In September, the number one feast of Finnish design, the annual Helsinki Design Awards Gala, will again award Finnish designers and design-influential companies and communities. A jury consisting of seven professionals is to select the winners in four different categories: the Product, the Design Deed, the Talent of the Year and the Lifetime award as well as the Audience Choice.
Helsinki Design Awards recognizes designers as well as organizations and innovations that have promoted design during the year. In the spirit of the Helsinki Design Week 2019 theme, Learning Climate, the finalists will be chosen with focus on sustainability and the development and promotion of environment-friendly solutions. The winners will be chosen by a jury of professionals consisting of design historian Kaisu Savola, Jussi Impiö of Demos Helsinki, curator Suvi Saloniemi, professor Yrjö Sotamaa, designer Aleksi Kuokka and Helsinki Design Week founder and director Kari Korkman.
The finalists’ works will be presented at the Helsinki Design Week main venue, Erottaja2, in the first-floor exhibition space that is open to the public throughout the festival. The festival-goers and the readers of Helsinki Design Weekly will get to vote for their favourite. The work with the most votes will receive the Audience Choice award.
Photo: Sanna Lehto
Kaisu Savola, design historian and curator
Kaisu Savola is a design historian, curator and doctoral candidate at Aalto University. Her research focuses on ways in which design has been used as a tool in creating a more sustainable and socially equal world. Her recent work includes curating the Finnish Pavilion at the XXII Triennale di Milano.
Jussi Impiö, senior expert
Jussi Impiö is a senior expert on climate change strategies and systemic solutions at Demos Helsinki. Before Demos Helsinki, Jussi was the founder and Head of Nokia Research Center in Nairobi from 2007 to 2013. Later in 2013, Jussi founded Fuzu Ltd, a mobile service for youth employment, which has 3 million users in East Africa. His academic background consists of an M.A. in industrial design and some studies in anthropology.
Photo: Elina Simonen
Suvi Saloniemi, curator
Suvi Saloniemi is Chief Curator at the Design Museum Helsinki, a Finnish specialist museum founded in 1873. Saloniemi’s expertise is in Scandinavian design, collectible design, critical practices, museums and global design networks.
Yrjö Sotamaa, professor
Yrjö Sotamaa is a longtime headmaster and professor at the Helsinki University of Art and Design. During his career, he has functioned as a specialist and professor in top universities, research institutes, companies and ministries in England, Italy, Austria, China, Korea, Sweden and Denmark.
Aleksi Kuokka, chief designer
Aleksi Kuokka is chief designer and partner in charge of premises and brands at innovation agency Aivan. Kuokka specializes in integrated brand experience and visual communications as well as concept creation. He is particularly interested in exploring brand communications through material surfaces, premises and objects.
Photo: Kerttu Penttilä
Kari Korkman, founder and director
Kari Korkman is the founder and director of the Helsinki Design Week festival and the chair of the World Design Weeks network. Since the early 1990s, he has participated in many product developments and launches and curated various design exhibitions and events. Korkman has gained plenty of recognition for promoting Finnish design and activating urban culture. He recently received an honorary doctorate at Aalto University.