Helsinki Design Week 2019. Traces from antropocene soil group - Photo by Tzu Yu Chen
Helsinki Design Week 2019. Traces from antropocene soil group – Photo by Tzu Yu Chen.

Helsinki 2019 – The Finnish capital has committed to an ambitious plans: to become carbon neutral by 2035. From such challenge, Helsinki Design Week 2019 prompts discussion about the practicalities of reaching the target. Developed in collaboration with the Aalto UniversityUniversity of Helsinki and the City of Helsinki, the 15th edition of the festival – September 5-15 – explores the intersection of design and science. 

Helsinki Design Week 2019. Poiat Bastone cabinet
Poiat Bastone cabinet – Courtesy of Helsinki Design Week 2019.

This main theme of Helsinki Design Week 2019 is Climate learning. “The best results are often achieved through multidisciplinary collaboration, which is why we want to bring together both the design and science communities as well as the wider public.” Explains the design week programme director Anni Korkman.

We have rounded up some of the must-see events, workshops and exhibitions in the Finnish capital.

Erottaja 2

September 6-15 @ Erottajankatu 2, 00120 Helsinki – Open from 11 am to 7 pm every day , closed on Monday 9 – [Map].

Helsinki Design Week 2019. Korvaa THE WORLD’S FIRST MICROBE-GROWN HEADSET - Photo by Aivan.

Head to the festival’s main exhibition at Erottaja 2 to discover the impressive neo-renaissance palace opened to the public for the first time. The exceptional venue houses two exhibitions, DesignPartners19 and Room with a View, displaying work by well-known names as well as upcoming designers, and painting a picture of what the future of design will look like. In the spirit of the building and its history, Poiat and Arctic Tonic, Rebelade present the modern salon.

Helsinki Design Week 2019 - Respiration Field by Artek & Teemu Lehmusruusu
Respiration Field by Artek & Teemu Lehmusruusu.

On show an environmental and new media work by Teemu Lehmusruusu presented by Artek. Material technology company Woodio teamed up with floral artist Arteflos to present a fairytale vision of a modern home and a study of our interactive relation to nature. Korvaa‘s microbial headset replaces plastics and animal based materials with microbes and fungi while colorful Lobay chairs by Jouni Leino with Brocape thrive within an indoor oasis created together with smart green walls by Naava.

Aalto University’s campus in Otaniemi

September 4-15 @ Otakaari 24 – 02150 Espoo. Open from 10 am to 6 pm [Map].

Helsinki Design Week 2019. FLIP by Jukka Jokinen @ Aalto university
FLIP by Jukka Jokinen @ Aalto University.

The Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition ensemble showcases solutions that support more responsible lifestyles, including furniture made from construction waste, new product materials and ecological textiles. Traces from the Anthropocene. Working with Soil multidisciplinary research project addresses the ecological consequences of the human footprint through ceramic art. The New Silk project harnesses spider’s engineering skills and synthetic biology to bring textile to a cutting-edge and sustainable new frontier.

On show also the Natural Indigo exhibition focusing on the rarest color in nature. One fifth of industry water pollution is due to textiles’ synthetic dyeing. In Finland, the Värimorsinko crop – dyer’s woad in Finnish – yields a non-toxic blue dye. Developed centuries before chemical colors were invented, the ancient plant dye can be cultivated on a large scale and used in industrial textile colouring processes.

Helsinki Design Week 2019. The Future of Packaging - Fold and Sustain CoCeA - Photo by Anastasia Ivanova
The Future of Packaging – Fold and Sustain CoCeA – Photo by Anastasia Ivanova.

Envision The Future of Packaging showcases merging interdisciplinary practices in material research aim to develop 3 novel wood-based biomaterials with similar or better properties to replace non-renewable and environmentally problematic plastics.

Children Design Week

Helsinki Design Week 2019. Children's Design Week - Photo by Olga Poppiusjpg
Children’s Design Week – Photo by Olga Poppiusjpg.

Traveling with kids? No worries! During Helsinki Design Week 2019, Children’s Design Week invites future designers to join workshops where they can creat a more sustainable future by inventing and building machines of scrap IT equipment, designing and making lamps of recycled materials, and exploring colors using authentic test tubes and pipettes, or learn about clothing and textile repair while co-creating a wall rug. Find out more!

The Climate School

The City Hall will host the Climate School where citizens can learn from and participate in discussion with leading sustainability researchers and businesses. The week-long timetable includes lessons and workshops relating to different themes, such as transport, housing, fashion, food and construction.

Helsinki Design Week 2019. Woodio & Arteflos - soft40 tabletop oat white - Photo by Pauliina Salonen
Woodio & Arteflos – soft40 tabletop oat white – Photo by Pauliina Salonen.