Helsinki Design Week 2013: the highlights

Prototype lamps
Prototype lamps, by Sebastian Jansson, on show at Habitare design fair's 'Singular Pluralist' exhibition
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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 (opens in new tab) 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 Theatr (opens in new tab)e to a minimalistic sauna on Suomenlinna island (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). And home and garden supplier Fiskars showcased its new pavilion, a gallery-like space featuring art installations (opens in new tab) created with Fiskars' scissors and dishware.

Piled Stones By Sebastian Jansson From Singular Pluralist Prototypes 2012

'Piled Stone' candlesticks, also by Sebastian Jansson

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Prototype 'Kapseli' lights by local designer Simo Serpola

Prototype 'Kapseli' lights by local designer Simo Serpola

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'Lanka' bookstand

'Lanka' bookstand, by Matti Syrjälän, for Mama Design

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LOG Lighting By Olli Mustikainen And Jari Nyman Part Of ECO DESIGN HABITARE

At the entrance of Habitare, designer Yrjö Kukkapuro has curated an exhibition of ecologically-minded designs, entitled 'EcoDesign', which includes 'LOG' lighting by Olli Mustikainen and Jari Nyman

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Myself Bookshelf By Leo Lindroos

A bookshelf by Leo Lindroos, part of EcoDesign

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Wooden Bowls By Simo Heikkila

Wood vessels, by Simo Heikkila, at EcoDesign

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MORI Prototypes Designed By Klaus Aalto Anna Salonen And Saana Sipila

Prototypes from the 'Mori' collection by Klaus Aalto, Anna Salonen and Saana Sipilä

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New Collectiom From Textile Designer Monika Jarg From Tekstiilruumis

New textiles by Monika Jarg of Tekstiilruumis

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PI NO PI NO By Maija Puoskari And Tuukka Tujula From Protoshop

'Pi-No Pi-No' vases, by Maija Puoskari and Tuukka Tujula, at the Protoshop Design Forum

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'Hattara' tables, by Fanni Suvila,

'Hattara' tables, by Fanni Suvila, at Protoshop

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'Ripsiraita' plastic carpet

Also at Protoshop, Hanna Anonen's 'Ripsiraita' plastic carpet

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'Ristiin' chair,

'Ristiin' chair, by Katja Rouvinen, at Protoshop

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'Shadows in Birch Forest'.

At Habitare's Trash Factory pavilion, Shanghai's United Design Group (UDG) presented 'Shadows in Birch Forest'. The work was put together in situ by students from the School of Form in Poland

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Finnish designer and sculptor Tapio Wirkkala's lights

Finnish designer and sculptor Tapio Wirkkala's lights are shown together with classics by Alvar Aalto at the Artek stand

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A close-up look at Wirkkala's lights

A close-up look at Wirkkala's lights for Artek

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Mira Köymäri's sculpture

Mira Köymäri's sculpture at 'Trash Goes Architecture' won third place at the Habitare Design Competition in the category of 'Dream Space'

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'Tukki' chairs

'Tukki' chairs, by Pro Armik, part of its Kainuu collection

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An office block

The Helsinki Design Open was held in the Marble Hall of the Rautatalo building, an office block designed by Alvar Aalto in the 1950s

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Textiles by Finnish fabric designer

Inside, textiles by Finnish fabric designer Johanna Gullichsen

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A rug by Milan-based Kristiina Lassus

A rug by Milan-based Kristiina Lassus

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Chairs by Finnish furniture company Nikari

Chairs by Finnish furniture company Nikari, created in collaboration with Jasper Morrison

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'Tuisku' wood bowls, by Petri Vainio

'Tuisku' wood bowls, by Petri Vainio

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'Valo' lights

'Valo' lights, by Susan Elo

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Household products from the brand's range

At the Fiskars exhibition, held at the company's headquarters in a new pavilion designed by Pentagon, installations featured household products from the brand's range. 'Liuku' was created with 1300 of Iittala's votives

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An installation of Iittala plates

An installation of Iittala plates at the Fiskars pavilion

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Orange-handled scissors

A precarious chandelier made of Fiskars' orange-handled scissors

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'PET' lamps

Elsewhere, 'PET' lamps by Spanish designer Alvaro Catalan de Ocon were on show at the Old Customs Warehouse

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Stoneware

Stoneware, by Ai Ono - who graduated this year from Aalto University's School of Arts, Design and Architecture - also at the Old Customs Warehouse

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A model of the Wuxi Grand Theatre in China

A model of the Wuxi Grand Theatre in China, by Shanghai-based PES-Architects. The building was completed in 2012

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PES Architect's latest project, the Chengdu Icon Yunduan Tower

PES Architect's latest project, the Chengdu Icon Yunduan Tower, is due for completion in 2015

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The 'December-Tuoli chair'

Also at the Old Customs Warehouse, the 'December-Tuoli chair', by Jasper Morrison and Wataro Kumano, for Nikari

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'Dont' table lamps, by Juuso Andersin

'Dont' table lamps, by Juuso Andersin, a recent graduate from Helsinki's Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

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'Laine' felt wall,

'Laine' felt wall, by Anne Kyyro Quinn

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The Finnish Design Shop pop-up at the Old Customs Warehouse

The Finnish Design Shop pop-up at the Old Customs Warehouse

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ADDRESS

Helsinki Design Week (opens in new tab)
Katajanokanlaituri 5
00160 Helsinki

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Originally hailing from Puerto Rico, Maria Sobrino spent seven years with Wallpaper* as an interiors stylist. These days you can find her enjoying a dinner al fresco at her Miami MiMo apartment on Biscayne Bay, or riding her scooter around Miami in search of beautiful things, both exterior and interior.