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World Design Weeks gathered design influencers in Milan


World Design Weeks gathered design professionals from all around the world in Milan. Here’s what the eventful day looked like.

If you haven’t heard about World Design Weeks yet, now it is the time to sit up and take notice.

Design weeks are local hubs of the creative fields that connect growth metropolises’ creative urban festivals and their partners, such as academies and companies representing the design industry.

Now these connections are built globally in a new World Design Weeks network. It aims to elevate the global conversation, understanding, education and connection of people with design. It shares knowledge, resources and best practices, fostering the exchange of products and ideas, sustainable development, and the growth of individual design events. Its headquarters are located in Helsinki, and the network will be chaired by Helsinki Design Week’s CEO Kari Korkman until 2020.

The network was launched in Milan a year ago, and since then, it has continued developing at an accelerating pace.

In Milan 2017, World Design Weeks was present in three events at La Triennale di Milano.

World Design Weeks in Milan:

Finland 100th birthday

The 100th birthday of Finland gathered guests on the roof terrace of the Triennale. The warm and beautiful night was accompanied by bubbly and traditional Finnish strawberry cake as well as significant guests, such as State Secretary Paula Lehtomäki, the Triennale’s General Director AndreaCancellato and the Ambassador of Finland in Rome, Janne Taalas. The event was organized in collaboration with Helsinki Design Weeks and the Embassy of Rome.

Helsinki Design Week’s CEO Kari Korkman opened the night and talked about the importance of collaboration. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

The event was held in an unique location: the roof terrace of the Triennale. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

The Triennale’s General Director Andrea Cancellato, State Secretary Paula Lehtomäki and Ambassador Janne Taalas. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA


The event celebrated the 100th birthday of Finland. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA


WDW Meeting

The WDW Meeting offered a chance to meet representatives from international design weeks and learn more about the network, membership in it, the 2017 WDW event in Helsinki, and ways to get involved. The call for new members was launched at the event.

The visual identity of the network was also brought into the spotlight for the first time. Its identity is inspired by the tilt of the Earth’s axis: a fundamental aspect of our planet that affects all of us, whoever and wherever we may be. It reminds us that we are all the same and the simplest detail can change the world.

WDW has three regional organizations: Asia, Europe-Africa and the Americas. In the meeting, each of the regions shared their actions to increase the cooperation between the members.

Director of the Triennale, Andrea Cancellato, opened the meeting. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA


Europe’s Martijn Paulen (Dutch Design Week), Isabel Roig (Barcelona) and Kari Korkman (Helsinki Design Week). © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

Yusaku Imamura (Tokyo Design Week), Noriyuki Kasai (Mayor of Hirosaki), Cathy Lee (Seoul Design Week) & Vittorio Sun (Beijing Design Week). © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

Dawn Zidonis (San Francisco Design Week), Emilio Cabrero (Design Week Mexico) & Jeremy Vandermeij (Toronto Design Offsite). © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

The results of thw workshop will be utilized in the development of the network. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

Ravi Naidoo, Design Indaba. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

Ingrid van der Wacht, Dutch Design Week. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA


WDW Board Meeting

In the board meeting, the founders gathered to plan the network’s future. The founding members include nine design week festivals on three continents: Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Toronto, San Francisco, Mexico, Barcelona, Eindhoven and Helsinki.

The board discussed the organizational forms of cooperation between the design festivals, including funding, program, content, production and communications. The next board meeting will be held in Helsinki as part of the WDW Summit from 14 to 15 September 2017.

Jeremy Vandermeij, Ingrid van der Wacht and Vittorio Sun at the board meeting. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA


Yusaku Imamura, Tokyo Design Week. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

Vittorio Sun & Wang Zhi, Beijing Design Week. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

The next board meeting will be held in Helsinki on 14–15 September 2017. © GIANLUCA DI IOIA

World Design Weeks is a network for design weeks and festivals around the globe. The first major event will be held in Helsinki on 14–15 September 2017.



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