Helsinki Design Week kicks off from 1 to 11 September 2022: this year the Finnish multidisciplinary festival revolves around a theme that is also an invitation: 'We are open'

Within the design weeks panorama, the Helsinki Design Week is an interesting happening, aimed at sharing with the world a particular approach to design that has been qualifying the Finnish capital (one of the few in the world with a Chief Design Officer employed within the city council) and summarized by this year's central theme: We are open.

The Helsinki Design Week 2022 will host a series of multidisciplinary events and exhibitions aimed at spreading awareness of the various cultural forms and approaches that Helsinki can leverage on when it comes to design. Directed by Anni Korkman it will occur in physical form but also online.

More than 100 events will be protagonists of the festival: here is a selection of what seems more promising to see, and why,

This year's headquarters, a (re) debut

For the 2022 edition, Helsinki Design Week will be located at Kanavaranta 1, the iconic modernist building also known as ' Sugar Cube' designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1962.

Symbol of progress and structure of national value, Kanavaranta 1 is for the first time open to guided tours (to book online).

It was originally designed to house the headquarters of a Finnish forestry company right in the heart of the city: today, with the Helsinki Design Week it also takes on a social role for city life: it will be a point of reference for the ten days of the event and will host, at the top floors, moments of brainstorming and meetings aimed at exchanging ideas.

The Helsinki Design Week program: what's new

Helsinki Design Award

During the festival days, the prize for the best urban design project will be awarded, together with the City of Helsinki (already partner of the initiative ).

The recognition, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of Helsinki World Design Capital, will be awarded on September 1 to a designer or design team for leading the transformation of a part of the city.

The topics covered will then be the subject of an in-depth seminar scheduled for 6 September.

Designs for a Cooler Planet

In collaboration with the Aalto University, Helsinki Design Week proposes the Life 1.5 section of the Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition series.

Life 1.5 tells how not to leave harmful traces: ten projects will be exhibited at the campus of Otaniemi systems that illustrate how it is possible, for example, to use objects and materials over and over again. It will be possible to observe experiments on biomaterials and new building materials.

Särkisalonki in Puistokatu 4

At the Kaivopuisto park in Puistokatu 4, The House of Science and Hope will exhibit the installation ' Salon Roach '(Särkisalonki). A mix of design, crafts, food and modern art.

R & A x HDW - Underground, above ground, and up in the air

Together with the Helsinki International Film Festival a series of films will be screened during the days of the event in different areas of the city: visitors will be surprised by moments of reproduction, even unconventional, the planned locations are in fact spread over several levels (underground, at ground level or on the surface).

The initiative aims to connect film and architecture enthusiasts in the basement and garden of the National Museum, as well as in the lift of the Cable Factory . The screenings will also involve the HDW Children's Design Week .

The 'What if? Alternative Futures' at the Design Museum

The exhibition tells the report of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra which investigated the small signals received and interpretable 'from the future': will we be able to communicate between different species?

Evergreen events

Part of HDW since its first year, the Open Studios event - taking place September 7-9 - involves designers, agencies and co-working communities.

This year the festival aims to deepen the theme of processes production. Where and how does the creative phase start and take place? During the three days of the event, visitors will be able to participate in guided tours in a specific city district or move from studio to studio according to their preferences.

Then there will be the Design Market, from 2 to 4 September, which will allow designers and makers to exhibit and sell high quality furniture, interior pieces, clothing and accessories.

Children will also have a dedicated program, designed by the Arkki School of Architecture for Children, which will provide a series of workshops throughout the festival.

The Helsinki Design Week program also includes (always with the focus on children) three of the PechaKucha Night events.

The first invites the fifth grade pupils of Helsinki to participate directly in the development of the festival, with a moment thought on the central stage. Organized as part of the Cultural Route (Kulttuuripolku) by the city of Helsinki, the PechaKucha Day of 6 September will give then for children the opportunity to share their inspiration and enthusiasm in the Maijansali room of the Oodi city library.

The second PechaKucha Night on September 7 is part of the Aalto University's Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition series that will open on the Otaniemi campus; the third one will be held in the church of Kallio and is scheduled for 8 September .

It is also always interesting to remember that, as usual, the Design Diplomacy meeting review will open the doors of the ambassadors residences, inviting people to visit and discuss.

Each Design Diplomacy program event connects two speakers who meet at an ambassador's residence: one a Finnish design professional and the other from the embassy's home country. The conduct of the meetings is also fun and curious : the two speakers find themselves 'challenge each other's cards' : each card reveals the topic or the question (unpublished and unprepared) in question.

There will be ten participating embassies for this edition.