Helsinki Design Week 2013: the highlights
Little Finland punches above its weight class when it comes to contemporary design. To put things into perspective: Helsinki began hosting the Habitare design fair since 1970, 25 years before the birth of 100% Design and Maison et Objet.
This year Habitare anchored an entire week of events that swept up the city, from PechaKucha Night at the Savoy Theatre to a minimalistic sauna on Suomenlinna island designed by sculptor Harri Markkula. Still the show has grown in relevance along with the city.
With a focus on sustainable materials in the country’s signature quirky shapes, the show delivered with a new EcoDesign section curated by Toshiyuki Kita; wood-cut products by Jouko Jarvisalo; storage by Matti Syrjälän; and the Trash Factory exhibition, featuring a monumental wood work by China’s United Design Group.
Elsewhere, the cosy Helsinki Design Open showed a curated selection of homewares by a mostly female selection of creatives - Karin Widnäs, Susan Elo, Johanna Gullichsen - in Alvar Aalto’s landmark Rautatalo marble courtyard. And home and garden supplier Fiskars showcased its new pavilion, a gallery-like space featuring art installations created with Fiskars’ scissors and dishware.