Helsinki Design Week 2011
When we made the annual pilgrimage to Finland for Helsinki Design Week this year, we discovered a veritable hotbed of young talent. Stepping through the doors of Habitare Ahead - the event's flagship fair - we were met by stand after stand of interesting work by fledgling names. Designers from Finnish schools Aalto University and Lahti Institute of Design, and Sweden's Konstfack in particular launched strong collections, with standout designers including Kasper Nymen and Laura Vare. Some of the schools also teamed up with office furniture company Martela over in the WDC Helsinki Building, producing new tables, desks and chairs.
Other highlights of the week included the annual Eco Design exhibition, for which this year's curator Konstantin Grcic had gathered together a stellar collection of work by both young and established names. Meanwhile, elsewhere around town, studios, private houses and factories, including Iittalla, opened their doors, giving the design crowd a rare chance to snoop.