Helsinki Design Week takes place from 1 to 11 September 2022. The main venue is Alvar Aalto’s iconic “Sugar Cube”, but exhibitions and events are spread all over Helsinki. Design Stories picked six tips – discover them here!
1. The main venue and Artek Winebar
Helsinki Design Week’s main venue is the building designed by Alvar Aalto, also nicknamed The Sugar Cube at Kanavaranta 1. The iconic building was completed in 1962, and is now open to the public for the first time.
The Helsinki restaurant Kuurna will cater on the top floor of the building, and next to it the Artek Winebar will host a series of Weekly Talks about design and architecture. The restaurant is already fully booked, but the wine bar is open to everyone.
At the same time, in the Artek Helsinki store, you can get inspiration for home offices when the Compact Home Office exhibition opens in the store, which presents six workstations with different styles. Furniture from both Artek and other manufacturers is on display.
2. Puhdetyö II exhibition
The Finnish word puhdetyö refers to crafts that were once done after dark when it was not possible to work outside. Now a collection of objects has been created, made without the limitations of the briefs. The second Puhdetyö exhibition started as a workshop in the forest. Wood as a material and the forest as an environment are present in the created pieces.
3. PechaKucha Night
The fast-paced PechaKucha Night is based on the presentation format of the Tokyo-based Klein Dytham architectural office, where the speakers have 20 images and 20 seconds for each. You can say a lot in six minutes and forty seconds – but often something is left unsaid even when the pictures change!
PechaKucha events have already included inspiring speeches about gardens, fonts, the climate crisis, spas, road signs, new materials, structural racism, and dessert trends. This year, during Helsinki Design Week, three PechaKuchas will be organized, one of which will be held in the Oodi library and children will take over the stage.
Speakers at the PechaKucha organized in Kallio Church on September 8 will include Jack Sachs, Kasper Strömman and Anniina Koivu.
4. R&A X Helsinki Design Week
The Helsinki International Film Festival and Helsinki Design Week join forces. Films shown in an urban setting, such as Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Alien, allow city dwellers to enter places that are not normally accessible: the underground area of the National Museum and the closed Linnanpiha in the inner courtyard, as well as the industrial elevator of the Cable Factory.
The films have been chosen with care and according to the conditions of the facilities to guarantee a comprehensive experience.
5. Pieces of Hope X Kaiku
Pieces of Hope is a two-day event that combines an exhibition, talks and live music at the Kaiku club in Kallio district. The theme is mental health, creativity and nightlife, and their multifaceted relationship. The event has been curated by Antti Grundstén in collaboration with HDW’s Anni Korkman and Kaiku’s Timo Haapanen.
The exhibition presents nine invited artists’ views on the relationship between the mind and the night, in the form of a poster. There is an edition of 25 copies of each poster for sale.
Thursday 8 September in conjunction with the opening, Kaiku will organize a discussion on mental health and creativity with the artists of the exhibition, moderated by Caroline Suinner.
Friday 9 September the discussion focuses on the themes of night and creativity. Post Bar’s Joni Stanley, interior architect Joanna Laajisto, graphic designer Leo Karhunen and former city of Helsinki "night pilot" Salla Vallius will participate in the panel discussion led by Anni Korkman.
6. In line with Inga Sempé
Iittala presents the new In line with Inga Sempé exhibition at the Design Lab Gallery at the Iittala & Arabia Design Centre. Inga Sempé’s designs often have distinctive, inspiring and imaginative elements that make the viewer curious and want to look closer, touch and see.
The exhibition is connected to the Filigraani collection designed by Sempé for Iittala, which will be launched in autumn 2022.
Finland’s largest furniture, design and decoration event Habitare offers inspiration and experiences for five days. The event showcases new and old, highlights different styles, takes a stand, and looks to the future.
The theme of the 2022 Habitare is Reimagine. The theme highlights the power of imagination and what the world around us could be in the future.
Text: Design Stories Images: HDW / Aleksi Poutanen, Maija Astikainen