DesignTrade Fairs

Building trust with Finnish design

With the theme ‘Trust’, Helsinki Design Week will reveal the best of Nordic creativity.

Design Market
Photo: Iiris Heikka

This 6-16 September, Helsinki Design Week- the largest design festival in the Nordic countries- will be taking over the city with more than 200 events that address the theme ‘Trust’.

Last year, the design festival attracted more than 161,000 visitors and this year, in addition to its extensive thematic programming, it will introduce a special design week for children with a creative programme for kids of 0 to 12 years of age in connection all over the city.

Design Market
Photo: Iiris Heikka

The main venue of Helsinki Design Week, the City Hall of Helsinki, will be the focal point for exploring the theme. The lobby will be filled with exhibitions, discussions and workshops. During the week, the City Hall will be used to explore how different urban spaces produce different ways of life, celebrate the 75 years of free school lunches, produce social innovation and solve problems by design methods.

The Design Market -the largest design stock sale in the Nordics – kicks off the HDW festival by once more taking over the Cable Factory. At Design Market, you can buy off-season products and prototypes at affordable prices. In addition to about 200 vendors, the market will feature flower market Fredan Kukkaistoriand waste food restaurant Loop.

Photo: Iiris HeikkaPopular Helsinki Design Week city installations will once again be built around the city centre. Installation Chatroulette has been designed by awarded design agency NEON that worked on the 2018 Trust theme together with the Arabia school’s fourth year pupils specializing in design. Based on the kids’ ideas and suggestions, NEON creates an engaging installation on Keskuskatu.

The same street will also host the 2018 Helsinki Design Week meeting point and info desk, providing daily themed programme and tips for experiencing the festival and the city.

In addition to the main events, the programme includes approximately 150 events by independent organizers, populating the streets, galleries and stores with design, architecture, fashion and urban planning.

‘Amos Rex, the City Hall, embassy residencies, the Cable Factory, Keskuskatu, Clarion Hotel Helsinki, Messukeskus, Aalto Campus in Otaniemi, Stockmann’s department store, Lonna  island and dozens of studios and showrooms….the scope of Helsinki Design Week becomes evident as we list some of the venues,’ says Helsinki Design Week founder and director Kari Korkman.

Design Diplomacy
Photo: Iiris Heikka

This year’s Design Diplomacy discussion will take place in 13 ambassadors’ residencies.  One design professional from each country meets a Finnish designer over the renewed Design Diplomacy card game. The participating embassies are those of Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Spain, as well as Ireland and Estonia as the two newest participants. Confirmed speakers include Latvian architect Zaiga Gaile, Danish textile and print designer Cecilie Elisabeth Rudolph, Belgian product designer Sep Verboom, the director of Bratislava Design Week Ľubica Hustá, Estonian architect Vilen Künnapu and Irish ceramist Chloë Dowds.

Photo: Iiris Heikka

The designers are now working on a new collection of products, the first of which will be displayed during this year’s Helsinki Design Week. The producers are Made by Choice from Finland and M114, LZF lamps and Nanimarquina (former id judge!) from Spain. Helsinki Design Weekly will follow the Spanish residence renovation project and the product design process during 2018 and 2019. Eventually the products will be placed in the Spanish residence, the living room and hall space of which will be completely renovated during 2019.

The main venues of Children’s Design Week include the Helsinki City Museum, the City Hall and Kattilahalli in the district of Suvilahti, and the building will turn into a magical forest created by illustrator Leena Kisonen where kids can experience design and architecture in various workshops.

All Helsinki Design Week events can be found by name in the Whim application, which allows planning a route, buying tickets and ordering a taxi all in the same interface.