Helsinki is promoting “We Are Open” during Design Week.
The city of Helsinki has launched Helsinki Design Week as a potential model as millions of cities, businesses, and corporations continue to struggle with how best and how much to bring enormous people together.
Helsinki Design Week, which debuted in 2005, is the largest design event in the Nordic region, although interested parties or would-be imitators don’t need to go to Finland to participate or pick up inspiration. The 2018 version will be available online and offline from September 1 to September 11. The decision to hold more than 100 events with the theme “We Are Open” was made by the organizers through an open call. The main arena will be accessible to the general public for the whole 10-day festival for the first time in the event’s history.Visitors will be invited to brainstorm and exchange ideas, take guided tours, indulge at the pop-up restaurant Kuurna, and listen in on discussions about design and architecture on the top floors of what locals refer to as the “Sugar Cube,” a sleek 1962 building designed by renowned architect Alvar Aalto.Design Diplomacy conversations will take place in ambassadors’ homes, giving fresh meaning to the concept of cultural ambassadorship, which the design-forward Scandinavian nation is known for. Ten embassies will participate in such discussions, which will pair a design expert from Finland with one from the embassy’s home nation. In order to encourage a more casual dialogue, discussion topics will be picked at random from a deck of cards and speakers won’t be given any previous preparation instructions.On September 1, HDW and the city of Helsinki will award a designer or design team for making a constructive contribution to the city as part of the celebration of the city’s ten years as the World Design Capital. The exhibition “Designs for a Cooler Planet” by Life 1.5 will focus on environmental design concepts. The Helsinki International Film Festival will support a number of unexpected screenings that will happen all throughout the city.With an eye on the future, a “What If? Alternative Futures” is an exhibition at the Helsinki Design Museum that draws on a study by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and investigates ideas including whether or not different species can interact.Officials, designers, and creatives in Helsinki could be onto something. The “Cities in a Post-COVID World” research states that while the dominance of big cities is anticipated to remain intact, cities may increasingly become sites for civic and cultural gatherings rather than locations to shop or find employment. Three academics came to the conclusion that as city centers become more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly environments, more events will be conducted outside in city streets and plazas. They stated that the exodus of wealthy urbanites to the suburbs may be followed by an inflow of youthful creatives and artists. But when the sickness and the financial ramifications affect the underprivileged the most, the cultural gap can become more obvious.There will also be more conventional events, such as the well-liked three-day Design Market, where fashion designers and other creatives will market their wares. HDW will host a variety of programs for kids during the “Children’s Design Week” since it recognizes how important it is to foster their interest in all design disciplines. Children and young people will have a voice at the main event to convey the kind of city center that would feel welcoming to them.