Helsinki Design Week 10 years

Helsinki Design Week 10 years
– The first look at programme highlights

Helsinki Design Week, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, has released the highlights of its programme. The largest design festival in the Nordic countries will be held throughout Helsinki from 4-14.9.2014 with the theme Take the Leap.


“We are celebrating our anniversary year at a time at which many business areas face challenges, but also are moving towards new opportunities. Our theme Take the Leap is a call to be bold and push forward. We are responding to our own challenge by creating new kind of programme, by networking at home and abroad, and by expanding our activity to throughout the year,” declares Helsinki Design Week’s director Kari Korkman.

Helsinki Design Weekly, a new design web publication 

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Helsinki Design Week will take the leap into year-round activity by launching a new design-focused web publication. The new publication, Helsinki Design Weekly, will be launched in the autumn of 2014, the renewed website as its platform. The website is designed by the creative agency Kokoro&Moi.

“Helsinki Design Weekly will do year round what the Helsinki Design Week festival does during its week in September: bring the field of design to urban residents, comment on current phenomena in design and raise discussion about the future of the field,” states Hanna Harris, the festival’s new programme director.

New event locations

This year, Helsinki Design Week’s main events are spread throughout Helsinki: in Vanha Ylioppilastalo (the Old Student House) and Bio Rex in the city centre, at Teurastamo (the Abattoir) in the Kalasatama district as well as in Kaapelitehdas (the Cable Factory) in the Ruoholahti area.

The Old Student House will host Helsinki Design Week’s opening and birthday party on Thursday, 4 September. On the following day, Helsinki Design Week works together with its main partner, Audi, to bring design’s most interesting discussion topics to lunch break at the Old Student House’s banquet hall. Here, designers will speak to the lunch crowd at the free and open to the public Design Talks event.

Architecture Day will be held at the Bio Rex on 11 September. The programme includes lectures on architecturally related topics. Helsinki Design Week’s main partner Ruukki will participate, providing architecturally related content, and the largest PechaKucha Night to date in Helsinki will be held on the same evening.

Local Design at the Abattoir

Helsinki Design Week’s ten-year anniversary exhibition brings a new, delicious Local Design collection to the Abattoir area, which is known for promoting local food. The interior and exterior spaces of the Abattoir will fill with fresh, home-grown new design – locally produced and designed.

“Underlying this playful concept is a concern about Finland’s ability to commercialize domestic design know-how. To address this concern, the exhibition spread through the Abattoir highlights growth-oriented design companies and start-ups,” says festival director Kari Korkman.

The curated Local Design exhibition will also accept a few companies through an open call. The open call for entries will begin during week 22 and can be found at

The Local Design thinking that enlivens the exhibition at the Abattoir is also seen in Helsinki Design Week’s main partner Puustelli’s new minimal carbon footprint Puustelli Miinus kitchen. The Clock Hall will host the Miinus kitchen, which will offer food made and served in an energy friendly way.

HDW x the Design Museum: The stars of curation and a new festival hub

During Helsinki Design Week, festival visitors will be served at a new info point and meeting place in front of the Design Museum. The info point offers visitors up-to-date festival information and a programme that changes daily.

The Design Museum and HDW have deepened their cooperation also in the programme. This year, the festival will begin on the 4th of September with an international design curation seminar for professionals.

“Helsinki Design Week’s theme Take the Leap challenges us to look toward the future. The Design Museum wants to bolster discussion on Finnish design and will leap into the street and the joint seminar with Helsinki Design Week, creating both a physical meeting point and an arena for international dialogue and the exchange of ideas,” states Jukka Savolainen, the director of the Design Museum.

Old favourites and the open call for events

Alongside the new programme offerings, favourites from earlier years are still included.

The ever popular Design Market on 6-7 September gathers design companies to sell their products at the Cable Factory. The event expands to be bigger than previously with new sales spaces and an interesting programme.

The Children’s Weekend, which will be arranged for the second time, brings design to the smallest members of the family. The main event of the Children’s Weekend takes place at the Abattoir, and other events for children are located throughout the city. Participating in the event is Helsinki Design Week’s partner, LEGO.

The final programme for Helsinki Design Week will be published in August.