all we've discovered.

“My island is small and independent, because I came to this region—which is remote and far from the capital—to live by myself like a secluded island. I chose level 4 in roughness scale because I’m in my 40s, thus completing in 10 in the end. I don’t need a big house and many possessions in my life. I wish self-sufficient life without much care.”

Visit here for more stories and the details of the bread island discovery.


Every man is an island. I stand by that. But, clearly, some men are part of island chains, Below the surface of the ocean, they’re actually connected.

Film “About a Boy”


It was on the ferry boat traveling to Suomenlinna Island that we came up with the initial idea of the island metaphor for this project. We formed a design collective named AÄÅ, which signify Nordic countries—the place where our exploration took place—and symbolized the three of us. When we first moved to Finland, each of us felt that “I am an island floating on the different culture.” Passing by various sizes and shapes of islands scattered around, we talked about isolation and connection, in regard to the nature of island which is isolated above the water yet connected under the water. As a voyage to remote islands takes time and effort, this artistic practice is a conceptual journey to people as they identified with various islands scattered around, eventually exploring the atlas of other islands in a certain group or community.