Two years ago Seoul held the title of World Design Capital, but now it is Helsinki’s turn. The project aims to promote the impact of design on quality of life with a special emphasis on furthering the social, economic and cultural development of urban areas.
“The fact that Helsinki will be in the spotlight for 2012 gives us Finns a wonderful opportunity to show what a small country can achieve,” says Fiskar’s Development Director Petteri Masalin. “It raises our profile among consumers and helps people to understand the possibilities that design gives to making our lives easier and enriching our environment. Design is not the reserve of the elite; it’s a part of everyone’s everyday reality and can be seen and experienced in everything around us.”
A wide range of events and exhibitions are planned. “Keskuskatu, street for pedestrians” will display paving based upon a mathematical design. “Design goes washing jetty” focuses on thirteen different carpet washing stations along Helsinki’s shores. “925 – redesigning the work week” is an embedded design project that aims to redesign normal working practices.
“I hope Finland will be recognised not only for our great design, but also for our competitiveness through design management,” says Sirpa Fourastie of the Finnish Design Management Association. “I hope a large audience will recognise design in multiple ways, getting a better understanding of the meaning of design skills in the different contexts of culture, society and business.”