location: Helsinki, Finland
HDW14 The Abattoir Opening - photo by Aino Huovio
Founded in 2005, Helsinki Design Week is the largest design festival in the Nordic countries. Held annually in September, the multidisciplinary festival presents design from a number of fields including fashion, architecture and urban culture.
This year, in the spirit of its theme ”Time Machine”, Helsinki Design Week focuses on cities and their future. The festival and its new venues of Jätkäsaari, the National Museum and Vallisaari island send the visitor on a journey in time to the past and the future.
A record 200 events are scheduled for the urban festival, held for the 11th time on 3–13 September.
The festival week will activate the listed L3 warehouse and the urban environment around it. The objective is to highlight the district’s interesting identity as a historic seaport.
Helsinki Design Week’s theme this year is “Time Machine”, through which the event reviews design as a means to forecast and shape the future. It focuses on future products, services and materials, as well as on utilizing design in cities.
“Helsinki is going through an interesting phase. At the moment, the city is making big decisions that will affect how we live here in 10, 20 or 50 years. Design plays a key role in this development. Bursting with future design and architecture, Jätkäsaari and its historical heart, the L3 warehouse, form a perfect stage for this year’s festival...Design is already a permanent part of the development of the City of Helsinki. From the beginning of the year Helsinki has become a UNESCO City of Design, which will make the role of design even stronger. For these reasons we wanted to have the city of the future as one of the strong overarching themes at this year’s festival,” says Helsinki Design Week's programme director Hanna Harris.
The programme of main venue L3 Design Dock in Jätkäsaari, offers exhibitions, seminars and a rich array of stage programme over five days, curated by the interior architect Joanna Laajisto. The L3 Design Dock will house 40 Finnish and international top brands in design Special exhibitions will also have a place in the event: current Japanese design will be on display in the Japanese Design Revisited exhibition by Lexus, and the safety of life will be explored in an installation by LocalTapiola and HDW. Other special exhibitions include the Nordic Mash-up 1+1+1, art and industry by Samuli Naamanka, Lego + Aalto + HDW 2015 Studio as well as the best student work from Aalto University and Metropolia.