Welcome to Helsinki Design Week 2019!

Welcome to Helsinki Design Week 2019! Here you can find the program and other information for your stay.

Design Diplomacy Design tips for Helsinki

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Helena Fernström
Helsinki Design Week
+358 50 512 0681


This year the Design Diplomacy discussions take place in 13 ambassadors’ residences. One design professional from each country meets a Finnish designer over the renewed Design Diplomacy card game. Below you will find information on the Design Diplomacy concept.

The discussions

A series of discussions enters ambassadors’ residences that only a few of us have been allowed to see. Each night, one design professional from the hosting country meets a Finnish designer in a new card game. Playful, intelligent questions challenge both the speakers and the audience. In addition to discussions that last for about half an hour, you will learn interesting details about unique residences and their architecture over a glass of wine. How many ambassadors have lived in the apartment? How does the place reflect its history and use?

The course of the event 

Please arrive around 40-30 minutes before the beginning of the event. I or someone from Helsinki Design Week’s team will also be there 30 minutes before the event starts.

Starting speeches (around 15 mins):

– The Embassy will say the welcoming words and possibly a few words about the residence.
– Helsinki Design Week tells about the Design Diplomacy concept and how the card game will go in practice.
– The speakers will introduce themselves shortly.

The discussion (around 30-40 mins):

The question cards replace a traditional moderator. Speakers will ask questions randomly from each other and talk about the topics freely. Sometimes the answers might be short, some times dive deep into the theme.

Possible questions:
What would constitute a “perfect” object for you?
Tell one memorable compliment you have received about your work.
What makes you get out of your bed in the morning?
Why is design important?

In addition, there are also some blank cards in the pack of cards. When getting this card, it means that it is time for the audience to ask a question. Ask the audience to raise their hand and pick one of them to ask the question.

All this will take around 45-55 minutes after which some snacks will be served and discussions can be continued with everyone.

We are very much looking forward to the event and meeting you soon!

Design Diplomacy exhibition at Erottaja 2

Address: Erottajankatu 2, 00120 Helsini

In addition to the residence discussions, now for the first time we can see the works of the participating designers at the Design Diplomacy exhibition. The exhibition will take place on the third floor of the main venue of Helsinki Design Week at Erottaja 2. It will present the answers of the designers participating in the Design Diplomacy card game to questions such as: What makes a perfect object? Or what is the best compliment to receive for one’s design work? The exhibition also presents the love for materials and the designers’ favourite projects over the year.

NOTE: You will get your festival bracelet at the entrance of Erottaja 2 by giving your name.

Read more by clicking the name of the country.

Design Diplomacy discussions in 2019

Friday, 6 September

Iceland (9-11) Address: Pohjoisranta 10, 00170 Helsinki
Sweden (14-16) Address: Pohjoisesplanadi 7, 00101 Helsinki
Belgium (17-19) Address: Kalliolinnantie 5, 00140 Helsinki

Monday, 9 September

Latvia (14-16) Address: Armfeltintie 1, 00150 Helsinki
Estonia (17-19) Address: Itäinen Puistotie 10, 00140 Helsinki

Tuesday 10, September

Norway (9-11) Address: Rehbinderintie 17, 00150 Helsinki
The United Kingdom (14-16) Address: Itäinen Puistotie 17, 00140 Helsinki
Italy (17-19) Address: Tehtaankatu 32 c-d, 00150 Helsinki

Wednesday 11, September

Ireland (9-11) Address: Tehtaankatu 34 A, 00150 Helsinki
Slovakia (14-16) Address: Vähäniityntie 5, 00570 Helsinki
The Netherlands (17-19) Address: Itäinen Puistotie 7, 00140 Helsinki

Thursday 12, September

Spain (14-16) Address: Myllytie 5, 00140 Helsinki
Denmark (17-19) Address: Yrjönkatu 9 A, 4th floor, 00120 Helsinki

Tips for your free time:

Keskuskatu 1
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Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The business strategy of the company was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means”. Today Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, creating new paths at the intersection of design, architecture and art. The Artek collection comprises furniture, lighting and accessories by the Nordic masters Alvar Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Tapio Wirkkala, Eero Aarnio and Yrjö Kukkapuro. Artek also works with leading international architects, designers and artists, such as Shigeru Ban, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Harri Koskinen, Enzo Mari and Tobias Rehberger.

Mikonkatu 6
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TRE is a flagship store for Finnish design in downtown Helsinki and online. TRE concept store opened in August 2016. TRE has a wide range of design, furniture, lifestyle products, organic cosmetics and fashion. 90 % Finnish design, 100 % good stuff. TRE is committed to work towards sustainable development and want to support small producers and local production. TRE has already 300 brands in their selection, both well-known classics and new interesting designers.

Annankatu 9
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Lokal is a concept store and home to independent Finnish art, design and craft. Besides the unique art pieces in the gallery space, there is a wide array of selected products from some of the leading names in ceramics, furniture, art prints and kitchen ware. Lokal is also a Helsinki retailer of highly acclaimed Fiskars-based furniture brand Nikari. Lokal is run by photographer Katja Hagelstam. It has been growing and changing ever since, showing a mix of recognized and up-and-coming artists. The themed group exhibitions change every 1-2 months.


Ateljé Finne

Mannerheiminaukio 2
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Kiasma is a contemporary art museum located in Helsinki, Finland. Kiasma is part of the Finnish National Gallery. One of the leading museums of contemporary art in the Nordic region, Kiasma delights and provokes, impresses, surprises and entertains.

The museum showcases and collects art of our time. It seeks to make contemporary art accessible to as large an audience as possible and thereby to offer people new experiences and new perspectives on life. Kiasma is the perfect place to enjoy and experience art.

Hernesaarenranta 4
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Designed by the Avanto Architects (Ville Hara and Anu Puustinen) Löyly is a public sauna in the heart of Helsinki City. The architectural idea is simple: there is a rectangular black box containing the warm spaces that is covered with a free form wooden “cloak”. The sculptural structure is made of heat treated pine. The building consists of two parts: public saunas and a restaurant. The saunas and public spaces open up to the sea, with interesting views to city center and even to the open sea. The interior architecture of the restaurant and the sauna lounge is by Joanna Laajisto Creative Studio.

Katajanokanlaituri 2a
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The Allas Sea Pool offers new ways to enjoy the Baltic Sea in Helsinki, right next to the Kauppatori marketplace. The Allas Sea Pool is a lookout spot and garden-like oasis with a large pool area and magnificent saunas. With its land and sea areas it covers almost a hectare (2.47 acres) of the city centre.

Korkeavuorenkatu 23, 00130 Helsinki
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The museum in Helsinki devoted to the exhibition of both Finnish and foreign design, including industrial design, fashion, and graphic design. The building is situated in Kaartinkaupunki, on Korkeavuorenkatu Street, and is owned by the Republic of Finland through Senate Properties. The museum, which is 140 years old (2013) and one of the oldest in the world – was first founded in 1873 but has operated in its present premises, a former school, designed by architect Gustaf Nyström in 1894 in the neo-Gothic style, since 1978. In 2002, the museum changed its name from Taideteollisuusmuseo to Designmuseo (“Design Museum”) because the original name was too long and complicated.[1] The museum also has a cafe and shop. Situated on the same city block is the Museum of Finnish Architecture.

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