The National Museum of Finland is one of the newest venues and partners in developing the programme for the festival. This building, designed by Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen, is a Jugendstil architectural landmark inside whose walls are displayed articles of Finnish life from prehistory to the present day. During Helsinki Design Week, these historical artifacts will be accompanied by perspectives on contemporary design and its future in the main seminar on 8.9. The museum will also host installations of contemporary design.
Travel back from history to glimpse the future of Helsinki’s urban nature. The first Saturday of the festival 5.9. will focus on the Vallisaari island, which has been uninhabited for decades. The spectacular buildings and unique nature of the island are managed by Metsähallitus but are still being used by the Finnish Defence Forces. In 2016, under the management of Metsähallitus’ Parks and Wildlife Services, the island will be opened to the public. The island’s future will be envisioned during Helsinki Design Week in sessions directed by the Uusi Kaupunki architectural collective.
The future of cities will be more widely featured during Helsinki Design Week. Design thinking has become an integral part of the city’s development work over the last ten years. Design has supported the development of public services, helped build the city’s image and solved urban problems. Together with the Design Driven City project, a series of events and workshops held over 5.-9.9. will present the lessons learned and find inspiration for the future of urban design.
The programme includes the City Design Meet-up, the launch of Kaskas Media’s Design Stories web publication, the gathering of the member cities of UNESCO Creative Cities, a peek into the Espoo metro extension, and the British innovation charity Nesta’s workshop on the identification of systemic problems in cities.
The leading names in design will drop anchor in Jätkäsaari from 9.-12-9., when Helsinki Design Week’s main event fills the L3 Design Dock, which was designed by Lars Sonck. The event will present a collection of top Finnish and foreign design brands – including Vepsäläinen, Nikari, Nomart and Secto. Also participating in the programme will be the festival’s new main partners, Lexus and LähiTapiola. Located in the L3 Design Dock will be an exhibition of contemporary Japanese design curated by Ikko Yokoyama as well as the results of a project by young designers on the future of safety.
Besides these examples of the leading edge of design, the historic space will contain a cafe designed by Joanna Laajisto, inspired by late summer garden parties. Interior architect Laajisto explains, ”In the future, cities will become more crowded, and parks may even disappear. But we will always need nature. Future gardens will be situated inside the rough urban environment, such as in inner courtyards, on roofs, even in cellars. These ideas inspired my interior design.” Delicacies will be served by wild herb chef Sami Tallberg.