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Helsinki Design Week 2018 encouraged encounters and collaboration

The theme of the festival, TRUST, established a ground for various design events, workshops and discussion panels organized in the city in September. Consisting of altogether nearly 230 urban events, the festival provided more activities than ever for children. This year Helsinki Design Week attracted a record-breaking number of over 170,000 visitors.

Organized for the 14th time, the Helsinki Design Week festival emphasized the importance of trust in the design process. The theme encouraged openness among designers and the users of the products and services designed by them. In addition to the traditional design disciplines, the festival looked for ideas in the context of digital customer experiences and urban planning. This year we built the festival together with approximately 150 event organizers.

This year’s festival center was located at Keskuskatu in the form of two containers. At the site, visitors had the chance to for example hear multiple conversations centred around design get to know Wolt’s Design Delivered concept.

“Helsinki Design Week bases its operations on networks. Our platform is open, providing our Finnish and international stakeholder groups alike an opportunity to participate, present their activities and form partnerships. Our theme this year, TRUST, was a statement to emphasize the importance of networking,” says Helsinki Design Week CEO Kari Korkman.

New Market – which was organized in partnership with Ruokatieto – showcased recent innovations in the form of local produce and products.

At Design Market’s Turbiinisali, visitors were able to browse and listen to the Vinyl Market LP’s and discussion curated by WeJazz.

This urban festival provided a natural way to establish dialogue between the City and its citizens. Its main venue, the City Hall, invited the residents of Helsinki to learn about the future of their city space through the various exhibitions on location.

Sculptor Man Yau’s installation ‘Nexus 10’ was featured in the Stockmann department store for the duration of the festival. The altar-like piece was strongly connected to this year’s theme ‘TRUST’.

Children’s Design Week provided tools for design thinking

Organized for the first time in parallel, Children’s Design Week included many popular workshops in the City Museum, the main venue for this targeted festival.

International design agency NEON designed this year’s installation ‘Chatroulette’ together with children.

“Design thinking is a must in the future. Therefore we want to provide children – the designers and builders of the future – with tools that will help them look at things from various angles. It is important to learn these skills at an early age so that they will be automatically in use later,” says Producer of Children’s Design Week Helena Fernström.

The opening of Children’s Design Week was celebrated at the city hall on the 7th of September.

As always, the week culminated in the Children’s Weekend, an event much loved by families, organized in the old boiler hall in Suvilahti. In addition to various workshops, the Children’s Weekend offered plenty of quality finds for children in the Little Market.

Traditionally set in Suvilahti’s Kattilahalli, Children’s Weekend offered families with children an opportunity to participate in numerous workshops focusing on design education and buy the latest products from internationally recognised children’s brands in Little Market.

The Children’s Design Week was officially opened at the City Hall. This building also functioned as a base for the students of Käpylä comprehensive school and the CURL collective as they explored the city using experiential and corporeal methods. Pihla Meskanen’s Tilapeli (“Spatial Game”) installation supported by the Asko Foundation was featured in the lobby.

Tilapeli (Spatial Game) installation by Pihla Meskanen.

A function of many factors

We would like to thank all the visitors, event organizers and enablers of this year’s Helsinki Design Week. Many thanks go to our main partner, the City of Helsinki, as well as our partners Clarion Hotels, Evermade, Kuudes, Grano, Tallink Silja and Whim, and to our media partner Basso. A big thank you to our supporters: the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The opening of Helsinki Design Week was celebrated at the newly opened Amos Rex on the 6th of September.

See you again during the next Helsinki Design Week from 5 to 15 September 2019!

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Helsinki Design Weekly is an online design publication presenting timely phenomena in the field of design and raises discussion about the future of the industry bolstered by top writers on the front lines.