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The Old Customs House welcomes new residents

  • Commitment Matters
  • Helsinki Design Week 2020
  • Old Customs House

Located only a few hundred meters away from the Helsinki Market Square, the Old Customs House on Katajanokka has been home to Helsinki Design Week staff since 2013. Now we welcome new residents from a range of creative fields to share our workspace! 

The Old Customs House, designed by architect Gustaf Nyström, was completed in 1901. The building functioned as a storage space until 1974, after which it remained empty for years. In 2011 Helsinki Design Week took over the space and hosted events and exhibitions during the annual design festival. Since 2013 Luovi Productions, the company behind Helsinki Design Week, has had its office on the bottom floor of the old warehouse.

With plenty of space to share, Kokoro & Moi, Shape Helsinki, Tej Chauhan, Poem and Lauri Johansson moved in at the beginning of this year. With the theme of the next festival in mind, Commitment Matters, we asked our new neighbours what they are committed to in 2020.

People at Old Customs House

From left Antti Hinkula, Jenni Väre, Ilona Jämsen, Jenni Juutilainen, Saara Salonoja, Konstantinos Kostas, Ulla Holma, Matts Bjolin, Ville Tikka, Kari Korkman, Kerkko Ulmanen and Ida Kukkapuro. Anni Korkman, Lauri Johansson and Tej Chauhan are missing from the photo.

Kokoro & Moi

Kokoro & Moi is a creative agency with a mission to design unique, bold and inspiring brand identities and brand experiences.

Antti Hinkula, Founder and Creative Director of Kokoro & Moi, looks ahead to the new year:  “Our company just turned 18. Isn’t that the age of doing adult stuff while still acting like a kid?”

Kokoro&Moi work samples

Visual identity for FIN/JPN Friendship Collection by Artek by Kokoro & Moi.

Shape Helsinki

Shape Helsinki is an insight-driven strategic design agency. Shape is committed to increasing happiness again this year by making the world piece by piece more human.

Tej Chauhan

Tej Chauhan Ltd is a creative practice known for Emotive Industrial Design. Working on strategic product development, brand design DNA and futures study, our clients range from startups to some of the world’s best known brands.

“Established in London in 2005, we are excited to open a second office in Helsinki for 2020. This year I’m committed to challenging conventions (I will learn how to knit to make the perfect hat),”  says Tej.

Lauri Johansson

Lauri Johansson is a versatile designer who focuses on interior and furniture design. Lauri holds an extensive experience in exhibition architecture as well as in set design.

“2020 will be the year of learning. Our working space is packed with talent from various fields and the scale varies from strategies to the drawing of the smallest details. I’m committed to make the most of this and both learn from others and share my own knowledge, ” says Lauri.


Poem is a strategy company integrating deep human understanding with advanced business, brand and design strategy. A lot of Poem’s work is focused on solving the hardest business problems, including how to combine growth with impact, get a grip on the climate change, design ethical systems, and actually change people’s lives for the better.

“Our commitment is simply to help companies become immensely meaningful and pragmatic in the face of escalating climate crisis, cultural acceleration, and technological weirding,” says Ville Tikka, CEO of Poem.

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