Design Helsinki to take place on 8-9 June 2022. Organized by UK-company Media 10 – with support from Helsinki Business Hub and Helsinki Marketing – the inaugural annual event aims to attract 20,000 international visitors.Finland has long been known for its rich history in design. But the country’s modern design scene is not only about big-name brands. Hundreds of studios – many of them in the capital Helsinki – are doing world-class design work, yet often struggle to gain the international recognition they deserve.
To address this challenge, UK-based event & experience company Media 10 is organizing Design Helsinki: an annual two-day event aimed at bringing the international design audience to Finland in early June.
Media 10 specializes in organizing global design events, including the Clerkenwell Design Week in London, as well as design shows in Beijing, Shanghai and Johannesburg. It also produces the quarterly design and architecture magazine ICON.
“We scour the globe looking for countries and cities with the right ingredients for these kinds of events. Helsinki ticks all the right boxes,” says Media 10 brand and showroom manager, Hanna Laikola. “We believe the city’s design scene is full of untapped potential that we can activate.”
Designed for the international audience
Design Helsinki will be based around a pavilion on the city’s Kasarmitori Square, and a series of design installations along the length of Esplanadi Park. From these two locations, visitors will be signposted off to design showrooms and pop-up exhibitions around the city for product launches and other hosted events.
“The beginning of June is an amazing time of year in Finland, and if you look at the calendar for the global design audience there is no other conflicting event at this time,” says Laikola. “By pointing our international database at Helsinki, we believe we can attract as many as 20,000 visitors to the event in its first year.”
Media 10 has opened an office in Helsinki and will build up a local team to run the event. The company used a similar model for Design Shanghai and now employs some 30 people in China.
“We really know how to push the marketing and PR for design events,” says Laikola. “Covid-19 has made people wary of going to big venues, but Design Helsinki will have a lot of open-air installations and controlled settings.”
Everyone on board
The event is becoming a reality thanks to Media 10’s tight collaboration with Helsinki Business Hub and Helsinki Marketing – two city-owned companies focusing on promoting international business in Finland’s capital (the pair will soon merge into a new company called Helsinki Partners). Business Finland has also provided support for the project.
“The local organizations have been fantastic in understanding the opportunity and helping Media 10 to set up in Finland.”
“The local organizations have been fantastic in understanding the opportunity and helping Media 10 to set up in Finland. There is always someone available to provide advice or get us connected with the right people,” says Laikola.
“This is a brand new concept for Helsinki and the design industry is very excited that we are bringing something fresh to the international calendar.”
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Writer: Andrew Flowers